It’s deja vu all over again at the New Yorker Hotel.

The hotel’s deed was seemingly transferred for $400 million, according to filed documents  reported by the Commercial Observer. Mickey Barreto, a man who previously claimed he owned the property after a one-night stay, filed to transfer the deed of the property at 481 Eighth Avenue from Mickey Barreto Missions to itself. 

The latest filing is only the tip of the iceberg for Barreto’s ownership games at the Hell’s Kitchen hotel.

Barreto previously attempted to cite rent-stabilization laws to claim ownership of the Wyndham-branded property. There are obscure rules that allow tenants to request six-month leases at rent-stabilized hotels and stay indefinitely.

Barreto’s argument that he owned the hotel didn’t get very far. At one point, the hotel was ordered to let the evicted Barreto back in and the Department of Finance even filed paperwork acknowledging his ownership. But the New York State Supreme Court ruled against him and said the $189 million deed transfer he filed was fraudulent.

The latest gambit dates back to two years ago, when the $400 million deed transfer was filed. He didn’t actually sign the document until the beginning of this month, though, after which the Finance Department made it public.

A week after the document was signed, Isaac Hera’s Yellowstone Real Estate Investments purchased M&T Bank’s $106 million loan backed by the hotel. The purchase price wasn’t made public, but was said to be “close to par.”

While the hotel flies the Wyndham flag, it’s owned by the Unification Church, which purchased the property for $5 million in 1976. The 1.1 million-square-foot property includes 1,000 hotel rooms, 140,000 square feet of student housing, 110,000 square feet of office space and 16,000 square feet of retail space.

The Commercial Observer couldn’t reach the owner of the hotel for comment. Its requests for comments from Barreto, Wyndham and the Department of Finance all went unanswered.

Holden Walter-Warner

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