Multifamily giant Irving Langer racing to refi 3K-unit portfolio

E&M Management founder defaulted on loan he used to leverage his equity stakes

TRD New York /
Apr.April 10, 2020 01:00 PM
Irving Langer, one of the city’s largest apartment landlords, is scrambling to refinance his 3K-unit empire. (Credit: Langer by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Gulliver's Gate; Rivitography via Autogespot)

Irving Langer, one of the city’s largest apartment landlords, is scrambling to refinance his 3K-unit empire. (Credit: Langer by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Gulliver’s Gate; Rivitography via Autogespot)

One of New York’s biggest residential landlords is scrambling to refinance a key loan propping up his 3,000-unit portfolio.

Irving Langer of Brooklyn-based E&M Management is looking for a $26 million capital injection after the multifamily giant defaulted on a bridge loan he took out against a 42-property portfolio last year, sources told The Real Deal.

The investor is motivated to find someone who will provide “time-sensitive” capital for the collection of properties he estimates to be worth nearly $850 million, according to marketing materials from Avison Young.

Langer did not return requests for comment and the brokers he hired at Avison Young to secure the new capital declined to comment.

Langer’s portfolio of mostly rent-stabilized buildings concentrated in Northern Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens makes him one of the city’s largest multifamily landlords. Now in his late 60s, the investor spends most of his time in South Florida, where he and his wife own two pricey condos, sources said. (When in New York, he drives around in a Mercedes with a vanity plate that reads “YOLO 120.”)

The head of E&M Management finds himself needing to quickly refinance his equity stake because of a rift with one of his partners, according to sources familiar with the multifamily dealmakers. The dispute has led Langer to try to sell his entire portfolio over the past two years or so, the sources said.

E&M has investments in some 50 properties, but Langer mostly owns only a portion of each, generally ranging from about 15 percent to half of the equity. The rest he syndicates with other investors, many of whom hail from Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community.

In 2018, Langer sold a pair of portfolios totaling more than 70 buildings for $335 million. And last year he was in the market to sell a 28-building portfolio spanning some 800 or 900 units in Northern Manhattan for around $260 million. But the state made changes to the rent stabilization laws over the summer that significantly diminished landlords’ ability to raise rents, driving down their property values. Sources said Langer was unwilling to capitulate to the new valuations.

“He was looking for 2015 pricing,” one source said, “not 2019 pricing.”

Langer took out a $23 million bridge loan from Churchill Real Estate earlier last year to get by while he considered offers. But he defaulted on the loan by failing to repay when it came due February 29 of this year. Churchill sent him a letter last week notifying him he was in default.

Representatives for Churchill declined to comment.

Aside from the difficulties with his multifamily investments, Langer is on the hook for a Times Square tourist trap he invested in that went belly up.

Along with his son Michael Langer, Irving Langer opened the $37 million Gulliver’s Gate attraction in 2017.

Stretching across two floors of the base of the former New York Times building at 216 West 44th Street, the 49,000-square-foot space featured miniature landscapes with 1:87-scale models of global attractions like the Great Wall of China and Grand Central Terminal.

The exhibit, however, ran into trouble soon after opening and filed for bankruptcy in 2018 after contractors sued alleging the owners stiffed them. The attraction shut down earlier this year, but by then Langer already had his hands full.

His landlord in Times Square, Kushner Companies, sued him for breaching the lease, which Langer had personally guaranteed. A state judge in October enforced a $7 million judgment against him.

In recent years, E&M has switched its focus north to the Hudson Valley, where it’s been aggressively buying market-rate rental properties.

The company is “out of the city,” managing partner Danny Goldstein told TRD last year.

Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229.


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