The dismantling of Harry Macklowe's New York real-estate empire continued as his main lender moved to foreclose on the former high-flying tycoon's largest development project.

A group of lenders led by Deutsche Bank AG filed papers in New York Supreme Court to foreclose on a $510 million loan that Macklowe Properties Inc. took out to build on the former site of the Drake Hotel on Park Avenue between 56th Street and 57th Street.

This is the funny part:

It isn't clear why the lending group decided to foreclose now. Macklowe Properties has been in default on the Drake loan since November 2007, but the lenders have in effect given him an extension as he tried to find an equity partner to share the risk and expense of the loan. At one point, he was in talks with Related Cos., a New York developer, to join the project.

My guess: probably the same reason they're starting to foreclose on all sorts of builders -- namely; they have no choice. They need the cash. Now. Whatever amount they can get.

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