Mortgage Observer

Wells Fargo Names Horatio Jones Head of Multifamily in South Florida

Jones Horatio.

Wells Fargo has appointed Horatio Jones, one of its commercial real estate loan originators, to lead the bank’s South Florida office for multifamily GSE lending, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

Mr. Jones, who is based in Fort Lauderdale, brings more than seven years of commercial real estate lending experience to the new position, according to a Wells Fargo spokesperson. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Silverstein Properties Refinances River Place With $230M Wells Fargo Loan

River Place.

Wells Fargo provided a $230 million Fannie Mae loan to Silverstein Properties to refinance its River Place rental tower at 650 West 42nd Street on the corner of 12th Avenue, the borrower confirmed to Mortgage Observer.

The seven-year interest-only loan carries a rate below 3.5 percent and replaces existing securitized debt on the property that is nearing maturity, Silverstein Properties Chief Executive Officer Marty Burger said. Ackman-Ziff served as a broker on the transaction. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Willis Tower Now in Special Servicing: Fitch

Willis Tower (tallest)

Chicago’s Willis Tower was transferred to special servicing this week due to “imminent monetary default,” according to Fitch Ratings, which tracks the senior CMBS debt on the building’s loan. The 110-story tower was, until last year, the tallest in America. One World Trade Center was ruled tallest in November.

The borrowers, a group that includes a number of prominent New York owners and developers led by Joseph Chetrit’s Chetrit Group, owe almost $500 million in senior CMBS debt and about $774 million total, according to data from Fitch. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Retail Lending Gets Easier—Thanks in No Small Part to CMBS

Retail lending is on the rise

It’s loan shopping season for shopping center owners. Retail landlords around the country are increasingly turning to commercial mortgage-backed securities to finance properties in secondary markets as an alternative to traditional loans, industry sources told Mortgage Observer.


While banks and insurance companies that provide traditional commercial real estate financing are targeting primary markets like New York and San Francisco, focusing on prime properties and the strong multifamily sector, investors who are hungry for returns are willing to dig into CMBS deals on less desirable properties with less prestigious retail tenants and higher leverage, sources said. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Citigroup and Others to Lend $1.45B to SL Green, as REIT Raises Cash for New Deals

388 Greenwich Street

The financial musical chairs at Citigroup’s Tribeca offices continue. The multinational financial services firm signed a contract in December to occupy and possibly buy two buildings, 388 and 390 Greenwich Street, which it already occupies. Now, the bank is also lending a whopping $1.45 billion to the current landlord, SL Green Realty, according to a report from Bloomberg News today.

That loan–which reportedly includes bundled funds from Barclays Plc, Wells Fargo and Bank of China—will be packaged into bonds set to hit the market next month. Read More

On the Market

Socony-Mobil Building on the Market

Socony-Mobil Building. (Credit: PropertyShark)

The Sacony-Mobil Building, a 1.7 million-square-foot office tower at 150 East 42nd Street is on the market, according to Bloomberg News. The building’s owner, Hiro Real Estate, a Japanese investment firm, is asking $900 million for the long-term leasehold.

The building is 90 percent occupied and has two major tenants, Wells Fargo and Mount Sinai Hospital, which each occupy approximately 500,000 square feet. The 42-story tower is located less than a block from Grand Central Terminal. Read More

Lease Beat

Western Union Signs Direct Deal for its Space at 199 Water

199 Water Street

Western Union, which currently leases a 29th floor space at 199 Water Street as a subtenant of Wells Fargo, will now lease it directly from landlord Jack Resnick & Sons, Commercial Observer has learned. 

The worldwide global payment services company’s new 10-year direct lease of 20,689 square feet in the 1.1 million-square-foot lower Manhattan building will start on Jan. 1. Asking rents were in the high $40s per square foot. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Rockrose Receives Morgan Stanley Loan for LIC Residential Tower

Linc LIC

New York brokerage firm The Singer & Bassuk Organization has negotiated a $240 million loan on behalf of luxury real estate owner Rockrose Development Corp. to refinance its 42-story rental tower Linc LIC‎ in Long Island City, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

Morgan Stanley provided the 10-year loan, which closed on Friday, March 6, Andrew Singer, Singer & Bassuk’s chairman and chief executive officer, said, noting that the loan could be securitized in the future. The permanent mortgage replaces a 5-year $155 million construction loan from October 2011 provided by a syndicate of lenders led by Wells Fargo. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Finance 229 West 28th Street Acquisition

229 West 28th Street

An entity owned by the private investment, development and management company Lexin Capital has received $55 million in financing from Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. for its acquisition of a 12-story office building at 229 West 28th Street in Chelsea, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

Wells Fargo provided a $38 million senior loan, which carries a term of three years with two one-year extension options, the San Francisco-based financial company said. The interest rate on the senior loan is about 1.5 percent over Libor. Read More

Mortgage Observer

J.P. Morgan’s Priscilla Almodovar Takes Banking on Community to New Heights

Priscilla Almodovar, Head of Community Development Banking at J.P. Morgan Chase (Photo by Michael Nagle)

A first-generation American daughter of Puerto Rican parents, Priscilla Almodovar has a corner office with jaw-dropping views on the 45th floor of a Manhattan skyscraper—home to one of the most powerful banks in the world. The native of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is working tirelessly to deploy J.P. Morgan Chase’s colossal balance sheet in the section of the real estate world she’s most passionate about: the less-than-glamorous but increasingly important affordable housing industry.

“I am exhibit A for the American dream,” Ms. Almodovar told Mortgage Observer during an interview at her office in January.

Read More