Charles Cohen is behind on debt payments — but he’s not worried

The scion owes about $1B in CMBS debt and is late on half of the payments

New York /
Jul.July 22, 2020 09:01 AM
Clockwise from left: Charles Cohen, 805 Third Avenue, 3 Park Avenue South and the Decoration & Design Center at 200 Lexington Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)

Clockwise from left: Charles Cohen, 805 Third Avenue, 3 Park Avenue South and the Decoration & Design Center at 200 Lexington Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)

Billionaire landlord and film producer Charles Cohen is late on about half of his loan payments.

An analysis by Bloomberg shows that the real estate scion is at least a month late in paying for at least four Manhattan properties: the Decoration & Design Center; 465 Park Avenue; 3 Park Avenue South; and 805 Third Avenue.

In total, Cohen Brothers Realty owes about $1 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities debt across its 12 million-square-foot portfolio, which includes properties in New York, South Florida and Southern California. Since April, about half of those loans have had late payments.

Cohen downplayed the delays, claiming “timing issues” from tenants who lagged in paying their rent directly to lenders, as is required under CMBS contracts.

He pointed to the firm’s long-standing strategy of buy-and-hold and the soaring value of his New York buildings — though some properties saw vacancy rates ticking up even before the Covid-19 pandemic brought the city to a standstill.

“We’ve never lost a building, ever,” he told Bloomberg. “We have no loans in jeopardy. We have no defaults.” [Bloomberg] — Erin Hudson


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