Is Chelsea's Crazy Alien Pod a Market Meltdown Victim?

Folks, there's no doubt about it: this one is going to sting. When Colin and Pamela Rath decided to develop an alien pod/Steampunk fantasy at 123 West 15th Street, next door to their own home, they knocked down a charming old row house to do it—incensing their Chelsea neighbors. At the time of the eight-story, four-unit building's reveal, Colin Rath told the Times, "It has to work. Everything we have is riding on it." The paper added that, "The building is an example of what can happen in a real estate market where the potential payout is so high that almost no effort to get something built seems too extravagant." But those were the heady days of summer 2007, when nothing could go wrong and anyone could get rich off real estate. Well, it's not the summer of 2007 anymore, and something has gone horribly wrong.

A tipster sends a link to, "a platform to bring entrepreneurs, business owners and investors (angel investors and venture capitalists) closer together." On it, the same Colin Rath asks for an investor to come to the rescue so that the 50% completed 123 West 15th Street can be finished:

I am looking for an equity investor willing to invest into Terrapin Industries for a return on the sales of the construction project and the settlement of the lawsuit. one year investment. There is a detailed executive summary below.

I am have a $5,900,000 settlement with BRT, need $4,000,000 to finish construction, and estimated $2,000,000 interest reserve, closing costs, investor interest reserve for a 1 year note. Total $12,000,000 with equity investor. All permits are current , plans are approved, condo offering plan is approved. I am in Chapter 11 reorganization.

Yikes. The Times had mentioned that the building process was being filmed for a documentary about the Rath's experience with the project, so maybe this will make one exciting dramatic plot twist. But as for the neighbors, they see it as part comedy, part tragedy: "The eyesore, the hubris, the blatant disregard for the neighborhood - it's infuriating. And now we're stuck with this thing - for years and years. It almost ruins the block. Karma." Karma apparently plays big in Chelsea.
· Looking for Equity Investor in Manhattan Condo Project 1/2 done [Go4Funding]
· 123 West 15th Street coverage [Curbed]For more stories from Curbed, go to

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