EB-5 funds sue to stop foreclosure sale on failed HFZ tower project

first_img Email Address* Share via Shortlink Contact Orion Jones Email Address* Message* Message* EB-5foreclosureHFZ CapitalReal Estate Finance Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Full Name* Tags Full Name* The entities suing say the property and their stake could still be saved. They contend a joint venture between HFZ and New York real estate mogul Kamran Hakim planned to inject $40 million into the project. That would cure the defaults and would fund 18 months of interest payments owed to Vanbarton, according to the suit. Hakim could not be reached for comment.The 400-year old Marble Collegiate Church contributed about $112 million in properties toward the joint venture with HFZ, according to the lawsuit. In exchange, the church — which runs a real estate arm called Collegiate Asset Management Corp. — would have received nearly $27 million in cash. It would also get 50 percent of the equity and a commitment that the HFZ-managed venture would build a fellowship hall and community facility.Israeli billionaire and diamond mogul Beny Steinmetz reportedly also has a loan on the project. In January, he was sentenced to 5 years in a Swiss prison for paying bribes to a public official in the West African country of Guinea in order to secure rights to an iron ore mine.The U.S. Immigration Fund, led by Nicholas Mastroianni, has been a prominent fundraiser for the EB-5 program, connecting foreign citizens with development projects. USIF has been the subject of several EB-5 lawsuits from investors. USIF has denied allegations of wrongdoing.Rich Bockmann contributed reporting.Contact Keith Larsen Suit alleges investor Kamran Hakim, at left, planned to inject $40 million to help save 29th and Fifth tower project. At right, HFZ’s Ziel Feldman. (Getty, HFZ)Entities acting on behalf of EB-5 funds are trying to stop a foreclosure sale that would wipe away a $60 million investment in a failed Manhattan tower project that HFZ Capital was to develop with a church.The three affiliates of EB-5 regional center U.S. Immigration Fund are suing the project’s mezzanine lender, Vanbarton Group. The lender provided HFZ with a $91 million loan to help finance the project. The lawsuit contends Vanbarton cannot foreclose on the West 29th Street property because it wrongfully obtained an interest in the property.The foreclosure sale is set for Friday; it would also wipe out HFZ and the church’s stake in the project.HFZ, which has been beset by financial troubles, had entered into a joint venture with Marble Collegiate Church to build a 34-story office tower designed by Bjarke Ingels on church property. HFZ enlisted a portion of funding through the EB-5 visa program. The investment was structured not as a loan but as a riskier preferred equity. In addition to defaulting on the Vanbarton debt, HFZ has also faced liens and lawsuits from subcontractors on the project.The three entities that filed suit in New York Supreme Court on Thursday also allege Vanbarton is trying to commence the sale without approvals from the state attorney general as required by law.Vanbarton threatened legal action against an affiliate of the church, according to the filing, and possibly individual ministers, deacons and elders, if the church raised these concerns about the sale.Vanbarton did not immediately return a request for comment. Ziel Feldman-led HFZ and its attorney did not provide a comment. A lawyer for the entities that filed suit did not comment. Marble Collegiate did not return a call for comment.Read moreZiel Feldman, Nir Meir accused of fraud over $30M loan Foreclosures tied to 4 HFZ condo buildings halted, for now EB-5 is back in the doghouselast_img read more


Retention of precipitation nitrogen by Antarctic mosses, lichens and fellfield soils

first_imgRetention of mineral elements in precipitation by mosses and lichens involving ion exchange and chelation mechanisms is a source of nutrients for these biota growing on rocks and nutrient poor soils (Brown 1987, Crittenden 1989). In qualitative work not involving nitrogen (N) Allen et al. (1967) demonstrated that fresh Antarctic mosses treated with hydrochloric acid could retain Na, P, Ca and K after leaching with concentrated solution of these elements. Ahumic fellfield soils are widespread in Antarctica and support sparse plant growth. This short note reports the results of work designed to show that fellfield soils and plants may obtain most of their N from atmospheric precipitation.last_img read more


Palynology of the Byers Group (Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous) of Livingston and Snow islands, Antarctic Peninsula: its biostratigraphical and palaeoenvironmental significance

first_imgThe Byers Group, exposed on Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island and Snow Island, Antarctica, is a mudstone-dominated sequence deposited in a fore-arc setting. Palynological studies on parts of the Byers Group have provided new data on Early Cretaceous biostratigraphy, palaeoenvironments and palaeoclimate. Dinoflagellate cyst assemblages date the President Beaches Formation as latest Early Berriasian-Berriasian, and a latest Berriasian-earliest Valanginian to Middle Valanginian age is suggested for the Chester Cone Formation. The boundary between the President Beaches and Chester Cone formations is dated as latest Berriasian. Dinoflagellate cyst assemblages permit correlation of the marine mudstones from Snow Island (President Head) within the Byers Group stratigraphy of Byers Peninsula. A marginal, shallow-marine palaeoenvironment is indicated by the palynological content of the Byers Group. Occasionally, there is evidence of slightly deeper marine influence within the President Beaches Formation. The Chester Cone Formation records increased terrestrial influence and possibly exhibits a non-marine signature towards the top of the sequence. Parts of the Chester Cone Formation are affected by reworking. A temperate palaeoclimate with occasional high humidity is suggested for the Byers Group. The land vegetation probably consisted of a coniferous forest with abundant podocarps and araucarians, a fern understorey and minor amounts of lycopods and bryophytes. The Byers Group palynoflora shows strongest affiliation to those from the Mesozoic of Australia and southern South America, although marked provincialism is evident within the Valanginian marine microplankton content.last_img read more


Multipoint study of a substorm on February 9, 1995

first_imgAn extended interval of strong northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) was observed by the Wind spacecraft located at an upstream distance of ∼193 RE from February 8–10, 1995, with a brief break of southward IMF from 0200 to 0400 UT on February 9. This brief interval of southward IMF led to an isolated substorm of moderate intensity (∼500 nT) with expansion phase starting at ∼0431 UT. This substorm may be triggered by the northward turning of the IMF since its onset time matched well with the time expected for the arrival of the northward turning of the IMF at Earth. The substorm activities were monitored by 11 spacecraft in space (Wind, IMP 8, Geotail, six geosynchronous satellites, one DMSP satellite, and Freja) and two networks of ground stations (Canopus and SuperDARN) covering both the northern and southern hemispheres. The extensive coverage of this event provides us with results (1) showing some unusual characteristics possibly related to the isolated nature of the substorm and (2) revealing some surprising features difficult to reconcile with the traditional substorm model. In the first category is unusually long duration of the growth phase and the long time delay between substorm expansion onset and particle injection onset at the geosynchronous orbit. In the second category is new evidence for multiple particle acceleration sites during substorm expansion and for sunward flow during the late expansion phase of a substorm being unrelated to a single acceleration site (X line) moving from the near-Earth tail to the more distant tail. We also present observations which show the possible optical signature on the ground of bursty bulk flows in the magnetotail.last_img read more


Metamorphic and thermal history of a fore-arc basin: the Fossil Bluff Group, Alexander Island, Antarctica

first_imgThe Himalia Ridge Formation (Fossil Bluff Group), Alexander Island is a 2.2-km-thick sequence of Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous conglomerates, sandstones and mudstones, derived from an andesitic volcanic arc and deposited in a fore-arc basin. The metamorphic and thermal history of the formation has been determined using authigenic mineral assemblages and vitrinite reflectance measurements. Metamorphic effects include compaction, pore-space reduction, cementation and dissolution and replacement of detrital grains by clay minerals (smectite, illite/smectite, corrensite and kaolinite), calcite, chlorite, laumontite, prehnite, pumpellyite, albite and mica, with less common quartz, haematite, pyrite and epidote. The authigenic mineral assemblages exhibit a depth-dependence, and laumontite and calcite exhibit a strong antipathetic relationship. Detrital organic matter in the argillaceous layers has vitrinite reflectance values (R-o) ranging from 2.3 to 3.7%. This indicates considerable thermal maturation, with a systematic increase in reflectivity with increasing depth. There is good correlation of metamorphic mineral assemblages with chlorite crystallinity and vitrinite reflectance values-all indicating temperatures in the range of 140 +/- 20degreesC at the top of the sequence to 250 +/- 10degreesC at the base of the sequence. The temperatures suggest a geothermal gradient of 36-64degreesC/km and a most likely gradient of 50degreesC/km. It is suggested that this higher-than-average gradient for a fore-arc basin resulted either from rifting during basin formation or from a late-stage arc migration event.last_img read more


Development and evaluation of a DNA-barcoding approach for the rapid identification of nematodes

first_imgFree-living nematodes are abundant in allmarine habitats, are highly diverse, and can be useful formonitoring anthropogenic impacts on the environment. Despitesuch attributes, nematodes are effectively ignored bymany marine ecologists because of their time-consumingtaxonomy. Nematode diagnostics has traditionally relied ondetailed comparison of morphological characters which,given their abundance, is difficult and laborious, meaningthat the biodiversity of the group is typically underestimated.Molecular methods such as DNA-barcoding offerpotentially efficient alternative approaches to studying thebiodiversity of marine nematode communities, allowingthese organisms to be more effectively exploited in ecologicalsurveys and environmental assessments. In this study, anumber of nuclear and mitochondrial genomic regions wereevaluated as potential diagnostic loci for marine nematodespecies identification. Of these, the 18S ribosomal RNAgene amplified most reliably from a range of taxa, and wastherefore evaluated as a DNA barcode. In a comparison ofmolecular and morphological identifications, over 97% ofspecimens sequenced were correctly assigned on the basisof a short stretch of 18S rRNA sequence (approximately 345bp), making this a potentially useful marker for the rapidmolecular assignment of unknown nematode species, andevaluation of nematode species richness during ecologicalsurveys or environmental assessments. This study showedthat a single marker approach based on amplification andsequencing may prove invaluable in the rapid identificationof nematodes during ecological surveys and, indeed,last_img read more


Migration, wintering distribution and habitat use of an endangered tropical seabird, Barau’s petrel Pterodroma baraui

first_imgGadfly petrels are strictly oceanic seabirds that range very far from their breeding grounds. Foraging movements outside the breeding season are poorly described. We used global location sensing (GLS) to describe the migration pathways and wintering habitats of Barau’s petrels Pterodroma baraui, an endemic, endangered seabird of Réunion Island (western Indian Ocean). In 2 consecutive years, petrels migrated far eastward, up to 5000 km from their breeding colony, to the central and eastern Indian Ocean. Migration pathways, timing, and wintering areas varied little among individuals, and non-breeding areas were remarkably consistent between years. There was no sexual variation in migration patterns. Barau’s petrels did not occur in the most productive areas of the Indian Ocean (Arabian Gulf and Somalia upwelling region) but instead foraged over warm oligotrophic and mesotrophic waters. Tracked birds consistently occurred in areas with relatively strong and consistent easterly winds, and avoided northern regions with weaker westerly winds. Our results indicate that Barau’s petrels use an expansive wintering area between the western South Equatorial Current and the eastern Equatorial Counter Current, characterised by warm sea surface temperatures (SST) and low productivity. However, wind regimes in the Indian Ocean are strongly influenced by the Asian Monsoon; in this particular area, wind and currents may create a frontal system where prey are aggregated, increasing their accessibility for Barau’s petrels. These results provide important baseline information for conservation, and are useful for the selection of potential marine reserves and the evaluation of effects of pollution or climate change on this highly threatened species.last_img read more


Soil- and enantiomer-specific metabolism of amino acids and their peptides by Antarctic soil microorganisms

first_imgMost nitrogen (N) enters many Arctic and Antarctic soil ecosystems as protein. Soils in these polar environments frequently contain large stocks of proteinaceous organic matter, which has decomposed slowly due to low temperatures. In addition to proteins, considerable quantities of D-amino acids and their peptides enter soil from bacteria and lengthy residence times can lead to racemisation of L-amino acids in stored proteins. It has been predicted that climate warming in polar environments will lead to increased rates of soil organic N turnover (i.e. amino acids and peptides of both enantiomers). However, our understanding of organic N breakdown in these soils is very limited. To address this, we tested the influence of chain length and enantiomeric composition on the rate of breakdown of amino acids and peptides in three contrasting tundra soils formed under the grass, moss or lichen-dominated primary producer communities of Signy Island in the South Orkney Islands. Both D- and L-enantiomers of the amino acid monomer were rapidly mineralized to CO(2) at rates in line with those found for L-amino acids in many other terrestrial ecosystems. In all three soils, L-peptides were decomposed faster than their amino acid monomer, suggesting a different route of microbial assimilation and catabolism. D-peptides followed the same mineralization pattern as L-peptides in the two contrasting soils under grass and lichens, but underwent relatively slow decomposition in the soil underneath moss, which was similar to the soil under the grass. We conclude that the decomposition of peptides of L-amino acids may be widely conserved amongst soil microorganisms, whereas the decomposition of peptides of D-amino acids may be altered by subtle differences between soils. We further conclude that intense competition exists in soil microbial communities for the capture of both peptides and amino acids produced from protein breakdown. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.last_img read more


Geographical patterns in the flora of Cambridgeshire (v.c.29)

first_imgCambridgeshire data collected for the BSBI’s Atlas 2020 project include 347,496 records at monad (1 km) or finer resolution. We used these data to cluster taxa by spherical k-means to produce 21 clusters of taxa with similar patterns of distribution. Some of the clusters correspond to well-defined habitats such as chalk grassland, ancient woodland, traditional fenland, and saline riversides and roadsides. Other clusters were less expected, corresponding to arable clayland, washland (the Ouse and Nene washes), waste ground and garden escapes. There was a cluster of ubiquitous species and another of common arable weeds. The distributions of the clusters are displayed as coincidence maps. Some species are intermediate between two clusters. These can be recognised by their relatively poor goodness of fit to any one cluster. The clusters differ markedly in ecological attributes and whether they include rare or threatened species. We interpret these differences using Ellenberg values and the vascular plant Red List for England.last_img read more


Kenneth Ogbe Signs With ALBA-Berlin

first_imgJune 25, 2018 /Sports News – Local Kenneth Ogbe Signs With ALBA-Berlin Written by Tags: ALBA Berlin/Business Administration/Kenneth Ogbe/Munich FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailOREM, Utah-Former Utah Valley University men’s basketball player Kenneth Ogbe is returning to his native Germany on a two-year professional contract to play for ALBA Berlin, per a report from Monday.Ogbe confirmed it has always been a dream of his to play for ALBA, a franchise that dates back to 1991.ALBA is among the more successful professional international teams in the world and has won eight German championships, nine German cups, three German super cups and the FIBA Korac Cup.Furthermore, this team is among the more successful ones in Europe and in 2014, became the first team to beat a reigning NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs, prior to the 2014-15 NBA season.The team plays at the Mercedes-Benz Arena of Berlin.In 2017-18, Ogbe was a first-team all-WAC honoree after leading the Wolverines to a school-record 23 wins.He led the squad in scoring, averaging 13.7 points per game.Ogbe, a native of Munich, shot 42.9 percent from beyond the arc in his Utah Valley career and added 3.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 steals per game.In his two seasons at Orem, Ogbe scored 802 points, making him 10th all-time in Wolverines annals and earned a master’s of business administration while at UVU. Brad Jameslast_img read more