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Foreclosure hits condo project again

2009-09-22T00:00:00Z Foreclosure hits condo project againBlake Jones
Glens Falls Post-Star
September 22, 2009 12:00 am  • 

GLENS FALLS - Companies affiliated with real estate developer Charles Cefalu and his mother, Sophie, are facing yet another foreclosure, the seventh since May.

In the latest action, Queensbury resident Ann de Avila is seeking about $230,000 in interest and principal for a delinquent mortgage on Crandall Square Condominiums.

According to court documents, Canfield Properties LLC and Blackstone Realty Partners LLC, both managed by Sophie Cefalu, have been in default on their loan with de Avila since the beginning of 2008.

De Avila's foreclosure, filed Sept. 3 in the state Supreme Court in Warren County, is the second against the Maple Street condominium.

In May, Manhattan-based Community Preservation Corp. filed a $1.4 million foreclosure lawsuit against Canfield for its mortgage on the project. That lawsuit is still pending.

Because the Community Preservation Corp. holds the primary mortgage, it has the first right to proceeds should a judge put the condominium up for sale.

Incidentally, de Avila and her late husband didn't initially issue the mortgage for the condo project.

The couple originally sold a different building, 200 Glen St., to Blackstone Realty Partners for $250,000. A year later, they agreed to transfer the mortgage balance to the condo project and release their interest in the Glen Street building.

De Avila declined to comment on the foreclosure. Her attorney, William White of the Queensbury firm Brennan & White, also declined comment out of "respect for the privacy of the dispute and the parties."

Sophie and Charles Cefalu did not return calls from The Post-Star last week. Their Long Island-based attorney, Paul Rubell, was reached for comment on Thursday.

He requested an additional day to answer The Post-Star's questions via e-mail, but as of Monday he had not responded.

Charles Cefalu said in a July interview that Crandall Square Condominiums, among other properties in foreclosure, had been adversely impacted by the economy. He said then he was attempting to refinance the project.

All seven lawsuits against numerous LLCs managed by Sophie Cefalu - Canfield Properties, Blackstone Realty Partners, The Lofts on South, Medical Resources and SBC Properties - remained active with the courts as of last week.

Charles Cefalu has, in recent months, denied any direct role with the companies and is not named as a defendant in the foreclosures.

He has for years, however, served as the face of the many ventures to investors, city officials, tenants, the media and contractors. In addition, court records show that one or more of his title, mortgage and real estate companies were involved in the sale of just about every property now facing foreclosure.

Charles Cefalu's Keller Williams franchise in Malta remains the listing agency for Crandall Square Condominiums.

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