Mortgage Observer

Moinian Refinances Fifth Avenue Buildings In Deal Brokered by Meridian

545 Fifth Avenue.

The Moinian Group refinanced two adjacent office and retail buildings spanning a full block on Fifth Avenue with a $310 million CMBS loan from Morgan Stanley, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

The 10-year deal, secured by Meridian Capital Group, carries a fixed interest rate under 4 percent, according to the broker. The new loan replaces previous debt that Column Financial provided in March 2006, city records show. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Five Major Market Properties Defeased

Michigan Plaza in Chicago.

Five commercial properties in big cities around the country had their loans fully defeased this week, Mortgage Observer has learned.

Data obtained and provided by the commercial real estate and financial research firm Trepp shows that the properties in Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Dallas and Washington, D.C., carried balances totaling $390.4 million. Defeasance provisions allowed the borrowers to swap out the loans with Treasury securities that replicate the cash flows of the loan. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Hudson’s Bay to Refinance Saks Fifth Avenue Land With $1.25B Loan

The Saks Fifth Avenue building.

Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company and The Bank of Nova Scotia are providing a $1.25 billion mortgage to Toronto-based Hudson’s Bay Company to refinance the ground below its Saks Fifth Avenue building at 611 Fifth Avenue, according to a release from the borrower.

The lenders appraised the landmark building at about $3.7 billion, based on the assumption that the entire property is net leased at an estimated fair-market rent by the luxury retailer. HBC acquired the Saks retail chain, including its 650,000-square-foot flagship store in Midtown, last year for $2.9 billion. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Parkoff CMBS Loan Goes Into Special Servicing

30 East End Avenue.

The $170 million loan on a 312-unit portfolio of Manhattan rental apartments owned by the Parkoff Organization has gone into special servicing due to “imminent monetary default,” according to an email from Fitch Ratings.

Morgan Stanley originated the full-term, interest-only loan—now in the hands of CWCapital Asset Management—in March 2007. The loan, which is due to mature in April 2017, had been on the servicer’s watchlist prior to the transfer, according to Fitch. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Singer & Bassuk Brokers Loan for Rockrose D.C. Office Buy

Lincoln Square at 555 11th Street NW.

Rockrose Development Corp. received a $227 million loan from Morgan Stanley, brokered by The Singer & Bassuk Organization, to help fund the acquisition of a 414,204-square-foot office building in Washington, D.C., Mortgage Observer has first learned.

Rockrose purchased the property, Lincoln Square at 555 11th Street NW in D.C.’s East End submarket, last week for $300 million, the company said. Rockrose brokered the acquisition, which works out to a purchase price of $724 per square foot, in-house. Read More

Mortgage Observer

High Spreads in $1B Atlantis CMBS Issuance


The $1 billion Atlantis CMBS offering, collateralized by a single, 245-acre, 2,917-room resort property located in Paradise Island, Bahamas, exhibits higher than normal spreads for its fixed-rate AAA-class certificates, due in part to corresponding risk, Mortgage Observer Weekly has learned.

BREF ONE LLC’s Series A, a fund affiliated with a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, sponsored the $1 billion mortgage for the resort, according to a Standard & Poor’s pre-sales report, released Aug. 4. The loan, divided into a $650 million fixed-rate and $350 million floating-rate component, was provided by Deutsche BankMorgan Stanley and Citigroup. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Retail Lending Gets Easier—Thanks in No Small Part to CMBS

Retail lending is on the rise

It’s loan shopping season for shopping center owners. Retail landlords around the country are increasingly turning to commercial mortgage-backed securities to finance properties in secondary markets as an alternative to traditional loans, industry sources told Mortgage Observer.

While banks and insurance companies that provide traditional commercial real estate financing are targeting primary markets like New York and San Francisco, focusing on prime properties and the strong multifamily sector, investors who are hungry for returns are willing to dig into CMBS deals on less desirable properties with less prestigious retail tenants and higher leverage, sources said. Read More

Lease Beat

Fossil and Skagen Sign New Times Square Leases

Fossil retail

Watchmaker and leather goods seller Fossil Group will keep its current 3,241-square-foot Times Square location for 15 more years while Skagen, a subsidiary company, will open a new flagship store next door at 48th Street and Broadway under two new leases first reported in the New York Post on Tuesday.

The Danish Skagen brand’s first New York City location in the building at 1585 Broadway owned by financial services firm Morgan Stanley will debut new leather and jewelry lines out of the 1,585-square-foot space, according to CBRE. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Starwood, Crown Acquisitions Tie Up $175M from Morgan Stanley

Old navy

Morgan Stanley provided $175 million in financing to a partnership between Starwood Capital Group and Crown Acquisitions in conjunction with its purchase of 144-150 West 34th Street, according to public records. The three-story Herald Square retail building currently serves as Old Navy’s flagship store.

The loan closed on April 23, the same day as the acquisition, records show. Starwood Capital Group, co-founded and overseen by Barry Sternlicht, bought the retail property from the Kefadilis family’s KLM Construction Corporation for $252 million. KLM initially acquired the building in February 1997.  Read More

Lease Beat

Gap Takes Nascent Downtown Marriott Retail Space

An image of the new Marriott Residence Inn at 170 Broadway. (Credit: Stonehill & Taylor)

Clothing chain Gap Inc. has reportedly signed a roughly 18,900-square-foot lease for a three-level space at the upcoming Marriott Residence Inn at 170 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.

The store reportedly features a 6,500-square-foot ground floor, where asking rents were $600 per square foot, as well as a 5,400-square-foot lower level and 7,000-square-foot second floor. Read More

The Sit-Down

JLL’s Downtown Don: John Wheeler

John Wheeler. (Credit: Lea Rubin)

John Wheeler was tapped in March 2012 to run JLL’s lower Manhattan office after returning to the firm in 2009. He is a managing director at the company and has been with JLL for 14 years. He had two stints working on the principle side of the business for Gramercy Capital and Antares Real Estate Partners. Today he directs JLL’s efforts on Gramercy Capital’s 13.5-million-square-foot national portfolio. A couple of his key transactions have been a 500,000-square-foot sublease to Morgan Stanley at 1 New York Plaza and a 450,000-square-foot master lease to the City of New York at 180 Water Street. In his entire career, Mr. Wheeler, 52, has negotiated 13 million square feet of leases for clients. Last week, Commercial Observer sat down with Mr. Wheeler in his office at 140 Broadway and talked about lower Manhattan post-Superstorm Sandy, leasing prices being pushed from the bottom up and the newly distinguished submarket of the Water Street corridor. Read More

Sales Beat

Purchase of Thor Equities’ 530 Bway Closes at $326M [Updated]

530 Broadway

A joint venture led by Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties has nabbed a three-building site at 530 Broadway from Joseph Sitt‘s Thor Equities for $326 million. The sale closed on March 6 and appeared in public records today.

The retail mogul bought the 11-story property to extend his dominance in Soho. It hit the market in February 2013 and Mr. Sitt agreed to sell it to the new owners that September.  Read More

Mortgage Observer

Rockrose Receives Morgan Stanley Loan for LIC Residential Tower

Linc LIC

New York brokerage firm The Singer & Bassuk Organization has negotiated a $240 million loan on behalf of luxury real estate owner Rockrose Development Corp. to refinance its 42-story rental tower Linc LIC‎ in Long Island City, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

Morgan Stanley provided the 10-year loan, which closed on Friday, March 6, Andrew Singer, Singer & Bassuk’s chairman and chief executive officer, said, noting that the loan could be securitized in the future. The permanent mortgage replaces a 5-year $155 million construction loan from October 2011 provided by a syndicate of lenders led by Wells Fargo. Read More