The Real Deal New York

Bank of China was lender in Vornado’s $600M loan

PRC's largest financial institution provided funding for 220 Central Park South
By Angela Hunt | March 05, 2014 03:55PM

In what will likely be one of the largest loans issued in Manhattan this year, The Bank of China was identified in city records as the company financing Vornado Realty Trust’s long-delayed luxury condominium at 220 Central Park South. 

The $600 million loan covers four lots: 217, 225, 229 and 231 West 58th Street in Midtown. Vornado, a real estate investment trust, plans to erect a Robert Stern-designed 41-story tower at the location, as The Real Deal previously reported.

Vornado’s loan is one of several major deals inked by the Bank of China in the last year. The lender chipped in $600 million for the Chetrit Group’s acquisition and repositioning of the Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue last March, and a $498 million loan for Milstein Properties’ refinancing of 335 Madison Avenue in April.

A representative of the Bank of China could not be immediately reached for comment.

The REIT picked up the development site in 2005 for $132 million, bought out the 26 rent-regulated tenants living in the existing structure for $40 million, and subsequently applied to demolish the building in 2012. However Vornado had a harder time coaxing rival developer Extell Development, which has a 1,550-foot-tall mixed-use tower in the works at a neighboring site at 225 West 57th Street, to end its lease for the parking garage beneath the building.

The two developers recently settled the dispute, with Vornado paying Extell $194 million for the garage and development rights in October. The existing building has since been demolished. Including the new loan, the developer has now invested nearly $1 billion into the development.

A representative of Vornado declined to comment on the loan or the lender.

New renderings of the tower were released in January. The building is designed by Robert A.M. Stern, the mastermind behind 15 Central Park South.