Ritzy condo projects grabbed Feb.’s biggest loans
Extell Development, Bizzi & Partners secured the big bucks
Ultra luxury condo projects got the attention of lenders last month, with Extell Development and Bizzi & Partners landing the two largest loans, both in Manhattan. The five largest real estate loans totalled $967 million in the city’s central borough. The amount was $200 million more than January’s biggest loans, and about $200 million less than last February.
Silverstein Properties and Blackstone took the top spots in the outer boroughs, where lending on the five largest projects reached $435 million. That amount was less than half of January’s top five outer borough loans, and on par with last February’s $493 million in lending.
Here’s the rundown.
Towering ambitions | $500 million | Manhattan
Gary Barnett’s Extell Development pulled in $500 million from JP Morgan Chase as a mezzanine loan at Central Park Tower. Securing the loan: 87 unsold units and an ownership interest in the project itself. The project’s first mezzanine loan of $380 million, originated by hedge fund Baupost Group and Sail Harbor Capital, was scheduled to mature in June at the latest. Units at the building have been selling at a healthy discount from their 2017 offering-plan prices since at least the fall of 2021. Extell CEO Gary Barnett admitted last summer that the project’s sellout target of $4.1 billion target was too ambitious.
Gettin’ Bizzi | $313 million | Manhattan
Bizzi & Partners and Fortress Investment Group landed $313 million from Northwind Group, allowing construction to resume after years of delays at 125 Greenwich Street, an 88-story condo project in the Financial District. The loan was part of a broader restructuring. Fortress converted that debt into a nearly $600 million equity position, which replaced Howard Lorber’s New Valley and Chinese private equity firm Cindat to become the project’s majority investor. Designed by late architect Rafael Viñoly, the tower’s top three floors will be used for amenities rather than penthouses. The building is 85 percent complete.
Bienvenidos | $165 million | Queens
Silverstein Properties got $165 million to build a 13-story apartment building at 44-01 Northern Boulevard in Astoria, Queens, from Mexico’s Banco Inbursa. Silverstein is developing 354 units, of which nearly 90 will be affordable, some 25,000 square feet of retail and 200 parking spots. Silvestein paid $39.7 million for the site in 2021, which was rezoned from industrial to residential in 2019. The project will qualify for the property tax break 421a, unlike the nearby Silverstein project Innovation QNS.
Shopping spree | $97 million | Brooklyn
Blackstone’s real estate investment fund, BREIT, refinanced a 274,000-square-foot shopping plaza in Canarsie, Brooklyn, with $96.6 million from insurer New York Life. The loan originates $3.6 million in debt and replaces PNC Bank as the senior lender. Popular with wealthy individual investors, BREIT posted crackling gains of 30.2 percent in 2021 and 8.4 percent in 2022. More recently, it has limited investor withdrawals. The fund reported a 0.7 percent total return in February — its largest in 6 months — with trailing 12-month returns of 5.7 percent.
Shelter reinforcement | $71 million | The Bronx
Non-profit corporation Women in Need received $71 million in construction loans from UBS Bank to build an 89,000-square-foot shelter at 323 Jackson Avenue in Mott Haven, the Bronx, on an existing parking lot. The building will accommodate 95 families. Once complete, the existing shelter will be replaced with a 223-unit supportive and affordable housing building. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development lent $3 million to the project and has the right to buy the property before other bidders in the event of foreclosure or sale.
Nifty Sixty | $65 million | Manhattan
Boutique hotel operator Standard International received $65 million from Bangkok Bank to buy the 97-key Sixty Soho hotel at 60 Thompson Street. The $107 million purchase price works out to more than $1 million per room, a post-Covid record. The 56,000-square-foot property stands 14 stories. Bangkok Bank replaced Natixis Real Estate Capital as the lender; the seller was the Pomeranc family’s Sixty Collective. Standard operates two other Manhattan hotels: the Standard High Line at 848 Washington Street and the Standard East Village at 25 Cooper Square.
Just a trim | $54 million | Manhattan
Consumer goods manufacturer Enchanté Accessories got $54 million from City National Bank, including $9.3 million in gap funds, for its purchase of a 121,000-square-foot office building at 147 Madison Avenue in Midtown South. The $77 million sale price suggested that seller Columbia Property Trust took a haircut on the deal, having purchased the fee position at the property for nearly $88 million in 2017.
Life science support | $55 million | Queens
The Carlyle Group and King Street Properties got $55 million from Acore Capital at 45-18 Court Square in Hunters Point, Queens, as part of a life science expansion at the property to yield 267,000 square feet of lab space, according to New York Yimby. The burgeoning life sciences industry in Long Island City, including a 94,000-square-foot lease at 45-18 Court Square, helped propel the sector to a second consecutive year of record lease signings.
Health and safety | $47 million | Queens
A group of investors led by Aurora Health Network received $47 million from Valley National Bank to buy an alcohol and drug rehab facility at 159-05 Union Turnpike in Pomonok, Queens. The 176-bed facility has 80,000 square feet and was sold for $44 million in February, bringing total debt secured by the property to $77 million. Valley National Bank became the senior lender as part of the acquisition, replacing Dime Community Bank.
Hotel hand up | $35 million | Manhattan
Sam Chang’s McSam Hotel Group received a $35 million refinance loan, including $20 million in new gap funds, for the yet-to-open hotel at 223 West 46th Street in Times Square from the State Bank of Texas. The funds replace lender Silver Point Capital, which originated a construction loan for the hotel in 2021. Marriott will reportedly operate the hotel under its SpringHill banner. Chang sold several of his hotel properties in the wake of the pandemic, which temporarily halted tourism to New York City.
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