Another week, another bankruptcy filing for pizza-parlor owner and real estate investor James McGown, who is quickly becoming a bankruptcy baron. On Tuesday, Mr. McGown submitted a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition for his eight-year-old real estate firm Gowanus Inn Inc., citing assets between $1 million to $10 million and liabilities of the same amount.
Neither Mr. McGown nor his lawyer, David Leventhal, returned calls requesting comment.
The filing follows last week’s Chapter 11 petition for P.J. Hanley, a Brooklyn-based bar also owned by Mr. McGown. In fact, Mr. McGown currently has three bankruptcy cases pending in federal bankruptcy court for the New York Southern District. Last year, he also filed petitions for South Brooklyn Pizza, a five-unit chain, and East River Mortgage Corp.
According to an affidavit submitted Tuesday, Gowanus Inn was formed in 2005 in order to own and operate a bar and restaurant in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn at 555 Union St. However, that project was quickly abandoned as needed repairs to the building were deemed too expensive to undertake. (Gowanus Inn is unaffiliated with Gowanus Inn & Yard, which is scheduled to open in 2015.)
Last year, Mr. McGown resurrected the Gowanus Inc. name as a real estate entity focused on the purchase of foreclosed properties. He bought a Glen Cove, Long Island residential condominium at 22 Pembroke Dr. for $20,000, but quickly had issues with the community association—Legend Yacht and Beach Club Homeowners Association Inc. He is now suing the association.
Gowanus Inc. also bought a residential condo at 542 Laguardia Pl. in Manhattan in a “cash for keys” deal, which resulted in legal complications, according to the affidavit.
According to his affidavit, Mr. McGown claims the two condominium boards are denying him rights to his property. “The debtor believes that many of the liens on the properties can be handled in the state court action and expects to quickly get this bankruptcy dismissed.”
Mr. McGown also owns Brooklyn Buschenschank, a Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn-based pub that opened two years ago. He made headlines in 2010 as the owner of a notorious sex cave in TriBeCa.