The Lobby

Deutsche Bank’s Jonathan Pollack Joins Blackstone

Jonathan Pollack.

Jonathan Pollack, former global head of commercial real estate at Deutsche Bank, has joined Blackstone Group as a senior managing director in the New York private equity firm’s real estate division, according to a release from Blackstone.

Mr. Pollack, who also served as head of risk for structured finance at Deutsche Bank, is taking over as chief investment officer for Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies. He will report to Michael Nash, the global head of BREDS, in his new role. Read More


MCA Brokers $300M From Syndicate to Refi Seligman Portfolio


San Francisco-based real estate investors Seligman Group refinanced a portfolio consisting of most of their assets—throughout California—with $309 million from a syndicate of major lenders, a representative for broker Mission Capital Advisors confirmed to Commercial Observer Finance.

Deutsche Bank provided $125 million and Citigroup $66 million. An additional $80 million came from a Freddie Mac loan originated by Walker & Dunlop with the remaining $38 million coming from a debt fund MCA could not identify, the representative said. Read More


Sutton and GGP Land $1.25B Loan from Four Banking Giants for Crown Purchase

The Crown Building (Winter Properties).

Billionaire New York developer Jeff Sutton and Chicago-based General Growth Properties closed on their $1.78 billion acquisition of the Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue with a $1.25 billion mortgage provided by Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley‎, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, Commercial Observer has learned.

The loan closed last Friday. Oxford Finance and another, unnamed, mezzanine lender grabbed junior portions of the enormous debt deal, a source with intimate knowledge of the transaction said. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Mack Real Estate Credit Hires Two Industry Players for Origination Roles

Richard Mack.

Mack Real Estate Credit Strategies, the new direct lending platform headed by Richard Mack and former Blackstone Group executive Peter Sotoloff, has hired two more people to join its ranks, Mortgage Observer can exclusively report.

Kevin Cullinan of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. joined MRECS as a capital markets and mezzanine loan originator, one person familiar with the matter said on the condition of anonymity. MCRES, an affiliate of Mack Real Estate Group, also picked up an unnamed employee from Deutsche Bank’s special situations group, according to another person in the know. Read More

Construction Finance

Bank of China and Deutsche Bank to Loan $600M for Miami Design District Development

Miami Design District's Fujimoto Courtyard.

A trio of lenders—Deutsche BankBank of China and the French banking network Crédit Agricole—is close to wrapping up the senior portion of a nearly $600 million construction loan for a retail mega-development in Miami, Mortgage Observer has learned.

The loan, to a joint venture led by Miami-based developer Craig Robins and the global real estate fund L Real Estate, is due to close in the upcoming weeks, a person familiar with the matter said on the condition of anonymity. Chicago-based General Growth Properties and New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition are said to own minority interests in the venture. Read More


Sapir Taps Column Financial for Mondrian Soho Purchase

Mondrian Soho Hotel.

A group of investors led by Alex Sapir of the Sapir Organization took a $180 million CMBS loan from Column Financial to acquire the 263-room Mondrian Soho hotel at 9 Crosby Street in Lower Manhattan, public records show.

The billionaire real estate mogul and his partners purchased the financially troubled five-star hotel from Deutsche Bank at a foreclosure auction in January, as previously reported. Read More

Lease Beat

Mudrick Capital Moves on Madison Avenue

527 Madison Avenue.

Mudrick Capital, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm, has signed an 11-year lease for 12,400 square feet on the sixth floor of Mitsui Fudosan America’s 527 Madison Avenue between East 53rd and East 54th Streets, Commercial Observer has learned.

Built in 1986, the Class A commercial property at 527 Madison Avenue is 26 stories and is comprised of 236,000 square feet. Mitsui Fudosan America acquired the building in 2008 from Deutsche Bank for $225 million, according to CoStar. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Deutsche Bank Finances Related High Line Acquisition

131 10th Avenue.

The Related Companies has closed on the acquisition of two sites along the High Line for the firm’s latest Hudson Yards development with a $125 million loan from Deutsche Bank, city records show.

Related acquired the properties at 511-525 West 18th Street, a low-rise garage west of the High Line, and 131 10th Avenue, a parking lot that occupies the full block between West 18th and 19th Streets, for $205 million. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Silverstein Recaps 1177 Avenue of the Americas

1177 Avenue of the Americas (photo courtesy of CoStar)

Silverstein Properties recapitalized Midtown office property 1177 Avenue of the Americas, taking a $360 million loan from Deutsche Bank and CCRE, records filed with the city yesterday show.

A spokesperson for the Silverstein confirmed the deal, but declined to comment on the interest rate. Prior reports say that the developer was set to nab a “sub 3 percent,” rate, however. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Macklowe Completes 1 Wall Street Buy With $460M in Financing

1 Wall Street.

A joint venture led by Macklowe Properties sealed its $585 million purchase of 1 Wall Street from Bank of New York Mellon Corp. with $460 million in acquisition financing serviced by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, city records show.

The transactions closed on Sept. 30 and hit records this morning. Qatar National Bank is listed as the agent bank in the deal. No other lenders are named. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Bridge & Tunnel


While bridges and roads have been in vogue for centuries, debt funds for building them are still taking shape at barely 10 years old.

Major infrastructure projects have typically been financed publicly or by large banks. That’s because building an airport, or tunneling through a mountain, is not only a long-term project, it has historically been perceived as a high-risk undertaking. Now, a variety of factors have converged, making infrastructure debt and equity investments attractive to a broader scope of players, such as sovereign wealth funds and pension funds.  Read More

Lease Beat

Hunt Companies Relocates NYC Office to 230 Park

230 Park Avenue.

Hunt Companies, a Texas-based privately-owned investor, developer and manager of real estate assets, yesterday signed a direct lease for Deutsche Bank‘s 20,643 square feet of office space at 230 Park Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

At the end of the year, the firm will relocate its Hunt Mortgage Group from 100 Church Street in Lower Manhattan to the entire 19th floor at the 34-story former Helmsley Building, which is between 45th and 46th Streets. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Prodigy Network Again Proves Crowdfunding Works for Hotel Developments

A rendering of 17John.

And the crowd cheered.

Prodigy Network, a New York-based crowdfunding start-up, completed its acquisition and planned redevelopment of 17 John Street in lower Manhattan with more than $25 million of crowdfunded equity, a $56 million senior loan from Deutsche Bank and $20 million from a New York-based institutional investor, according to a company release. The deal marks the second crowdfunded Manhattan hotel project Prodigy Network has successfully taken on in less than a year.

The firm purchased the 15-story rental building at 17 John Street on August 28 for $83 million with plans to convert the property into a 23-story, 191-unit extended stay hotel to be rebranded as 17John. Prodigy Network acquired the property from 17 John Street Associates LLC, an entity managed by the New York-based development and management company Metro Loft. Read More