Vanderbilts complete $80M refi at 501 Madison Avenue

Family took $60M construction loan to revamp 30-story office building
October 08, 2015 04:30PM

The Vanderbilt family successfully refinanced its historic Midtown office building at 501 Madison Avenue for $80 million.

The family – whose patriarch, Cornelius Vanderbilt, built 501 Madison Avenue in the late-1920s – swapped an existing $60 million construction loan with AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. for an $80 million loan with the firm.

The Vanderbilts likely netted about $20 million in profits in the process, as there is no other outstanding debt on the property. Midtown-based financial brokerage Singer & Bassuk Organization arranged the refinancing.

Cornelius Vanderbilt completed the 30-story, 200,000-square-foot officer tower in 1929, on the cusp of the Great Depression. The Vanderbilts then ground-leased the property for 84 years, before the family’s heirs decided to take the building back upon the ground lease’s expiry in 2013, according to Crain’s.

The family then took out the $60 million construction loan from AXA to finance renovations, which saw upgrades to the property’s lobby, elevators and building systems. The overhaul has seen 501 Madison Avenue now fully occupied with tenants.

Accessories retailer Porsche Design signed a 15-year lease for its flagship store at 501 Madison Avenue last year. [Crain’s]Rey Mashayekhi