Bizzi & Partners and New Valley are finalizing a long-delayed construction loan for their supertall condominium project at 125 Greenwich Street, according to sources familiar with the deal. Singapore-based United Overseas Bank is the primary lender on the $450 million financing package, sources said, along with Bank of China and two other Asian banks.
In February 2016, The Real Deal first reported that the developers were in talks with UOB for a construction loan of north of $500 million. The loan was supposed to close late last year, sources said, but complications, including the tax evasion-related indictment of one of the partners, Michael Shvo, delayed the process. The term sheet for the loan was finally signed late last week.
Early this year, sources said Shvo’s role at the project was minimized. Banks are generally skittish about financing a project in which one of the partners is facing criminal charges.
Though the loan for 125 Greenwich was initially supposed to be north of $500 million, the developers took cost-cutting measures such as contracting with an open-shop construction company, sources said. The supertall Financial District condo, designed by Rafael Vinoly, will hold 275 apartments when completed, with a total projected sellout of $875 million, according to its offering plan.
In addition to the new construction loan, the developers have raised another $194 million from foreign EB-5 visa investors, according to sources familiar with the matter. The firm had secured $240 million in debt and equity financing in 2015, which Howard Michaels’ Carlton Group arranged.
UOB is an active lender in Manhattan, bankrolling projects such as Harry Macklowe’s 200 East 59th Street and Alchemy Properties’ conversion of the Woolworth building. Bank of China is one of the most important condo lenders in the city, backing projects such as Vornado Realty Trust’s 220 Central Park South and Bizzi’s 100 Varick Street (now Known As 565 Broome Street).
Mark Maurer contributed reporting.
(To view more of Bizzi & Partners’ financing transactions, click here)