NEW YORK, September 17, 2015—Robins Kaplan LLP announced today that it has been engaged as Chapter 11 restructuring counsel for four high-value hotel properties in Manhattan that are affiliated with Gemini Real Estate Advisors.
The Chapter 11 cases were filed on Sept. 4 as a result of litigation among the three Gemini principals. Documents were filed on Sept. 8 seeking the sale of the prime properties through a court-supervised auction as part of a Chapter 11 plan, while litigation among its principals plays out. The properties include the Jade Hotel in Greenwich Village, the Best Western Seaport Inn at 33 Peck Slip, the Wyndham Garden Hotel at 37 West 24th St., and a development site at 36 West 38th St.
The stalking horse initial offers for the properties total $200 million, subject to potential higher bids at auction. Proceeds are slated to repay creditors, who are owed about $135 million. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7, when a judge will consider a sale timeline and proposed bidding procedures. If approved, competing bids will be due Nov. 5, with an auction to take place on Nov. 10.
“Our goal in this process is to protect creditors and investors by attempting to achieve a transparent process by which we can repay all creditors in full and maximize returns to investors,” said Howard Weg, co- lead counsel to the debtors and chair of the Restructuring & Business Bankruptcy practice at Robins Kaplan. “The auction process is the most prudent approach.”
Robins Kaplan partner Scott Gautier serves as co-lead counsel to the debtors. Additional Robins Kaplan attorneys involved in the proceedings include bankruptcy and restructuring partner David Shemano; associate Lorie Ball; litigation partners David Martinez and Craig Weiner; and real estate partner Mark LaConte.
Robins Kaplan’s restructuring group is a national leader in representing debtors and creditors’ committees, as well as other constituents, including investors, lenders and indenture trustees, in corporate restructuring and business bankruptcy cases. The firm currently represents the official committee of student creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., one of the nation’s largest for-profit education companies. In July, the firm was named counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy case commenced by Local Corp. in the Central District of California.