Flagship Retail Locations Could Spell REIT after Hudson’s Bay, Saks Deal


Hudson’s Bay Company will explore the creation of a real estate investment trust as the company’s proposed acquisition of Saks Inc. stands to add a number of flagship retail locations to the company’s portfolio. HBC agreed to acquire Saks for $16.00 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.9 billion.

The merger will create a large real estate portfolio that will include the Saks Fifth Avenue locations on Fifth Avenue in New York and Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, as well as Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue location. Read More

Sales Beat

Yakety Yack, Don’t Talk Back: Eric Hader ‘Cleanin’ Up’ to the Tune of $250 M. at Popular Music Haven


A building described by some as “the most important generator of popular songs in the Western world,” including The Coasters‘ 1958 hit The Brill Building at 1619 Broadway is famous for housing music industry offices and studios where some of the most popular American music tunes were written over the last several decades.

Now, its Read More

CMBS, Feature

Debt Pioneers: Starwood Property Trust’s Brain Trust


This past October, after three and a half-weeks of negotiations, Starwood Property Trust and a fund controlled by Starwood Capital Group originated the REIT’s largest transaction so far—$475 million in combined acquisition and construction financing for a joint venture to develop Times Square Gateway Center, a 340,000-square-foot multi-use complex in the busiest area of Manhattan.

After a run of about three years, Starwood Property Trust, which real estate investor Barry Sternlicht took public in August 2009, has “entered the big league,” as FBR Capital Markets analyst Gabe Poggi wrote in a report after the release of the REIT’s third-quarter 2012 results. Read More

Mortgage Beat

Investor Group Acquires Times Square Development Site for $430 Million

701 Seventh Avenue.

A venture between the Witkoff Group, Maefield Development, Infinity Urban Century–and New Valley, an investment unit of Vector Group–completed the $430 million acquisition of a development site at 701 Seventh Avenue in Times Square, where it plans to build a 340,000-square-foot, 36-story, multi-use complex. Times Square Gateway Center, located between Seventh Avenue and 47th Street, will feature retail space, a hotel tower and the nation’s largest single LED screen for Broadway’s iconic lights and advertising.

Steven Kassin, co-managing partner of Infinity Urban Century, confirmed the amount of the investment to The Commercial Observer.

Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Property Trust and Starwood Capital Group provided $475 million in combined acquisition and construction financing for the development. The loan will have an initial funding of $375 million with $100 million of future funding for redevelopment costs and also contains an equity participation right for the lender. Read More

Investment Tales

Starwood Capital Group May Head to the Mall

Barry Sternlicht.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Greenwich, Conn.’s Starwood Capital Group is on the cusp of acquiring majority stakes in a portfolio of U.S. shopping malls from Westfield Group, a Sydney-based retail property group.

The purchase price is said to be roughly $1 billion and the seven malls have not been identified, though several are thought to be part of a group of malls Westfield put on the market last year. Read More