The recent wave of stories from the co-op at 740 Park Avenue prove that in these harsh financial times even the owners of Manhattan’s most elite properties can be hugely affected by the economic climate. Rumors of foreclosure on shareholders Kent Swig and his soon-to-be ex-wife Elizabeth dampen both the spirits of the residents and reputation of the luxury building and its shareholders.
What is most shocking about this turn of events is not how much is owed, but how such a thing happened. Foreclosure rarely happens at buildings of this caliber for several reasons—it is surprising enough that shareholders of a building that reportedly requires buyers to have $100 million in liquid cash would even be allowed to have debt; but if such a situation were to occur, surely the indebted party would have enough friends with enough capital to procure a private loan.
Perhaps that is why Elizabeth Swig’s divorce lawyer says that he and his client do not think foreclosure is likely. However, in the current housing market, foreclosures are happening more than ever and in less likely places. Specifically, PropertyShark currently lists seventeen Manhattan co-ops about to go to the auction block, including addresses on Central Park West, Sutton Place, and Fifth Avenue.
Should foreclosure occur, the rest of the shareholders would have to cover the maintenance of the Swigs’ over 445 unsold units, a coverage that is sure to accumulate quickly in a building like 740 Park. Until then, those affected by the ordeal can only wait for a buyout or other saving grace.