The Real Deal New York

AJ Capital Partners inks 65-year ground lease for Cornell Tech hotel

Company snagged $60M loans for hotel project
By Kathryn Brenzel | March 16, 2018 03:00PM

Rendering of the education center and hotel (Credit: Cornell Tech and Snøhetta)

AJ Capital Partners inked a 65-year ground lease for a site on Roosevelt Island where the company and Cornell Tech are building a 224-key hotel.

The lease includes a site adjacent to the Verizon Executive Education Center on North Loop Road where the firm and University are developing a Graduate-branded hotel. The deal is valued at $113 million, which would mean installments of $1.7 million each year — if paid equally across six-and-a-half decades. According to a lease agreement filed with the city on Thursday, AJ Capital has first dibs on buying the property if Cornell decides to sell the site. Both the education center and the hotel — which are connected — are designed by Snøhetta.

Representatives for AJ Capital and Cornell didn’t immediately return messages seeking new information.

Construction on the 18-story hotel began earlier this week, as reported by Curbed. It’s expected to open in 2020. The Commercial Observer first reported that AJ Capital secured $60 million from Emigrant Savings Bank for the hotel. The sum includes a $33.4 million building loan and a $26.6 million project loan.

The first three buildings planned for the 12-acre Cornell Tech campus opened late last year, and the three-phase project is expected to be complete by 2043.