The Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village private residential development (foreground) is seen in New York City, Oct. 26, 2009. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

BY Greg Roumeliotis

(Reuters) -- Blackstone Group LP is nearing a deal to acquire Manhattan's Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village apartment complex for around $5.3 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The deal would put Manhattan's biggest apartment complex in the hands of the world's largest private equity firm, and end five years of squabbling and litigation that have held up a sale of the property.

Stuyvesant Town, a sprawling complex of 56 high-rise brick buildings with a private park on 80 acres on Manhattan's East Side, was at the center of a $3 billion default five years ago.

CWCapital Asset Management LLC, a special servicer representing bondholders, took control of the complex in 2010 after its owners missed a debt payment.

The roughly 11,000-apartment complex was sold by MetLife Inc to Tishman Speyer Properties L.P. and an affiliate of BlackRock Inc for a record $5.4 billion at the top of the commercial real estate market in 2007.

Blackstone declined to comment on Monday. CWCapital was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Gregory Roumeliotis in New York and Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang, Bernard Orr)