Hopson nabs $156M for Midtown tower, agrees to part ways with Silverback

Hong Kong-based developer notches Fortress loan for long-awaited luxury condo

Silverback's Josh Schuster and Hopson's Chu Mang Yee with rendering of the project at 131-141 East 47th Street (LinkedIn, Getty, Ismael Leyva Architects)
Silverback's Josh Schuster and Hopson's Chu Mang Yee with rendering of the project at 131-141 East 47th Street (LinkedIn, Getty, Ismael Leyva Architects, iStock)

Hopson Development has secured a new lender for its condo project in Midtown.

The Hong Kong developer has scored a $156 million construction loan from Fortress Investment Group for its 191-unit luxury project at 131-141 East 47th Street, The Real Deal has learned. It has also agreed to part ways with Josh Schuster’s Silverback Development, which joined the project in March 2020 but has run into problems of late.

The new funding retires a $50 million acquisition loan from Emerald Creek Capital. Max Herzog and Scott Aiese of JLL Capital Markets arranged the loan. Akerman represented Hopson, and King and Spalding represented Fortress.

The project, designed by Ismael Leyva Architects and Neri & Hu, has been in the works since 2019 when Hopson purchased the development site for $115 million. It broke ground the next year.

Bentley Zhao’s New Empire Real Estate Development had paid $81 million for the site in 2015 and demolished four buildings to make way for a 49-story tower. A year later, it scaled down the plan to 122 units from 138.

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In addition to apartments, Hopson’s development will include a meditation garden, pet spa and retail at the base, according to public records.

The developer declined to comment on the split with Silverback, but is “thankful to all who have helped us progress along the way,” according to Patrick Zhu, a general manager with Hopson. “We continue to lean forward and expect to come to market this coming fall.”

Silverback still features the 34-story project on its website and notes that it was the developer until October. Schuster didn’t immediately respond to email and phone calls requesting comment. He spoke with TRD in March about his firm’s situation.

New development sales have cooled slightly in recent weeks as rising mortgage rates split the luxury market between cash buyers and those that need financing.