Gary Barnett’s Extell shuffles lenders at UWS condo project

Bank OZK is out, Jerusalem Venture Partners is in 

Extell Shuffles Lenders at UWS Condo Project
Erel Margalit of JVP, Gary Barnett of Extell Development, and 50 West 66th Street (Getty, SLCE Architects)

Gary Barnett’s Extell Development is changing up the financing at its quick-selling luxury condo building on the Upper West Side.

JVP Management, the project’s mezzanine lender, has taken on the project’s senior debt, replacing Bank OZK by refinancing $620 million in construction loans and issuing $70 million in new debt, a representative of Extell confirmed.

The amount of outstanding debt at 50 West 66th Street is far smaller, however, thanks in part to eager buyers in Manhattan’s luxury condo market. 

Although the project only recently topped out, more than half its units are in contract to sell, according to Extell, and much of the debt has already been paid off, records show.

By early June, outstanding construction debt issued by Bank OZK stood at $340 million. Buyers scooped up an average of five units in the building per month since April, making it New York’s best-selling project during that time, according to data firm Marketproof.

“We look forward to future business with Extell,” said Bank OZK president Brannon Hamblen in a statement. “As usual, Gary Barnett’s execution was excellent from origination to the payoff of our loan.”

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In May, a financial analyst downgraded the Arkansas-based lender over a 1.7 million-square-foot life science building in San Diego with no prospective tenants, precipitating a 14 percent decline in the value of the bank’s publicly traded shares.

The average asking price for units in Extell’s building is about $4,500 per square foot, with sticker prices ranging from $3.5 million to $85 million. The 40-story building has 124 units with a sellout goal of $1.6 billion; its top-floor units have not been priced yet.

Progress at the building contrasts sharply with the newly developed Brooklyn Tower, which was taken over by Larry Silverstein after developer Michael Stern defaulted on loan payments.

Closings can begin once the city confirms that the building is habitable. Buyers typically have 30 days to close on their purchase once the city issues a temporary certificate of occupancy, which allows unit owners to move in although construction on common areas may still be underway.

New York’s luxury condo market, generally defined as apartments priced $4 million and above, has been buoyed this year by buyers who can pay cash, bypassing the impact of higher mortgage rates. 

CORRECTION: A prior version of this story mistakenly identified JVP as Jerusalem Venture Partners.

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