Stuyvesant Town/Towers is a post World War II housing development built by Metropolitan Life Insurance on the East River side of Manhattan as a family friendly middle class neighborhood for returning veterans. New York City radio host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa spoke out at the time about this financial deal to increase the value of Stuyvesant Town, a place the Guardian Angels protected.
This investigative journey started when Countess asked what the most expensive house for sale is on Lake Norman. This is it, currently for sale for a bit over $7 million (reduced about $1 million from the original asking price)
This mansion is just down the street from Donald Trump’s golf course on Lake Norman. Looking up the property records, the house is currently owned by Thomas S Wickwire, who was the head of Real Estate investments for Charlotte based Wachovia Bank, which cratered in October 2008 and is now part of California based Wells Fargo Bank.
He bolted Wachovia four months before the bank was siezed, and he joined the infamous Carlyle Group and has since moved back to New York City.
NY Magazine: Clash of the Utopias (February 2009) chronicles the poorly thought out plan to convert a lower middle income housing development into a gold mine by squeezing out renters protected by the city’s rent control ordinance – and replacing them with affluent finance types without kids.
Mr Wickwire arrives on the scene on page 7. Wachovia had put itself on the hook for $1 billion in funding of the $5.4 billion deal and Mr Wickwire was getting very concerned. The original plan was to package up the debt and sell it off to get Wachovia away from the risk before the real estate bubble burst.
The Stuyvesant debt was packaged up with other debt and $3 billion was sold off to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and others. The property was only throwing off 40% of the interest on the debt.
By 2010, the project was in default
https://therealdeal.com/2010/01/13/stuy-town-debt-holders-considering-foreclosure/. Attempts to auction off the property in 2010 and 2012 failed. It was finally unloaded in 2015 as part of a deal with New York City to keep 5,000 of the 11,000 apartments at below market rates.
Perhaps Wachovia would still exist if it had not tried to play in the big leagues.