Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mary Immaculate owner's silent partner takes over

From the Times Ledger:

The ever-evolving fate of what was once Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica has changed course once again.

Jack Guttman, who purchased Mary Immaculate and St. John’s Hospital in Elmhurst in an October bankruptcy auction, relinquished ownership of the Jamaica site to real estate developer Joseph Chetrit about three weeks ago, according to Isaac Abraham,a spokesman for Guttman. Guttman and Chetrit closed on the deal about two weeks ago, Abraham said.

Guttman is still the owner of the St. John’s site.

Chetrit and Guttman have had a troubled history with development in the city. In October Chetrit traded his property on 100th Street in Manhattan for a Jewish nursing home at 120 West 106 Street so he could develop upscale condominiums at the Jewish Home and Hospital Life Care site, whichis in an area slated for downsizing. Guttman and his father, Joshua Guttman, were charged with 434 counts of failure to maintain privately owned waterfront property after a 10-alarm fire broke out in 2006 at one of their Brooklyn properties, the Greenpoint Terminal Market.

Chetrit did not return a phone call to his Manhattan office.

Abraham did not say what role Chetrit played in the bankruptcy auction, but Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Borough President Helen Marshall, said the real estate developer was a silent partner with Guttman. Silent partners typically provide significant capital for an investment but do not have to submit their name for public knowledge.

“Guttman has a silent partner who now has control of the site,” Andrews said. “The borough president has tried to have a meeting with [Guttman] but without success. He has not returned our phone calls.”

Guttman never relayed information about Chetrit being involved in the $26 million purchase of Mary Immaculate and St. John’s in October to the borough president, Andrews said.

“It came about as a surprise,” he said.

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