Free and clear: Vornado pays off debt at 220 CPS

REIT closed 38 units totalling $1.03B to date
By E.B. Solomont | July 31, 2019 02:00PM

Vornado's Steve Roth and 220 Central Park South (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Vornado’s Steve Roth and 220 Central Park South (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Steve Roth has called 220 Central Park South the “most successful” condo project anywhere, and now Vornado Realty Trust’s uber-luxe development is debt free.

The real estate investment trust said Tuesday that it’s paid off the remainder of a $950 million loan it got from Bank of China to construct the $1.4 billion tower, which cost a hefty $5,000 per foot to build. With a projected sellout of $3.25 billion, and more than $1 billion in sales to date, you can do the math.

“There is two-odd billion dollars coming out… with no debt requirements,” Michael Franco, Vornado’s chief investment officer, said during a quarterly earnings call on Tuesday. “That all comes into our treasury.”

Vornado has said it plans to reinvest proceeds from the Robert A.M. Stern-designed condo tower into its Penn Plaza area development, eliminating the need to take on additional debt.

The REIT is planning to overhaul two adjacent properties, One and Two Penn Plaza, by combining them into a 4.4 million-square-foot megacampus that Roth has called the company’s “big Kahuna.”

Despite a soft luxury market, the REIT sold 23 units for $690.8 million since January, the company reported Tuesday. In total, it’s closed 38 units for $1.03 billion.

The deal that’s generated the most ink? Citadel founder Ken Griffin’s record-breaking, $238 million penthouse buy, which closed in January. This month, British musician Sting closed on a $65.7 million penthouse in the “villa” portion of the building.

Other buyers include Paramount Group CEO Albert Behler, Brazilian billionaire Renata de Camargo and hedge funder Daniel Och.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the construction lender on 220 Central Park South. It’s Bank of China, not Bank of America.