Mortgage Observer

Starwood Loans $480M For Giant San Francisco Mixed-use Project

181 Fremont Street

San Francisco-based developer Jay Paul Company grabbed a whopping $480 million in construction funds from Starwood Property Trust to continue building 181 Fremont Street, a mixed-use project in San Francisco’s uber-trendy South of Market neighborhood.

The building will have 400,000 square feet of office space, 65 residential condominiums and a retail component, according to Starwood executives. Construction began last November, according to published reports. At the time, Jay Paul estimated the cost of the project to be $500 million. Read More

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

Singer & Bassuk Secures $450 Million Starwood Property Trust Loan for 250 East 57th Street Condo

Rendering of 250 East 57th Street by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Roger Duffy

The Singer & Bassuk Organization has closed a $450 million construction loan from Starwood Property Trust for World-Wide Group‘s $600 million luxury condo development at 250-252 East 57th Street, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

The four-year loan with extension options, which closed earlier today, covers 93 condo units and 173 rental apartments as well as 33,000 square feet of retail space, said Andrew Singer, chairman and CEO of the New York-based brokerage firm and a spokesperson for the developer. The loan also covers the Whole Foods Market store that was built on the site in 2010, Mr. Singer noted. Read More

Lease Beat

Financial Firms Ink Full-Floor Deals at 1140 Avenue of the Americas

1140 Avenue of the Americas

Two financial services firms have signed 12,750-square-foot full-floor deals at 1140 Avenue of the Americas, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Trilogy Global Advisors will relocate from the Grace Building to the 18th floor of the Equity Office property. The tenant will pay rent starting at approximately $80 per square foot in a 10-year deal, according to data from CompStak.

Read More

Lease Beat

Starwood Property Trust Leases 12,750 Square Feet at Busy 1140 Avenue of the Americas

1140 Avenue of the Americas

Starwood Property Trust Inc. inked a 12,750-square-foot deal at 1140 Avenue of the Americas in one of five direct leases at the property announced last week that totaled 44,568 square feet.

The commercial mortgage real estate investment trust will take up the entire fifth floor of the 253,418-square-foot Midtown tower as it consolidates several different business units from various Manhattan offices there. 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