432 Park project lands $400 million loan from charitable fund

October 31, 2012 09:00AM

A plan to build the tallest residential tower in the United States, at 432 Park Avenue — with an estimated price tag of $1.25 billion — just scored an important financial backer. The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, famous for donating a portion of its profits to charity, will lend $400 million to Los Angeles-based real-estate investors CIM Group and Harry Macklowe, the project’s developers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

When completed, the Rafael Vinoly-designed project, dubbed 432 Park, will rise 1,395 feet in Midtown Manhattan.

“We made sure we were getting debt that is low-priced and flexible,” Avi Shemesh, a CIM founding principal, said. He told the Journal that CIM received a longer loan maturity, compared with other lenders from the fund.

Although the fund is taking on a role normally played by a bank — construction loans are considered among the riskiest form of property debt — CIM has already raised two-thirds of the $1.25 billion in equity, greatly reducing the fears of default.

The average asking price in the building is $5,800 a square foot, but already about a dozen units are in contract or are close to a contract signing, sources told the Journal. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron