Growth Equity

Auction.com Gets $50M Investment from Google Capital

L to R: Monte Koch, Jeff Frieden, Rob Friedman

Google Capital, a growth equity fund backed by internet giant Google, has invested $50 million in Auction.com. The investment values the online real estate marketplace at $1.2 billion. 

Google Capital joins a list of prominent shareholders in Auction.com, including Starwood Capital Group, Starwood Property Trust, Stone Point Capital and funds managed by Fortress Investment Group. As part of Google Capital’s investment, a representative of the fund will join Auction.com’s Board of Directors and an additional representative will assume a board observer position. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Lawyer’s View: Borrowers

Jonathan Mechanic.

Jonathan Mechanic

Fried Frank

Partner & Chairman of the Real Estate Department

In 2012 and the beginning of 2013, your firm, with partners Stephen Lefkowitz and Tal Galomb, represented Related Companies in its purchase of Hudson Yards from the MTA, and you represented Coach, which purchased 740,00 square feet of the first building to be constructed there. Was that a complicated deal with all of the parties that were involved? Read More

Mortgage Observer

Experts: Lots of Opportunities for U.S. Investors in European Debt

Southern Spain.

When comparing the re-emergence of Europe’s real estate market with how real estate has recovered in the United States, investors and analysts speaking to The Mortgage Observer often pointed out, to use a baseball metaphor, that Europe today is barely in the first inning. Of course, this metaphor would hardly be appreciated in Europe. Nonetheless, it is fitting, given that even overseas, the game is increasingly an all-American one. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Debt Pioneers: Starwood Property Trust’s Brain Trust

DSCF9644

This past October, after three and a half-weeks of negotiations, Starwood Property Trust and a fund controlled by Starwood Capital Group originated the REIT’s largest transaction so far—$475 million in combined acquisition and construction financing for a joint venture to develop Times Square Gateway Center, a 340,000-square-foot multi-use complex in the busiest area of Manhattan.

After a run of about three years, Starwood Property Trust, which real estate investor Barry Sternlicht took public in August 2009, has “entered the big league,” as FBR Capital Markets analyst Gabe Poggi wrote in a report after the release of the REIT’s third-quarter 2012 results. Read More

Mortgage Beat

Investor Group Acquires Times Square Development Site for $430 Million

701 Seventh Avenue.

A venture between the Witkoff Group, Maefield Development, Infinity Urban Century–and New Valley, an investment unit of Vector Group–completed the $430 million acquisition of a development site at 701 Seventh Avenue in Times Square, where it plans to build a 340,000-square-foot, 36-story, multi-use complex. Times Square Gateway Center, located between Seventh Avenue and 47th Street, will feature retail space, a hotel tower and the nation’s largest single LED screen for Broadway’s iconic lights and advertising.

Steven Kassin, co-managing partner of Infinity Urban Century, confirmed the amount of the investment to The Commercial Observer.

Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Property Trust and Starwood Capital Group provided $475 million in combined acquisition and construction financing for the development. The loan will have an initial funding of $375 million with $100 million of future funding for redevelopment costs and also contains an equity participation right for the lender. Read More

Under Development

Starwood Capital Buys 1372 Broadway

1272 broadway

Greenwich-based investment firm Starwood Capital Group has agreed to purchase 1372 Broadway from Lloyd Goldman’s BLDG Management, it was announced yesterday.

The 21-story, 571,667-square-foot building is located on 37th and Broadway. Final terms of the deal were not disclosed. A spokesman for Starwood Capital Group declined to comment on the specifics of the deal. Read More

Investment Tales

Starwood Capital Group May Head to the Mall

Barry Sternlicht.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Greenwich, Conn.’s Starwood Capital Group is on the cusp of acquiring majority stakes in a portfolio of U.S. shopping malls from Westfield Group, a Sydney-based retail property group.

The purchase price is said to be roughly $1 billion and the seven malls have not been identified, though several are thought to be part of a group of malls Westfield put on the market last year. Read More