Mortgage Observer

MetLife Finances 685 Third Avenue in $190M Deal

685 Third Avenue.

MetLife lent $190 million to a joint venture between TIAA-CREF and Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Australian Government Future Fund, to cover upgrades on the partnership’s 685 Third Avenue office tower, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

The five-year debt deal, which closed on March 18, carries a loan-to-value ratio of 54 percent, a MetLife spokesperson said. The 31-story building in Midtown has no existing debt, according to public records. Read More

Feature

How a Teacher’s Pension Fund Became a Real Estate Giant

Philip McAndrews is at the helm of a real estate empire.

One of New York City’s most prominent real estate empires traces its origins to the financial well-being of professors rather than to a family patriarch. TIAA-CREF, which stands for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund, entered the city’s real estate market in 1944 with the purchase of a Montgomery Ward store in Flushing, Queens, and a six-story office building at 3 East 44th Street.

Around 40 years later, the financial services firm financed the construction and operations of the original 7 World Trade Center and owned the Seagram Building for a dozen years, Philip McAndrews, its chief investment officer of global real estate, told Commercial Observer. Read More

Lease Beat

Companies Lease Over 70K SF at TIAA-CREF Building

475 Fifth Avenue

Two new tenants have signed large-scale deals for space at TIAA-CREF‘s 475 Fifth Avenue.

Penske Media Corporation, the parent company of publications like Women’s Wear Daily and Variety, and VOA Associates Architecture, a global architectural design firm, will relocate its New York City offices to the 24-story property across from Bryant Park between East 40th and 41st Streets. The media company is leasing 56,000 square feet on the second, third, 14th and 16th floors, and the architecture firm grabbed 15,375 square feet for the entire 12th floor, The New York Post reported. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Year in Review: 2014

Illustrations by Chris Morris.

It was another year of highs, lows and mammoth deals. While concerns about the Ebola epidemic and increasing violence abroad rattled markets in 2014, the year nonetheless brought jobs growth, rising stocks and an improved real estate market to the U.S. Of course, the specter of China’s ascendance, a double-edged sword for the American economy, is a wild card. China overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest economy in 2014, and at the same time Chinese investments in U.S. real estate reached an all-time high. Read More

Sales Beat

TIAA-CREF Acquires Chelsea Retail Condo for $42M

636 Avenue of the Americas.

TIAA-CREF picked up an 18,280-square-foot retail condominium in Chelsea for $42 million yesterday, according to a source with intimate knowledge of the deal.

The space, at 636 Avenue of the Americas on the northeast corner of West 19th Street, is comprised of 9,465 on the ground floor with the remainder functioning as a selling basement. CVS recently opened in the entire condo on a new long-term lease, the source said. Read More

Sales Beat

Savanna and Feil Sell 21 Penn to TIAA-CREF

21 Penn Plaza

Financial services company TIAA-CREF has purchased the 16-story, 378,547-square-foot 21 Penn Plaza building from Savanna and the Feil OrganizationCommercial Observer has learned.

While representatives for both sides of the deal declined to state the purchase price of the renovated Class B building that sits one block west of Penn Station, the owners placed the property on the market this summer with an asking price of about $250 million, Crain’s New York Business reported. Savanna and Feil inked 225,000 square feet of leases and implemented $5 million in building upgrades to deliver the property to TIAA-CREF with 98 percent occupancy, said Robert Knakal of Massey Knakal Realty Services. Read More

Lease Beat

British Tech Firm Signs Lease in Midtown East

685 Third Avenue

Cloud-based business software provider NewVoice Media will transition in the first quarter of 2015 into a permanent New York City office that’s three times the Hampshire, England-based company’s temporary space, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company signed a five-year, 6,487-square-foot lease to move to the 16th floor of TIAA-CREF’s 685 Third Avenue between East 43rd and East 44th Streets from an approximately 2,000-square-foot interim space, officials with Avison Young said. Read More

Lease Beat

Nonprofit Expands in Midtown East Relocation

685 Third Avenue

The Foundation for the Global Compact, a nonprofit United Nations partner organization, will more than double its office footprint by moving less than a block west from its current digs in the first quarter of 2015. The nonprofit signed a 15-year, 27,235-square-foot lease on the entire 12th floor at TIAA-CREF’s 685 Third Avenue, Savills Studley announced Wednesday.

The organization, which raises awareness about the UN Global Compact and works to create partnerships with businesses and governments, will depart a 9,800-square-foot space nearby and consolidate from space it currently uses at the UN headquarters. Asking rents were $60 per square foot, Savills Studley officials said. Read More

Mortgage Observer

HFF Secures $175M Refi from TIAA-CREF

Lion Industrial Trust Property, Flower Mound, TX.

A $175 million fixed rate loan was secured by HFF on behalf of Lion Industrial Trust, a fund managed by Clarion PartnersMortgage Observer has learned. The loan term is 10 years, according to HFF Senior Managing Director John Rose, who led the team representing the borrower.

The fund will use the loan, provided by retirement fund TIAA-CREF, to refinance a 4.99 million-square-foot industrial property portfolio, which is just over 94 percent leased, the statement said.  Read More

Lease Beat

Navigant Moving to TIAA-CREF’s 685 Third Avenue

685 Third Avenue. (CoStar)

Global professional services firm Navigant has signed a 10-year, 72,060-square-foot lease at TIAA-CREF’s 685 Third Avenue.

The tenant currently occupies 52,000 square feet at 90 Park Avenue on a sublease deal, according to The New York Post, which first reported the lease. Navigant also occupies a single floor at 119 West 40th Street, which the company picked up with its acquisition of Easton Associates in 2012. Read More

Lease Beat

Three Tenants Snap Up Full-Floor Leases at 475 Fifth Avenue [Updated]

475 Fifth Avenue

Three tenants have nabbed full floors totaling 28,190 square feet at 475 Fifth Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets.

Torchlight Investors, an investment management firm has signed a deal for 16,029 square feet on the entire 10th floor of the building. Square 1 Bank signed for 7,842 square feet, spanning the entire 18th floor, and Daikin, a global air conditioning and refrigeration provider, has signed for 4,319 square feet over the entire 21st floor. All of the lease are for 10 years, according to JLL, which represented the building in the deals. Read More

Assignments

TIAA-CREF Taps JLL to Lease, Manage 685 Third Ave.

685 Third Avenue. (CoStar)

Asset manager TIAA-CREF has hired JLL as the exclusive office leasing agent and property manager at 685 Third Avenue. The real estate services firm replaces CBRE as the building’s leasing agent.

“The market is moving in the landlord’s favor and they want to accelerate leasing velocity,” Matt Astrachan, a vice chairman at JLL and a member of the leasing team, told Commercial Observer. “It’s a great asset that just needed to be better understood by the market and so far we’ve been successful.” Read More

Mortgage Observer

MBA Report Shows Increased Lending Across All Property Types in 2013

Money_Cash

Commercial mortgage origination exceeded expectations in 2013, with $358 billion in loans on commercial and multifamily properties closed, according to the annual origination summation report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The report, unveiled earlier this week, showed banks invested $100.5 billion last year–28 percent of the annual volume–while CMBS, CDO and ABS issuers invested $79.8 million, which accounted for 22 percent of the overall volume amount. Life insurance companies and pension funds did $60.2 billion in deals—17 percent of the year’s total. Read More