Wang hotel's loan faces 'imminent default'

Islanders owner Charles Wang attends a news conference

Islanders owner Charles Wang attends a news conference announcing that the franchise will move from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale to play at Brooklyn's Barclays Center starting in 2015. (Oct. 24, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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A $103.5 million loan taken by the Long Island Marriott and Conference Center in Uniondale has been turned over to a Texas-based company that services debt on distressed properties, according to a Fitch Ratings alert issued Friday, indicating that the loan is troubled and may be restructured.

The hotel's loan was transferred to C-III Asset Management, a "special servicer," because of "imminent default," the notice released Friday by Fitch said. A county official said the 618-room hotel is owned by New York Islanders owner Charles Wang, who sought a Nassau County-funded Coliseum development adjacent to the property to replace the existing sports facility located there.

Voters rejected the project and the National Hockey League team subsequently announced it was moving to Brooklyn.

Loan information available from the Bloomberg data service shows the 33-year-old property underwent a $22 million improvement in 2007 and 2008 and was renovated in 2006. The hotel lost business during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 but had recovered, the documents said.

Even so, cash flow in the first half of 2012 was insufficient to cover the loan's debt service, according to the Bloomberg documents.

Net operating income at the hotel during the first half of last year was $1.8 million compared with $5.4 million during the whole of 2011, according to Bloomberg data.

A special servicer can work to restructure troubled loans.

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Islanders senior vice president Michael Picker did not return multiple calls and emails.

A hotel employee said a manager was not available to answer questions.

With Randi Marshall

and Robert Brodsky

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