Barnett closes on $1B-plus financing for Central Park Tower

Tower, now fully funded, set to be NYC's most expensive condo project

Rendering of Extell's Central Park Tower, JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon and Gary Barnett
Rendering of Extell's Central Park Tower, JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon and Gary Barnett

Gary Barnett has done it again.

The Extell Development boss closed on $1.14 billion in financing for Central Park Tower, and now has all the money in place for what is set to be Manhattan’s most expensive condo tower, according to documents the developer filed with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Sunday.

The announcement brings to an end one of the most closely-watched odysseys in New York real estate this cycle. Many had bet against Barnett being able to lock in the funds for such an ambitious project in the midst of slower sales and overall uncertainty at the top of the market. Though he had pulled off a similar financing coup to build One57 in the depths of the recession, Central Park Tower would not come together, they said.

In June, The Real Deal first reported that Extell was finalizing a $900 million construction loan from a consortium led by JPMorgan Chase. The company has now closed on that loan, according to the TASE documents, and also secured $235 million in preferred equity from an unnamed hedge fund.

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The planned 95-story supertall at 217 West 57th Street has a record $4 billion projected sellout. When completed, the 179-unit tower will be the tallest residential building in New York, and the first to attempt to sell 20 units at $60 million or above.

These two deals are the final pieces in the project’s capital stack, which includes EB-5 money, a $300 million equity investment from SMI USA, a subsidiary of Shanghai Municipal Investment, and more than $400 million from Nordstrom for the seven-story flagship store at the tower’s base.

Extell estimated in the TASE documents that “the senior loan and the preferred loan will be sufficient to complete the construction of Central Park Tower.”

The senior loan has a floating interest rate of Libor plus 4.5 percent, and matures in December 2021, with an option to extend an additional year if certain conditions are met. The preferred equity, also on a four-year term, carries a fixed interest rate of 11 percent. Per the terms of the financing, Barnett must sell $500 million worth of apartments in three years, by December 2020, and must pay down $300 million of the Chase principal from the proceeds of apartment sales by the following year, according to the TASE documents.