Mortgage Observer

Debt Pioneers: Starwood Property Trust’s Brain Trust

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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