These were the 10 largest Manhattan real estate loans in March

Refi for Park Avenue Tower topped the list
By Kevin Sun | April 08, 2019 05:30PM

Clockwise from top left: 65 East 55th Street, 110 Williams Street, 215 Chrystie Street, and 350 West 39th Street (Credit: Google Maps and KBS)

Clockwise from top left: 65 East 55th Street, 110 Williams Street, 215 Chrystie Street, and 350 West 39th Street (Credit: Google Maps and KBS)

UPDATED, April 10, 5:35 p.m.: The top 10 Manhattan loans recorded in March totaled $2.19 billion, 81 percent up from the month before. Seven of the top 10 were refinancing deals, with three office and two hotel refis topping the list.

1. Columbus Condo Consolidation – $595 million
Moinian Group secured a $595 million loan from JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank to refinance the office tower at 3 Columbus Circle. Originally planned as a $300 million loan when talks began last year, the deal was increased to account for Moinian’s $266 million buyout of marketing company Young & Rubicam, which owns a six-story office condominium at the building. The buyout means Moinian will now have full ownership of the tower, which the firm owned jointly with SL Green Realty until last year, when it paid $233 million for SL Green’s 48.9 percent stake.

2. Debt for Equity – $452 million (recorded amount)
Blackstone’s EQ Office, formerly Equity Office, secured a $570 million refinancing package from Morgan Stanley for the Park Avenue Tower, sources told The Real Deal. The recorded value in city records was $452 million. EQ bought the 36-story office building for $750 million in 2014, with a $560 million acquisition loan from German American Capital Corporation, a U.S. subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. A $425 million portion of that loan was secured by the property and recorded in property records. EQ recently wrapped up a $25 million renovation of the tower, and signed several new leases with tenants following the repositioning.

3. Refi in FiDi – $261 million (recorded amount)
Invesco Real Estate provided a $349 million, floating-rate loan to KBS Capital Advisors and Savanna to refinance their 32-story, 928,181-square-foot office tower at 110 William Street. The landlords acquired the property for $261.5 million in 2014 from Swig Equities and the Dubai Investment Group, and proceeded to completely renovate the 1918 office building. The loan replaces a $265 million financing package from Morgan Stanley in 2017.

4. Public funds – $173 million
The Witkoff Group and hotelier Ian Schrager landed a $173 million loan from Deutsche Bank to refinance the Public, a luxury hotel-condo project at 215 Chrystie Street on the Lower East Side. The financing replaces a previous loan of the same amount from Starwood Capital Group in 2017. The 28-story project includes a 370-room hotel and 11 luxury condos, of which the largest, a 4,300-square-foot three-bedroom penthouse, sold last year for $19 million.

5. Deutsche Sam – $160 million
In another hotel refinancing from Deutsche Bank, Sam Chang’s McSam Group locked down a $160 million debt package for an under-construction Hyatt Place hotel at 350 West 39th Street in the Garment District. The new debt replaces a $95 million financing package from Bank OZK in 2017, a deal which also came with $25 million in preferred equity from Square Mile Capital Management. The hotel is being built on half of a parcel that McSam bought together with Quadrum Global in 2014, and is right next door to another McSam project being built in partnership with Barone Management.

6. Note to self – $135 million (recorded amount)
Sharif El-Gamal’s Soho Properties finally cleared its distressed note at the Times Square Margaritaville hotel development, with a $270 million construction loan backed by senior lenders Related Fund Management and investment firm Angelo Gordon. Soho had previously defaulted on a $63 million acquisition loan from Colony Capital, and the distressed note was scooped up by investor Eli Cohen in 2017, giving him the option to foreclose on the site at 560 Seventh Avenue. The 234-key, 30-story project is slated to open in late 2020.

7. A fifth of a tower – $124 million
Fortress Investment Group provided a roughly $124 million mortgage to Harry Macklowe for his $44 million purchase of 5 East 51st Street, one of five parcels the developer is assembling for a potential supertall mid-block office building, known as “Tower Fifth.” The site is currently home to a six-story rental building, previously owned by Noam Management. In order to build the billion-dollar, 1 million-square-foot tower, Macklowe will need to transfer hundreds of thousands of square feet in air rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which will likely cost tens of millions of dollars and require a public review process.

8. West Lend – $105 million
Simon Baron Development Group inked a $105 million refinancing with M&T Bank for its rental project at 393 West End Avenue, replacing $70 million in debt provided by Signature Bank. The company bought out partner Quadrum Global’s stake in the 16-story, 114-unit project for $131 million last year, with a loan from Ascend Real Estate Partners. Simon Baron also bought out Quadrum’s stake in a Long Island City resi tower, ALTA LIC, for $313.2 million last year.

9. (tie) Compound of interest – $91 million
Goldman Sachs issued a $91 million loan to the Wilf family for a mysterious Midtown compound that includes 9 West 54th Street and 10 West 55th Street, which the family acquired for a total of $75 million last month, and 12-18 West 55th Street, which they paid $83 million for in 2017. It remains unclear what the Wilfs, who founded Skyline Developers in 1999, plan to do with the site.

9. (tie) Citizens funds the Press – $91 million
San Francisco-based investment firm DivcoWest secured $91 million from Citizens Bank to refinance its office building at 311 West 43rd Street in Hell’s Kitchen, replacing previous debt from SunTrust Bank. The firm acquired the building from Billy Macklowe and a partner for $130 million in December. The property, known as the Press building due to its history as the former Scribner printing plant, is home to 64,000 square feet of WeWork space.

11. Bowery banking – $68 million (recorded amount)
Bank Hapoalim provided a $80 million refinancing package for the new Ace Hotel spin-off at 225 Bowery, developed by David Paz’s Omnia Group and the Northwind Group. The 14-story, 200-key hotel will be the first to carry Ace Hotel’s “Sister City” sub-brand, and amenities include a ground floor café and rooftop bar. The five-year balance-sheet loan replaces previous debt from Bank OZK.

Update: This story has been updated to include the $595 million loan Moinian Group secured for 3 Columbus Circle.