Singapore firm buying Harry Macklowe’s stake in Midtown tower

The developer is in talks on 200 East 59th Street

Nov.November 12, 2019 06:27 PM
Harry Macklowe and 220 East 59th Street 

Harry Macklowe and 220 East 59th Street

Harry Macklowe is offloading his stake in a Midtown tower, while he attempts to build another one.

The 82-year-old is departing 200 East 59th Street, The Real Deal has learned. His capital partner in the building, Singapore-based Alpha Investment Partners, is buying his stake in the 35-story Upper East Side condominium tower.

“In accordance with our business plan, we are now focusing our efforts on other upcoming projects,” a spokesperson for Macklowe Properties said in a statement. “We know Alpha will be a fantastic steward of this property.”

The transaction has not yet closed, people familiar with the matter said. Alpha declined to comment.

The move comes as Macklowe attempts to assemble a Midtown parcel of land for another skyscraper, Tower Fifth, which, if completed, would stand over 1,500 feet tall. In October he secured a $192 million loan from Fortress to refinance the site. But plans for the tower have been put on hold as Macklowe has tried unsuccessfully to buy the Venezuelan consulate, which currently sits on the block, between East 51st and 52nd streets, and Madison and Fifth avenues.

At 200 East 59th, Macklowe purchased the development site in 2014 from SL Green, financed with a $64 million acquisition loan provided by Singapore’s United Overseas Bank. After pre-development was completed, the partners obtained a $116 million construction loan from UOB in 2016. The partners were seeking a $264 million sellout of the building, with 68 units.

Macklowe’s stake in the building was valued at $4.8 million, according to December 2017 filings from his divorce proceeding with his ex-wife Linda. After the divorce, 35 percent of the stake was granted to Linda.

The building had come to resemble Macklowe’s comeback after much of his commercial real estate portfolio was wiped out following the financial crisis. In 2008, he sold his trophy asset, the General Motors building, to Boston Properties for $2.9 billion. This helped him pay off debt to Fortress, which had financed his $7 billion acquisition of Equity Office Portfolio.

While many apartments in the building remain unsold, residents are expected to move-in in coming months.

In recent years, Macklowe has gone through a bitter divorce from Linda, with whom he was married for more than 60 years. Their settlement last year effectively split his wealth in half, which Forbes this month estimated to be valued at close to a half billion dollars.

The divorce settlement shed light on the value of Macklowe’s other commercial real estate holdings, valued before the settlement. At 1 Wall Street, an office-to-condo conversion where he secured a $750 million construction loan last year from Deutsche Bank, his ownership was valued at $7.4 million. At 432 Park Avenue, the 1,396-foot-tall Midtown tower he developed with CIM Group, Macklowe’s stake in the residential condominium was valued at $2.5 million, while his ownership of the retail portion was zero.

The facade of 432 Park Avenue this year served as a canvas for portraits of Macklowe and his new wife, Patricia Landeau, which have since been removed.

Earlier this month he made headlines after being skewered by the Village of East Hampton council for doing construction work and destroying wetlands on a property he owns there without a permit. The move rekindled memories of the time he destroyed four Times Square buildings in the middle of the night in the 1980s, without permission.

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