Mortgage Observer

Mezzanine Lending: the Stuyvesant Town Saga

Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village.

It’s an oft-told story, but to gloss over it would be to minimize a protracted tug of war that has been the most influential series of lawsuits for U.S. mezzanine lenders in the last decade.

When Tishman Speyer and BlackRock bought Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village in their notorious, record-breaking 2006 deal, they borrowed $4.4 billion of the $6.3 billion price tag. Fast-forward a few years (plus one recession and a legal defeat), and Tishman was in deep trouble.

This sent the junior and senior lenders into years of legal infighting over control of the largest housing complex in the U.S.—a fight that has become legend for its messiness (an entire book was written on the subject) and has kept lenders on their toes as they negotiate loan contracts ever since. Read More

Stuy Town

Auction for Stuy Town Canceled, CWCapital Takes Property Via Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

Stuyvesant Town- Peter Cooper Village (from above)

The auction for Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, Manhattan’s largest apartment complex, has been canceled as CWCapital Asset Management exercised a deed in lieu of foreclosure earlier this week, Bloomberg News reported.

CWCapital has managed Stuyvesant Town since 2010 on behalf of bondholders, Bloomberg said. In taking title to the property, the company paid over $130 million in city and state taxes and thwarted an outside investor from seizing the complex, according to a separate report from The New York Times. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Willis Tower Now in Special Servicing: Fitch

Willis Tower (tallest)

Chicago’s Willis Tower was transferred to special servicing this week due to “imminent monetary default,” according to Fitch Ratings, which tracks the senior CMBS debt on the building’s loan. The 110-story tower was, until last year, the tallest in America. One World Trade Center was ruled tallest in November.

The borrowers, a group that includes a number of prominent New York owners and developers led by Joseph Chetrit’s Chetrit Group, owe almost $500 million in senior CMBS debt and about $774 million total, according to data from Fitch. Read More

Mortgage Observer

How Can Fortress Finance its $4.7B Stuy Town Buy?

Stuyvesant Town- Peter Cooper Village (from above)

On the heels of a report that Fortress Investment Group LLC is close to buying Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village for about $4.7 billion, commercial real estate finance specialists are wondering how the suitor can finance the deal. After all, the last time the behemoth housing complex was sold, things didn’t go so well.

Fortress is reportedly looking to bring in equity partners in the planned purchase, which Bloomberg News first reported on Wednesday. Stuyvesant Town, which occupies 80 acres and holds 11,231 apartments in 110 buildings, is the largest rental complex in Manhattan.  Read More

CREFC 2013

CREFC CEO Renna Checks in Ahead of Conference

Stephen Renna

Monday afternoon, as the CRE Finance Council‘s January 2013 conference got underway, security from the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, with good reason, was making sure to check IDs as attendees made their way to the section of the hotel reserved for the afternoon’s meetings. A guard told The Mortgage Observer that it wasn’t uncommon for players to try to forgo the registration fee and opt, instead, to suit up and make a run for it.

It was a phenomenon that we, in fact, witnessed for ourselves, while waiting to chat with CRE Finance Council CEO Stephen Renna. Apparently, the group’s efforts to grow the conference–and expand the relevance of the organization–have paid off and made it one hot ticket. Read More