Steve Wiktoff paced back and forth in a conference room at his partnership’s New York City office, eager to talk about his latest endeavors, but just as eager to tackle the other 10 commitments that had come his way over the course of the first of several interviews with The Mortgage Observer.
Morgan Stanley has provided a $275 million loan to finance the acquisition of the Milford Plaza Hotel, sources told The Mortgage Observer. The 10-year loan has an interest rate under 3.5 percent, according to sources familiar with the deal, and will be securitized.
The historic Milford Plaza Hotel in the heart of the Theatre District was sold for $325 million, city records show, confirming previous reports that real estate investor David Werner and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management’s real estate investment business were in talks to purchase the ground lease at the site.
Manhattan Market Report
An unprecedented sevenfold increase in retail property sales fueled the Manhattan commercial real estate sales market’s epic comeback in the fourth quarter – its strongest performance since 2007, according to preliminary data from Eastern Consolidated.
The hallmark quarter, with nearly $13 billion in sales volume – the strongest since record-breaking performances in 2007 (peaking at $19 billion in Q2 of 2007) – was triggered by fears of impending capital gains taxes, which had owners scrambling to unload properties before year’s end.
“This was definitely fiscal-driven growth,” said Barbara Byrne Denham, Eastern Consolidated’s chief economist. “Sellers wanted to cash out and buyers knew it, so they were eager to come to the table as well.”
More than 300 real estate professionals crowded the Metropolitan Club early Thursday morning, despite snow-covered sidewalks, for the Observer Media Group’s third annual Masters of Real Estate forum.
Sponsored by Fried Frank and Marks Paneth & Shron, the event drew boldface names like Larry Silverstein and Mortimer Zuckerman, who spoke about the devastation wrought by Sandy, not to mention financiers like Angelo Gordon & Co.’s Adam Schwartz and Rockpoint Group’s Keith Gelb, who weighed in on opportunistic investments.
Below, reporter Al Barbarino walks the room and listens in on the panels, striving to put his finger on the commercial real estate industry’s pulse, minute by minute.
Wells Fargo provided a $120 million loan on a building at 790 Seventh Avenue to MTS Propco, according to public records. MTS Propco is the name of the partnership which has recently closed on the purchase of the Manhattan at Times Square Hotel, located on that lot.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has completed the sale of the 665-key Manhattan at Times Square Hotel. The hotel, at 790 Seventh Avenue, sold to affiliates of Rockpoint Group, Goldman Sachs’ Real Estate Principal Investment Area and Highgate Holdings.
Lease of the Week
Even before the Blackstone Group won a contentious bidding war for 1140 Avenue of the Americas, the prewar office building was in the midst of a multimillion-dollar restoration project in early 2011.
Nearly 30 firms were fighting for the right to own the $116 million nonperforming note held by Laurence Gluck’s Stellar Management and partner Rockpoint Group, which bought 1140 Avenue of the Americas from SL Green Realty Corp. for $97.5 million in 2006.
A self-described car guy, Woody Heller, executive managing director and head of the Capital Transactions Group at Studley, sees parallels between automobiles as hard assets and commercial real estate investment sales velocity in New York. Apart from the obvious luxury to be found in cars and Class A buildings alike—his 33-million-square-foot transaction volume likely doesn’t include a jalopy—both markets have also lately been bolstered by similar factors.
“With debt available and with interest rates so incredibly low, it encourages one to buy because money is so cheap,” he said. “If the asset class is in favor compared with what much of the alternatives are—if borrowing costs are incredibly low—it continues to steer people to want to invest in hard assets like real estate.”
One of the few upsides to a down real estate economy is the plethora of deals to be had by the savvy investor with money on hand. That is certainly one way to describe the Fisher family, who began developing real estate in the outer-boroughs in 1915 and progressively worked their way in to some Read More