Hudson Heights Weather

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Eyesore of the Week No. 2 (2/8/11)-"One Bennett Park"

There are so many things wrong in this photograph that its hard to begin.  First, Thompson Development Group's proposed 22-story luxury condominium building remains stalled.  Second, the Hebrew Center (precariously balanced on iron stilts) remains closed awaiting Mr. Thompson's overdue renovation.  Third, the entrance to the A train on Overlook Terrace is a complete and utter mess.  

The moral of this story is that developers should post construction bonds that the City (or MTA) could seize to restore a site when a development project goes so terribly wrong.  While Hudson Heights Gazette strongly hopes that Mr. Thompson can secure the financing to complete this project, there has to be a point in time where the hole in the ground can be filled in and the neighborhood character restored.  (By the way, we think there would be a strong market for condominiums in this location if they were extremely well designed on both the Fort Washington Avenue and Overlook Terrace sides.)


  1. Hello Eyesore of the Week,

    This is Ruddy Thompson, the owner of Thompson Development Group responding.

    Unfortunately for me and my family, and for the congregation of the Fort Tryon Jewish Center, the Lehman Brothers crash in the Fall of 2008 brought my project to a halt. Within a few months of the Crash, the two large real estate funds that are my two co-lenders started having liquidity problems, because the financial institutions that had promised take-out financing to many of both fund's borrowers reneged on their promises, and there were basically no new investments coming into their funds.

    Now I could have turned around and sued them for "specific performance", but at the time I started to realize that this financial collapse wasn't about my lenders or their lenders. It was far bigger than that. My project was slated to be finished on time, and as you said in your blog that I read, my project would certainly be well received.

    I can't tell you a date when my project will resume construction, but it will resume, and hopefully for my friends at the Fort Tryon Jewish Center, it will be sooner than later.

    If this had been a smaller project, I'm sure both of my lenders would have found a way to get it done...

  2. Thanks for these comments. I think its very helpful for the community to hear that Thompson Development Group is still committed to the site. While it looks terrible now (no sugar-coating it), I firmly believe that there will be a strong market for well-designed, family-sized apartments in Upper Manhattan over the next decade, particularly in areas like Hudson Heights. (Chris Rizzo)