The Real Deal New York

These were the biggest Manhattan real estate loans in July

Portfolio deals, infrastructure loans and refis abound
By Will Parker | August 18, 2017 02:25PM

From top: Phillip Eisenberg and 1940 First Avenue, Steve Roth and a rendering of Moynihan Station

The 10 largest real estate loans recorded in July add up to more than $2.5 billion in deals, on everything from commuter rail to luxury condominium projects. Lenders run the gamut from the U.S. government to the debt businesses of traditional real estate developers. The biggest loan to land in July came from the refinancing of the Putnam portfolio, one of New York’s largest residential packages that hit the market for sale back in October. Check out the full list below:

1) More like Put-damn! – $714.7 million

In one of the largest loans of the year, Urban American and Brookfield Properties refinanced part of their massive Upper Manhattan rental portfolio known as the Putnam. Wells Fargo lent $714.7 million to the partners in a deal backed by several buildings containing more than 2,500 apartments. The owners previously considered selling the full portfolio, which had an estimated worth of $1.5 to $1.6 billion last year.

2) Bonded to Penn Station – $600 million

The U.S. Department of Transportation extended $600 million in loans to Empire State Development for the overhaul of Moynihan Station, part of the ongoing redevelopment of the James A. Foley Post Office and Penn Station. The debt was given a baa3 investment grade by Moody’s, which designates moderate credit risk. The loan was extended under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TIFIA.

3) Vornado on board – $271 million

For its own piece of the Moynihan deal, Vornado Realty Trust borrowed $271 million from Deutsche Bank. The loan will support the creation of the Moynihan Train Hall. About 700,000 square feet of office and retail space is also in the works, which Vornado is developing in partnership with Related Companies. Steve Roth, Vornado chairman, was until yesterday the co-chair of Trump’s White House council on infrastructure.

4) (tie) Sweet Caroline – $200 Million

The good times never seemed so good? Pan Am Equities refinanced the 431-unit Caroline building at 60 West 23rd Street, grabbing $200 million from lender Massachusetts Mutual. This loan was previously unreported. Pan Am is the best known investment vehicle of the Manocherian real estate family.

4) (tie) Goodbye, brutalism – $200 million

The former Verizon Building was once 550 vertical feet of windowless concrete, designed in the Brutalist style. Landlord Sabey Corp recently decided to give it the floor-to-ceiling window treatment and in July got $200 million in new financing from Wells Fargo. After buying 29 floors in the building in 2011, the company first announced renovations in 2014.

6) UBS UWS – $138.8 million

Chetrit Group refinanced the 287-apartment 790 Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side with a $138.8 million loan from UBS. The loan was previously unreported. Chetrit Group, led by Joseph Chetrit, is best known as a hotel and condo developer.

7) “Fifth Avenue Bridge loan song” – $130 million

Ceruzzi Holdings and SMI USA secured a $200 million bridge loan for the construction of 520 Fifth Avenue and $130 million of that was recorded in July. The lender was Mack Real Estate Credit Strategies. The developers are planning a condo-hotel for the site. Construction costs are estimated to be about $500 million, so another loan is likely in the works.

8) Aby refis 90 – $104.5 million

Aby Rosen’s RFR Holding refinanced the office building at 90 Fifth Avenue with a loan from the Goldman Sachs Mortgage Trust. The financing includes a new $35.5 million mortgage and also replaces an existing $69 million mortgage from M&T Trust Company.

9) A Solown, if you will – $85 million

Solow Realty and Development refinanced an 11-story commercial and residential building on the Upper East Side with $85 million from JP Morgan Chase. The loan was previously unreported. Sheldon Solow, 89, is currently trying to evict an antique store from the West 57th Street building where he seeks to develop a condo tower.

10) Aa-real deal – $83.5 million

Aareal Capital provided Savanna with an acquisition loan for 31 West 27th Street. Savanna bought the building from Westbrook Partners, paying $126 million. According to Real Estate Weekly, the property has changed hands five times in the last 11 years, since Steve Witkoff first acquired it for $31.5 million in 2006.

Largest Manhattan loans recorded in July 2017
RankAddressLoan amountBorrowerLender
1Putnam Portfolio, including 3333 Broadway and 1940 First Avenue$714.7 millionBrookfield Property Partners and Urban American ManagementWells Fargo
2Moynihan Station, 372 Ninth Avenue$600 millionEmpire State DevelopmentU.S. Department of Transportation
3Moynihan Station, 372 Ninth Avenue$271 millionVornado Realty TrustDeutsche Bank
460 West 23rd Street, The Caroline$200 millionPan Am EquitiesMassachusettes Mutual
5375 Pearl Street$200 millionSabey Corp.Wells Fargo
6790 Columbus Avenue$138.8 millionChetrit GroupUBS
7520 Fifth Avenue, etc.$130 millionCeruzzi Holdings and SMI USA Mack Real Estate Credit Strategies
890 Fifth Avenue$104.5 millionRFR HoldingGoldman Sachs Mortgage Trust,
9523 East 72nd Street $85 millionSolow Realty & DevelopmentJPMorgan Chase
1031 West 27th Street$83.5 millionSavannaAareal Capital
Source: The Real Deal analysis of NYC Dept. of Finance loans recorded in July 2017. Refinance deals with the same lender, mortgage spreader agreements or extensions were not included.