The Real Deal New York

New buyer picks up debt on RFR Realty’s Lever House

A joint venture took over the ground lease last year
January 30, 2019 09:00AM

Aby Rosen and 390 Park Avenue (Credit: Getty Images and Wikipedia)

UPDATED, Jan. 31, 6:00 p.m.: A new buyer has come in and purchased the debt on Lever House at 390 Park Avenue — further calling into question RFR Holding’s role at the property.

Documents from Jan. 18 show390 Park Debt Acquisition Corp. bought the mortgage for an undisclosed amount, the New York Post reported. Aby Rosen’s RFR hasn’t paid the mortgage for long enough that lenders have discussed foreclosure, leaving a window for other firms to step in. There’s reportedly $83 million in remaining debt on the property.

Jenel Management shares offices on the same floor of the new debt owner, but a representative or the company denied Jenel bought the debt.

Last year, Brookfield Properties and Waterman Interests took over the Lever House’s ground lease. The joint venture is leasing the property from an affiliate of Omnispective, which is run by the Korein family.

RFR defaulted on a $110 million commercial mortgage-backed securities loan for the building in March 2015. RFR, which had entered its ground lease for the property in the late 1990s, was struggling to refinance because of a rent reset. The annual ground lease rent was set to increase $20 million in 2023, a huge jump from the current $6 million. In November 2016, servicer CW Capital filed to foreclosure on the property.

Even if RFR brought in higher rents, at $100 per square foot, the firm would bring in $26 million with real estate taxes at $9 million annually, the Post said. [NYP] — Meenal Vamburkar

Clarification: This post was updated after the source article was changed to clarify the identity that purchased the debt on the Lever House.