The Real Deal New York

Extell secures one-week extension on $235M Blackstone loan

Central Park Tower debt came due Dec. 9
By Katherine Clarke | December 13, 2016 07:30AM

Gary Barnett and a rendering of Central Park Tower

Gary Barnett and a rendering of Central Park Tower

Gary Barnett’s Extell Development secured a one-week extension on a $235 million land loan from Blackstone Group at its Central Park Tower, according to public disclosures made to its Israeli bondholders.

The extension will give the company time to refinance the loan, which came due Dec. 9. The extension is just the latest in Extell’s ongoing struggle to line up financing for the tower, which is set to rise at 217 West 57th Street.

The company secured the Blackstone loan in 2013 and had been counting on securing a construction loan to replace it, rather than going through a refinancing, as The Real Deal reported in the fall.

The terms of the loan dictate that, were Extell to default, the loan would go into a one-year standstill agreement, whereby Blackstone could not demand an immediate settlement until the latter part of 2017. The interest rate on the loan would also shoot up to 14 percent from 8 percent.

Barnett has already blown one deadline to repay the loan.

In a September interview, he didn’t seem particularly confident about racing the clock.

“We have a deadline to meet and we’re going to try very hard to meet that deadline,” he said. “That’s our job. Beyond that, I’m not going to speculate.”

He did not respond to a request for comment Monday on the extension or on his progress in securing a construction loan.

A Blackstone spokesperson also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this year, Extell scored approximately $300 million in equity from SMI USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Shanghai’s largest state-owned enterprise, for the project. But that agreement is also contingent on Extell securing a construction loan. If Barnett can’t close on a construction loan by July, SMI can force Barnett to buy back its equity stake for roughly $300 million, plus interest.