Aby Rosen snags $224M loan for Midtown office building

Rosen closed on 522 Fifth Avenue this week for $350 million

522 Fifth Avenue and RFR Realty’s Aby Rosen (Credit: Getty Images; Google Maps)
522 Fifth Avenue and RFR Realty’s Aby Rosen (Credit: Getty Images; Google Maps)

UPDATED, Sept. 4, 3:15 p.m.: Aby Rosen turned to a little-known affiliate of Credit Suisse for the large loan needed for his latest Midtown purchase.

Rosen’s RFR Realty scored a $224 million loan from Column Financial for its acquisition of a 23-story office tower at 522 Fifth Avenue, property records show.

RFR closed on the acquisition of the 575,000-square-foot building this week for $350 million. It purchased the property from Morgan Stanley, which used the building as a headquarters for its wealth management division.

Newmark Knight Frank’s Dustin Stolly and Jordan Roeschlaub represented RFR in securing the financing.

Rosen agreed to buy the building in mid-March.

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Morgan Stanley has consented to stay as a tenant for at least three years after the sale. Rosen is seeking to lease the building to a single tenant after the financial firm departs in March 2024.

Column Financial, a real estate lending arm of Credit Suisse, was the sole lender in the deal, according to property records.

The lender has been tied to some notable commercial mortgage-backed securities deals.

In 2015 Column Financial provided a $180 million CMBS loan to a group of investors led by Alex Sapir of the Sapir Organization to acquire the 263-room Mondrian Soho hotel in Lower Manhattan. It was also a lender in an $850 million CMBS deal, along with JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, that is secured by 24 Lord & Taylor stores and 10 Saks Fifth Avenue stores across 15 states.

Lenders, especially banks, were wary of underwriting new loans at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic given the uncertainty about pricing and future demand for office space. In the second quarter, however, U.S. banks reported an uptick in construction lending.

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