The Real Deal New York

Vornado-controlled REIT refis Rego Park mall with $253M loan

Bank of China was the lender
December 28, 2018 06:00PM

Steven Roth and 61-35 Junction Boulevard in Queens

Alexander’s, the department store chain-turned-REIT controlled by Vornado Realty Trust, secured a $253 million loan from Bank of China to refinance part of its giant Queens shopping center.

The new loan covers half of the Rego Center shopping complex and replaces a previous Bank of China loan for the same amount, according to property records filed with the city on Friday. The interest-only mortgage has an interest rate of LIBOR plus 1.35 percent, 0.5 percentage points lower than the previous rate. The previous debt was due to mature next month. Commercial Observer first reported news of the loan.

On top of the commercial base, 61-35 Junction Boulevard is also home to The Alexander at Rego Center, a 24-story, 314-unit rental tower Vornado completed in 2015.
The other half of the Rego Center, across the street at 96-05 Queens Boulevard, was refinanced in May with a $78.2 million loan, also from Bank of China.

Both halves are owned by Alexander’s, who used to own a large department store on the site. The mall is managed by Vornado spinoff Urban Edge Properties.

The shopping center, anchored by a Costco supermarket and home to a Regal Cinemas movie theater, is almost fully leased. CBRE handles leasing at the property.

The Alexander’s department store chain, which also owned a store at 731 Lexington Avenue among other locations, was forced into bankruptcy and converted into a REIT in 1993. The Alexander’s in Rego Park was closed that same year, and Rego Center opened in its place in 2010. [CO] — Kevin Sun