Friday, June 21, 2024

Friars Club Selling Historic Building Because They Have To: They’re in Foreclosure, Being Sued for $13 Million by Loaner, Inspection Cites Massive “Disrepair”


This week, the Friars Club told the New York Post they’re selling their legendary building on East 55th St. without telling the whole story.

I wrote two weeks ago that the Friars are being sued for their $13 million mortgage loan. According to the Post, they’re seeking $18 million, so they can reap a $5 million benefit. They say they’ll rent the place from the new owner. But they have no money. The club has been destroyed by greed.

Kairos Credit Strategies, which owns the $13 million note, submitted a building inspection to the court on March 23, 2023.

According to the report:

“Generally, the premises was in a state of disrepair. The
bar on the ground floor, and the entertainment/meeting rooms on the second
and third floors app eared to be in decent condition, but there were multiple
places with evidence of water damage and mold (including the basement

kitchen, first floor entertainment room, and upper floor locker room), partially
demolished ceilings and floors, exposed wiring in the stairwell and uncovered
electrical panels, mounds of trash in rooms and corridors, and signs of
mice/roach presence. Most notably, there is a standing pool of water about one
inch deep in the subā€basement. AEI indicated that they had evaluated the
premises before the loan was issued and that no renovations appear to have
occurred since then. Arthur Aidala, the Friars Club, had mentioned to Kairos that
the water in the property had been shut off and the property was not being used
for any purposes.”

Other Items of Note:The fifth and sixth floors of the property are office space.
They contained piles and boxes of documents and were completely disorganized.
Papers in plain sight included a December 2022 judgment from New York
Supreme Court against the Club in the amount of approximately $17,000,
financial documents and notices, and a large amount of unopened mail.

As I also wrote recently, the Friars let their 100 year old trademark lapse, and now they’re not allowed to retrieve it. Long ago they lost their 501c3 not for profit status. The building at 57 East 55th is not landmarked. We’ve reached the end for the Friars Club, which had so much history and vitality for so many decades. The people running the Friars for the last decade let this happen. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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