Vanbarton lands $272M loan for Fidi office-to-resi conversion

Developer plans 588 market-rate units at 160 Water Street

Vanbarton Group's Richard Coles & 160 Water Street (Vanbarton Group, Collaborative Construction Management LLC, Getty)
Vanbarton Group's Richard Coles & 160 Water Street (Vanbarton Group, Collaborative Construction Management LLC, Getty)

One of Manhattan’s largest office-to-residential conversions since the start of the pandemic is moving ahead thanks to a large construction loan.

Vanbarton Group secured $272 million from Brookfield’s lending arm for its conversion of 160 Water Street, a 24-story, 533,000-square-foot office building in the Financial District that it plans to convert into 588 market-rate apartments.

A representative for Vanbarton declined to comment and a spokesperson for Brookfield did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Commercial Observer first reported the financing deal Wednesday morning.

A Cushman & Wakefield team led by Gideon Gil and Adam Spies represented Vanbarton in securing the debt.

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Vanbarton, led by Gary Tischler and Richard Coles, bought the 1970s-era office tower for $165 million in 2014. The largest tenant at the time was the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, which has since relocated to nearby 100 Pearl Street.

The developer had mulled selling the property earlier this year — pitching it as a residential conversion and eyeing a price of about $200 million — but ultimately decided to undertake the conversion itself. Vanbarton has converted other Manhattan office buildings, including the nearby, 570-unit 180 Water Street, as well as the 300-unit Hollingsworth at 70 West 37th Street in Midtown.

Vanbarton plans to pursue additional conversions as office properties struggle with the shift to remote and hybrid work, according to a source familiar with its strategy.

Elsewhere in the Financial District, Silverstein Properties and Nathan Berman’s MetroLoft Management went into contract earlier this year to buy 55 Broad Street for $180 million, which they plan to convert to 571 market-rate apartments.

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