Tommy Hilfiger’s luxury hotel on the 5 Madison Avenue Clock Tower is not happening. According to reports, the deal has fallen through and Hilfiger has called off his plans for the iconic New York City building.
Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and partner JSR Capital had entered into a contract with the Clock Tower’s current owners, Africa Israel USA, to purchase the landmark building $170 million. Hilfiger and JSR Capital had big plans of transforming the 267,000-square-foot space into a luxury hotel and condominium.
The reasons for the deal falling through are still somewhat cloudy. Some reports have quoted sources close to the deal as saying that Hilfiger and JSR faced trouble in raising money to purchase this luxury property. However, JSR has refuted these claims. JSR Capital’s VP of operations, Ari Schwebel revealed that financing is not the big reason for the failure of the deal. Schwebel strengthened his case by saying that most real estate players who have looked at the Clock Tower were planning either a hotel or a residence or an office. He added that many of the interested parties had been full-cash buyers. Yet, even these deals did not work out.
SL Green Realty Corp sold the property to Africa Israel USA in 2007, two years after buying the 1909 building. Both SL Green Realty and Africa Israel USA had harbored plans of turning the property in a luxury residential tower. Neither plan worked out. Now, with the falling through of the deal with Hilfiger, the Clock Tower’s bad run continues.