Deerfield nabs big refi at life sci property

AIG funds entire loan at 345 Park Avenue South

Deerfield's James Flynn and 345 Park Avenue South (Deerfield, iStock)
Deerfield's James Flynn and 345 Park Avenue South (Deerfield, iStock)

Sometimes, it only takes one.

Deerfield Management was able to score its entire refinancing for 345 Park Avenue South, a mammoth $440 million loan, from a single lender.

AIG provided the 15-year debt for the 12-story, 326,000-square-foot building refashioned as a life-sciences campus, Commercial Observer reported.

The deal closed last week. CBRE’s James Millon and Tom Traynor arranged the debt.

Deerfield, run by James Flynn, used proceeds from CMBS loans and $112 million of equity to finance the purchase of the property from Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty for $345 million in 2019. The health care startup equity investor then poured $137 million into the property for a buildout of lab spaces, recruiting Gensler to lead the building’s redesign and conversion.

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The property, located between East 24th and East 25th streets, includes wet labs, dry labs, workplace zones, a rooftop multipurpose space and an educational facility. Additionally, Deerfield has two retail tenants on the ground floor in Bank of America and the Upland restaurant.

As of April 2021, only 46 percent of the building was occupied and 135,000 square feet were available to rent. Deerfield itself accounted for more than 80 percent of the occupied space at the time, while the other tenants were Helania and ProTara Therapeutics.

Things are looking rosy for the life sciences sector in New York. Life-science tenants leased north of 430,000 square feet last year, a record for the industry, according to CBRE. That’s up nearly three times 2020 levels and exceeded all of the combined leases in the sector from the previous seven years.

The average asking rent on triple-net life science leases in Manhattan was $114 per square foot in 2021, an increase of $3 from the previous year. The availability rate for ready-to-use lab space, meanwhile, dropped to 3.3 percent.

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Deerfield's James E. Flynn and 345 Park Avenue South (Credit: RFR Realty)
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[CO] — Holden Walter-Warner