Mortgage Observer

The Rise of Select-Service Hotels

Bill Grice.

Select-service hotels—once mainly the focus of small, regional owners and operators—have become a target for some of the largest REITs and private equity firms and a growing sweet spot for lenders, according to a report from JLL provided exclusively to Mortgage Observer.

The hybrid lodging class, which stands between full-service and limited-service hotels, has increasingly attracted the attention of large national banks and life insurance companies in addition to the usual local and regional banks, fueling increased lending competition, according to the report. Read More

Mortgage Observer

North Carolina Mall Loan Hits Delinquency Status for First Time

Independence Mall.

A $100 million securitized J.P. Morgan loan on Independence Mall in Wilmington, N.C., was reported as 30 days delinquent, according to September servicer data obtained and provided by Trepp. The borrower entity is listed in the deal prospectus as Centro Independence LLC.

Sears, Dillard’s, Belk and JCPenney anchor the one million-square-foot regional shopping center at 3500 Oleander Drive, property records show. The first three retailers own their parcels. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Pakistani-Owned Roosevelt Hotel Refinanced by J.P. Morgan

Roosevelt Hotel

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. provided a $140 million loan to refinance existing debt on the iconic Roosevelt Hotel, which is owned by the Pakistani government’s state-run Pakistan International Airlines, public records show.

The 1,015-room hotel at 45 East 45th Street recently underwent a “multi-million dollar guestroom upgrade,” which began in November 2011, according to the hotel’s website. Read More

Cover Story

Breaking Barriers: Richard Bernstein and Peter Hennessy on Cassidy Turley’s Star Turn

Richard Bernstein and Peter Hennessy. (Photo: Mike Nagle)

“If I could knock this wall down I would,” said Peter Hennessy, pointing through a glass enclosure that separates his office from a row of open workstations within the 42nd floor of Cassidy Turley’s 277 Park Avenue offices.

Mr. Hennessy, the tristate president at the firm, will likely get his wish if Cassidy Turley continues to literally and figuratively break down the barriers that once separated its business lines by expanding the consulting practice that he and Richard Bernstein, the firm’s executive vice chairman and principal, said is crucial to the company’s future. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Finance 229 West 28th Street Acquisition

229 West 28th Street

An entity owned by the private investment, development and management company Lexin Capital has received $55 million in financing from Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. for its acquisition of a 12-story office building at 229 West 28th Street in Chelsea, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

Wells Fargo provided a $38 million senior loan, which carries a term of three years with two one-year extension options, the San Francisco-based financial company said. The interest rate on the senior loan is about 1.5 percent over Libor. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Lawyer’s View: CMBS

Michael Gambro.

Michael Gambro

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft

Co-Chair of the Capital Markets Department

Cadwalader has provided lead counsel services in several of the largest single-borrower CMBS transactions ever. What kinds of challenges have those deals presented? Read More

Mortgage Observer

Blackstone Mortgage Trust Execs Talk Growth, Strategy at New Commercial REIT on Heels of 2Q13 Results

Blackstone Mortgage Trust

In early July, Jonathan Gray, Blackstone’s global head of real estate, appeared on CNBC in an exclusive interview with the network. Dubbed Most Powerful Man in Real Estate—this ran in a banner during the 12-minute segment—Mr. Gray outlined the strategy behind Blackstone’s recently launched mortgage REIT, Blackstone Mortgage Trust.

With a mid-summer rising of rates at the front of most minds, Mr. Gray explained what, at the heart of it, apart from the Blackstone name, makes the endeavor a safer bet. “Blackstone Mortgage Trust is a floating rate lender,” he told David Faber, the co-anchor of Squawk on the Street. “Rising rates for this vehicle are better.”

Read More

The Plan

Tour 23 Wall Street, Otherwise Known as The Corner

1CO3400A0604

The former J.P. Morgan headquarters at 23 Wall Street continues to be a hard sell. For nearly seven years, the property, which has been marketed to retailers and restaurants, has remained vacant.

Complicated by its location—across from the New York Stock Exchange—and its poor loading facilities, the property, along with the connected 35 Wall Street and 15 Broad Street, has drawn interest but no commitments. Originally marketing the property specifically toward retail, the Cushman & Wakefield brokerage team has begun to open up to the possibility of entertainment or financial services firms.

Joanne Podell, vice chairman, and Ian Lerner, senior associate, spoke with The Commercial Observer about the unique challenges and possibilities the properties present. Read More

Sales Beat

RXR Realty to Acquire 237 Park Avenue

Scott2

RXR Realty, a real estate operating and investment company affiliated with Walton Street Capital, has agreed to acquire 237 Park Avenue from an entity controlled by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., it was announced today.

The transaction has a large equity component with a low-leverage, existing loan in place, according to Scott Rechler, chairman and chief executive officer of RXR. According to multiple reports, the closing price is approximately $800 million. Read More