These were the 10 largest Manhattan real estate loans in September

Two nearby Fifth Avenue properties topped the list

Oct.October 07, 2019 07:00 AM
The Coca Cola Building (red) at 711 Fifth Avenue, the Crown Building (blue) at 730 Avenue, and the Tribeca Clock Tower (green) at 108 Leonard Street (Credit: Google Maps)

The Coca Cola Building (red) at 711 Fifth Avenue, the Crown Building (blue) at 730 Avenue, and the Tribeca Clock Tower (green) at 108 Leonard Street (Credit: Google Maps)

The top 10 Manhattan loans recorded in September totaled just over $3 billion, roughly equal to August’s total. The top two loans went to two Midtown properties just a block away from each other — the Coca Cola and Crown Buildings at 711 and 730 Fifth Avenue.

(Note: loans are ranked by the amount recorded in city property records, which exclude mezzanine and other subordinate debt.)

1) Coca collateral – $625 million
Nightingale Properties and Wafra Capital Partners secured a $625 million senior loan from JPMorgan Chase for their $909 million acquisition of the Coca Cola Building — and then promptly flipped the property to Michael Shvo and Turkish developer Serdar Bilgili for a nearly $50 million profit. French lender Natixis had backed out of a deal to finance the first acquisition in July, whereas Shvo and Bilgili’s acquisition is reportedly backed by Deutsche Finance and German pension fund BVK.

2) Apol-loan – $587 million
Across Fifth Avenue, Apollo Global Management provided a $807.5 million loan to Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties and Brookfield Asset Management for the commercial portion of the Crown Building, of which the $587 million senior portion was recorded in property records. As with the Coca Cola Building, Natixis was once slated to finance this property as well, but backed out in July. Wharton and GGP acquired the building from Eliot Spitzer for $1.8 billion in 2015, before selling the upper 20 floors to Michael Shvo and Vladislav Doronin for $500 million.

3) On the clock – $334 million
The El Ad Group and the Peebles Organization landed a $450 million inventory loan from Mack Real Estate Credit Strategies for the unsold units at 108 Leonard Street. There, the developers have converted Tribeca’s historic clock tower building into 167 condos. The project, which launched sales earlier this year, has faced a number of twists and turns — including a legal challenge to the electrification of the tower’s clock, and a falling-out between the developers that was settled in 2017.

4) Field work – $305 million
Blackstone Group and LoanCore Capital provided a five-year, $540 million floating-rate loan package to Deerfield Management for its $345 million acquisition of RXR Realty’s 345 Park Avenue South. Deerfield, a medical fund manager that oversees $8 billion in assets, plans to convert most of the space in the 12-story building into lab space for the life sciences industry. The property has been unoccupied since its sole tenant, the advertising agency Digitas, exited its lease early in February.

5) Metro-nomic – $250 million
Nathan Berman’s Metro Loft Management refinanced its 553-unit rental building at 20 Broad Street in Lower Manhattan with a $250 million loan from Athene Asset Management, a subsidiary of Apollo Global Management. Metro Loft bought the leasehold on the former office building from Vornado Realty Trust for $185 million in 2015 before converting it into luxury rentals. San Francisco-based hospitality company Sonder has a master lease for 169 units at the property, which is its first New York location.

5) Land of Discovery – $250 million
TF Cornerstone refinanced the office building at 230 Park Avenue South, a few blocks north of Union Square, with a $250 million loan from Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase. Discovery Inc. signed a lease last year for all 360,000 square feet at the building, which will serve as the media company’s new corporate headquarters, and is expected to move in this fall. The landlord was reportedly planning to spend $40 million on modernizing the building.

7) Back to the Well(s) – $198 million
Wells Fargo provided a $198 million refinancing for the office portion of 55 West 46th Street, which SL Green bought from Extell for $275 million in 2014. Extell completed the structure, whose lower floors are known as the International Gem Tower and have an address of 50 West 47th Street, in 2012, but struggled to find tenants for the office portion spanning the 22nd to 34th floors. Property records show that Wells Fargo provided acquisition financing for SL Green in 2014 as well, which was replaced with a loan from M&T Bank in 2017.

8) Puck control – $150 million
The Kushner Companies refinanced the office condominium at the Puck Building with a $150 million senior loan from AIG. Family patriarch Charles Kushner bought the property at 293 Lafayette Street — a former printing press and home of Puck magazine — in 1986 for $19 million, and the firm later added six units on top of the building. One penthouse at the building remains unsold, and is currently asking $42.5 million after being listed for $66 million in 2016.

9) Food finance – $140 million
M&T Bank provided a $184 million refinancing package for the retail at Brookfield Property Partners’ 5 Manhattan West, which will soon be home to a 60,000-square-foot Whole Foods and a 26,000-square-foot Peloton. The building’s office tenants include JPMorgan Chase with 425,000 square feet, and Amazon with 360,000 square feet.

10) Mystery mortgage – $108 million
An anonymous LLC financed its $160 million acquisition of the controversial Rivington House with a $108 million loan from Kansas City-based UMB Bank, property records show. The former nursing home at 45 Rivington Street became a source of controversy for Mayor Bill de Blasio after de Blasio donor Joel Landau persuaded the city to lift a restriction requiring the property to be operated as a nursing home. City Council member Margaret Chin has called for the new owner “to publicly come forward immediately and make a case to residents for how it will be a community partner.”

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