Manhattan hotel at center of 1MDB fraud case lands $615M refinancing

Loan comes from Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan

TRD New York /
Jun.June 05, 2019 06:34 PM
Witkoff Group's Steve Witkoff and the Park Lane Hotel

Witkoff Group’s Steve Witkoff and the Park Lane Hotel

Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan have loaned the Witkoff Group and his investment group $615 million to refinance the Park Lane Hotel, a Manhattan icon that’s linked to one of the biggest global fraud cases in history.

The loan includes a small amount of new financing and replaces Wells Fargo as the agent, according to property records.

Representatives for the Witkoff Group could not immediately be reached for comment. Dustin Stolly and Jordan Roeschlaub at Newmark Knight Frank secured the debt. The brokers declined to comment.

The famed 631-room hotel at 36 Central Park South was developed in 1967 by billionaire Harry Helmsley. A Helmsley family trust owned it until 2013, when Witkoff and entities affiliated with fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho (also known as Jho Low) bought it for roughly $654 million, with plans for an ostentatious condo conversion.

Low is now at the center of Malaysia’s $4.5 billion 1MDB scandal, and the hotel has been embroiled in legal troubles since 2016, when the U.S. government made moves to seize it.

Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co. paid Low $135 million in 2013 for a portion of his 85 percent stake in the property and recently upped its investment in it as part of the U.S. government’s attempt to recover money tied to the scandal. Witkoff and his investment group, which includes Harry Macklowe and Howard Lorber, own 15 percent of the property, according to court documents. They haven’t been charged or accused of wrongdoing.

In November, Brooklyn prosecutors charged Low — who is believed to be in China —with conspiring with a Goldman Sachs banker to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB. He’s facing a litany of fraud charges in multiple nations.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Howard Hughes’ Saul Scherl and a rendering of 250 Water Street (Getty, The Howard Hughes Corporation/SOM)

Howard Hughes to launch review process for $1.4B Seaport tower

Howard Hughes to launch review process for $1.4B Seaport tower
Data on third quarter CRE investments suggests a nationwide improvement, but Manhattan has been slow to recover (iStock)

NY falls behind Dallas, LA in CRE investment as deals surge nationwide

NY falls behind Dallas, LA in CRE investment as deals surge nationwide
237 Park Avenue and Scott Rechler (Photos via Getty; RXR)

What tenants are paying at RXR and Walton Street Capital’s 237 Park Avenue

What tenants are paying at RXR and Walton Street Capital’s 237 Park Avenue
The National Multifamily Housing Council’s monthly payment tracker found that 90.6 percent of those households paid some rent by Oct. 20. (iStock)

Rent collections in market-rate apartments stagnate in October

Rent collections in market-rate apartments stagnate in October
Four New York Plaza (Photo via Hines)

Four New York Plaza office tower hits the market

Four New York Plaza office tower hits the market
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty; iStock)

New York City lifts lockdown for some Covid hot spots

New York City lifts lockdown for some Covid hot spots
518 Broadway (Google Maps)

Four years vacant: Landlord offers dire outlook for Soho building

Four years vacant: Landlord offers dire outlook for Soho building
Sam Chang and TownePlace Suites by Marriott at 324 West 44th Street (Google Maps)

Hotelier Sam Chang’s businesses snagged millions in PPP loans

Hotelier Sam Chang’s businesses snagged millions in PPP loans
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...