Rabina reels in $540M in financing for Fifth Ave skyscraper

Bank OZK provided the senior mortgage on the planned 70-story mixed-use tower, scheduled to be completed in 2026

Josh Rabina, president, Rabina, in front of 520 Fifth Avenue (Rabina)
Josh Rabina, president, Rabina, in front of 520 Fifth Avenue (Rabina)

Rabina’s vision to build a supertall skyscraper on Fifth Avenue is one step closer to reality thanks to a half-billion-dollar assist from two lenders.

The developer says it has closed on $540 million in construction financing for its planned 1,000-foot-tall mixed-use tower at 520 Fifth Avenue. Work has already begun on the building, which is slated to become the avenue’s second-tallest, trailing only the Empire State Building. Ceruzzi Properties and SMI USA are also involved in the project; Rabina is the lead developer.

The financing for the 452,000-square-foot building came from two lenders. Bank OZK provided a $410 million senior mortgage, while Carlyle’s Global Credit business provided $130 million in mezzanine financing. Rabina was represented by a JLL Capital Markets team led by Christopher Peck and Geoff Goldstein.

“We hope to deliver a building worthy of its place in the city’s skyline,” said Rabina president Josh Rabina.

The developer filed plans for the 70-story building at the corner of East 43rd Street early last year. The proposal called for 98 residential units across 16 floors, most of the other stories dedicated to office space and amenities, including restaurants, retail and a solarium. KPF is the architect on the project.

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Rabina joined the development team, which included Ceruzzi and SMI, in 2019. It then brought in an equity contribution that helped to wipe out about $232 million in debt. Ceruzzi purchased the lot with SMI for $275 million in 2015.

YIMBY reported the project is expected to wrap in 2026.

Bank OZK has been throwing plenty of money around in the early months of 2022, lending to several of the biggest names in New York real estate. Last month, the Arkansas-based firm took over financing at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences in NoMad with a $200 million loan. Paul Kanavos’ Flag Luxury Group is developing the project.

Around the same time, Gary Barnett’s Extell Development landed $967 million in construction financing for its planned 775-foot tower at 50 West 66th Street in the Upper West Side. Bank OZK was the senior lender on the deal, providing $800 million.

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