Refis on the rise, new lending cools: Here are October’s biggest loans

Borrowers negotiated deals to kick can

NYC’s Biggest Real Estate Loans in October
(front) Avery Hall Investments' Brian Ezra, Moinian Group’s Joe Moinian, Arker Companies’ Alex Arker, TFC’s Frederick Elghanayan; (back) 544 Carroll Street, 260 West 54th Street, 544 Claremont Parkway, 660 12th Avenue, 2864 Atlantic Avenue and 401 West 207th Street (Getty, Avery Hall Investments, Moinian Group, Linkedin, Google Maps, The Glasshouse, Meridian Capital Group)

October’s biggest real estate loans were dominated by refinancings.

A financial lifeline was given to two Class B office buildings in Midtown after debt from the CMBS market came to term, although it required two lenders to spread the risk.

The Hudson Companies refinanced construction debt in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and Joseph Brunner and Abe Mandel’s Bruman Realty did the same in Hallets Point, Queens. Construction loans tend to be costlier because they are secured by an unfinished asset.

New construction loans also made the list: The Jay Group got funding to build in Inwood and East New York, while Avery Hall Investments got cash for a project in Gowanus. All three neighborhoods were rezoned during the de Blasio administration.

Here are more details of the 10 biggest loans — five in Manhattan and five in the outer boroughs — recorded last month. Deals in which lenders refinance their own loans are not included.

PACT to the gills | The Bronx | $232M

Arker Companies received $232 million to repair and renovate the Union Avenue Consolidated public housing campus in the Bronx, composed of nearly 1,000 apartments between Claremont Village and Morrisania.

Arker Companies, a “meat-and-potatoes, outer-borough” firm that allied with the de Blasio administration to rehabilitate affordable housing, simultaneously purchased a 99-year leasehold on the properties for $137 million as part of the PACT program. The loan was secured by Merchants Capital, an agency lender for Freddie Mac.

Marc to market | Midtown | $136M

Joe Moinian refinanced the Marc apartment tower in the Theater District with a $136 million loan from Freddie Mac. Newmark, through its lending arm Berkeley Point, provided the financing for the 395-unit building at 260 West 54th Street.

The new debt, to be purchased by Freddie Mac, replaced a previous loan by Fannie Mae on the 42-story rental building. Moinian Group developed the building in 2003. Rents start at about $3,700 for a studio and go up to $6,500 for a two-bedroom, according to StreetEasy.

Circumnavigation | Midtown South | $119M

Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation refinanced the hotel and commercial portions of the Langham building at 400 Fifth Avenue with a $119 million loan. The hotel and commercial portions make up about half the 60-story, mixed-use tower, which is composed of 190 residential condo units, 214 hotel rooms and 30,000 square feet of commercial space.

The loan replaces Hong Kong’s Mizuho Bank as the lender; OCBC was the prior lender. Bizzi & Partners developed the site in 2010 with $386 million in debt from Italy’s UniCredit Banca. The owner of the hotel and commercial units, Pacific Eagle Holdings of Walnut Creek, California, acquired the building in 2012 for $229 million.

Keep on truckin’ | Hell’s Kitchen | $115M

TF Cornerstone refinanced its leasehold mortgage at 660 12th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen with $115 million from Wells Fargo, replacing a 2013, $90 million loan from Bank of America. The 200,000-square-foot space is occupied by Federal Express’ Manhattan distribution center, according to the developer’s website.

The building occupies the block of West 48th and West 49th streets and most of 11th and 12th avenues. Another part of the building is occupied by a Toyota showroom and the Glasshouse events space. The state of New York is the fee owner.

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B yourself | Midtown | $101M

Class B office buildings at 363 Lexington Avenue and 2 West 46th Street scored a refinancing of $101 million from Bank of Montreal and Citibank, rolling over debt from the CMBS market. Owned by the Stavrach family’s Triangle Assets and investor Faraj Srour, each building spans about 120,000 square feet. The Moroccan consulate and a fertility clinic recently leased at 363 Lexington, the Commercial Observer reported.

The owners sued a number of tenants during the pandemic, alleging that they skipped rent. The buildings were at risk of foreclosure prior to getting CMBS debt more than a decade ago.

The “in” crowd | Inwood | $92M

Jay Group secured $92 million from Israel’s Bank Hapoalim International to build a seven-story, multifamily project at 401 West 207th Street in Northern Manhattan. The 270-unit project sits on a former gas station site bought from Speedway last year for $25 million. The developer has also bought gas stations in East New York, Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Peninsular profits | Halletts Point | $75M

Greystone refinanced the construction debt on a Bruman Realty multifamily project at 26-25 Fourth Street on Halletts Point, a peninsula in Queens. Joseph Brunner and Abe Mandel’s offering of 165 apartments, near a Durst Organization megaproject, received $75 million, which replaced construction financing from Slate’s Scale Lending of $66 million. Some 30 percent of units will be set aside as affordable. The completion deadline for 421a projects is June 2026.

Incentivize me | Gowanus | $73M

Avery Hall Investments scored $72.5 million in construction loans from TD Bank for a 17-story multifamily project at 544 Carroll Street in Brooklyn. Partners in the joint venture are Bridge Investment Group and Declaration Partners; the loan was arranged through Bridge Investment’s qualified opportunity zone fund. Of the building’s 133 units, 25 percent will be affordable. Construction is expected to wrap in late 2025.

Developers piled into Gowanus during and after its 2021 rezoning. The 82-block rezoning permitted residential development on sites that had been mostly limited to industrial use.

Retirement returns | Flatbush | $73M

The Hudson Companies refinanced its construction debt at 350 Clarkson Avenue in Flatbush with $72.5 million from Athene Annuity, a retirement savings investor. The loan on the new, eight-story multifamily building with 250 units replaces construction debt from Wells Fargo.

Market-rate units in the building ask $2,500 for a studio to $4,100 for a two-bedroom. Some 75 affordable units, a relic of the 421a regime, are listed at $1,720 for a studio to $2,600 for a two-bedroom.

A cut above | East New York | $52M

Joel Kohn’s Jay Group landed $52 million from a pair of lenders — London-based OakNorth Bank and New Jersey’s Cross River Bank — to build a 10-story multifamily building with 183 apartments at 2864 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Jay Group bought the site, a defunct gas station, from gas chain Speedway last year for $7.5 million. 

Correction: A transaction at 70 Pine Street did not involve a new loan and has been removed from this article.

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