Struggling Yeshiva University Refinances Manhattan Properties in Turnaround Effort

2520 Amsterdam Avenue.

The New York-based private Orthodox Jewish institution Yeshiva University received proceeds from the sale of $175 million in taxable bonds serviced by Kansas City, Mo.-based UMB Bank to refinance five educational buildings the university owns in Manhattan, public records show.

The 10-year debt, which closed in late August, replaced previous short-term loans that were coming due this fiscal year and “raised additional liquidity and runway to support university initiatives in the coming years,” a spokesperson for the university told Mortgage Observer. The bonds replace previous debt from Bank of America totaling $60 million. Read More

Sales Beat

Carlyle Doubles its Money with $117.8M Flatiron Sale

912-920 Broadway.

The Carlyle Group and ClearRock Properties have sold an office building at 912-920 Broadway for $117.8 million, a building they purchased last year from Yeshiva University for $58.5 million.

On Feb. 27 of last year, Carlyle, a global alternative asset manager, issued a press release that the firm, and ClearRock, a northeast regional owner and operator, would invest more than $10 million to upgrade their 17-story, 110,000-square-foot 21st Street building. Today Carlyle declined to comment on how much it had actually spent on the renovations. Read More

On the Market

Yeshiva University Sell-Off Continues with Washington Heights Properties


Yeshiva University is reportedly selling 10 apartment buildings in Washington Heights near its Wilf Campus as the debt-ridden school continues its struggle to stay afloat.   

The school’s president, Richard Joel, said that the sale of the buildings, clustered around Amsterdam Avenue and West 185th Street, including 501 West 184th Street, would provide “an infusion of cash that will be used to strengthen our financial position,” in a statement. Read More

Sales Beat

Ashkenazy Investments Pays $6 M. for Yeshiva Retail Property


Yeshiva University has sold off the final lot of a building portfolio that it received as a gift then aggressively marketed, pulling in $2 million more than the original asking price and demonstrating the heavy demand for retail in the Lower East Side.

The Commercial Observer has learned that Ben Ashkenazy of Ashkenazy Investments paid $6 million for the corner retail building at 156-164 Delancey Street, on the northwest corner of Delancey Street and Clinton Street, which was originally on the market by for $3.95 million.

The building currently consists of six commercial units, five of which are occupied with leases that expire between 2016 and 2021, and it was marketed based on its redevelopment potential.

“Retail properties like this are in extraordinarily high demand today,” said Massey Knakal Chairman Bob Knakal, who exclusively handled the transaction with Michael DeCheser. Read More

Sales Beat

Yeshiva University Flips Two Buildings in Latest Sell-off

Yeshiva's main campus:  500 W 185th St

Yeshiva University’s selling spree continues with the announcement that ClearRock Properties and Juster Properties have purchased two of the school’s Midtown Manhattan office properties for $29 million and plan to redevelop them.

One is a 93,700-square-foot, 12-story block-through office building at 9 East 38th Street; and the other is a 7,400-square-foot commercial townhouse at 14 East 39th Street with 22,200 square feet of air rights.

ClearRock announced that it has launched a $10 milion capital improvement program to reposition the properties with the help of architectural firm Spector Group, which will create new lobbies and upgrade façade, storefront, elevators, tenant corridors, restrooms and windows.  A “high-end pre-built program” will be implemented and a roof deck is also being considered.

“The redevelopment will add substantial value to the property, and give companies wanting to be near Grand Central a polished, boutique option at reasonable pricing,” said ClearRock Properties Managing Principal Steve Grant, in a statement. Read More

Sales Beat

DivcoWest, Brickman Partnership Acquires Midtown South Properties


A partnership between San Francisco-based DivcoWest and Brickman Associates has purchased a group of office buildings in Midtown South at 24-28 West 25th Street and 40 West 25th Street, it was announced today. The closing price on the portfolio was approximately $115 million.

DivcoWest is entering the New York market for the first time, James Murphy, executive managing director at Colliers, who represented the seller, Yeshiva University, told The Commercial Observer. The firm focuses on assets and markets with a high concentration of technology tenants.

“With the growth of the tech industry, it is the right time to enter the market,” Mr. Murphy said. Read More

Sales Beat

Massey Knakal Arranges $87.5 M. Sale On Behalf of Yeshiva University

Entryway at 920 Broadway

Massey Knakal has sold a portfolio of three office buildings on behalf of Yeshiva University for $87.5 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The 16-story, pre-war office building at 920 Broadway – in Midtown South’s Flatiron District – has roughly 110,000 rentable square feet and accounted for $58.5 million of the transaction.  It features 96 feet of footage on Broadway and 74 feet along East 21st Street and the corner building is zoned for office and residential development.

The 12-story block-through office building at 9 East 38th Street in the heart of Midtown has about 94,000 rentable square feet, with 47.5 feet of frontage along East 38th Street and 50 feet of frontage on East 39th Street.  A three story, 25-foot-wide adjunct building provides half of the frontage along 39th Street, with the two buildings netting the remaining $29 million of the transaction. Read More

Sales Beat

Yeshiva University Lecture Hall Yields $15.5M Despite MTA Caveat

237-241 East 34th Street

A former Yeshiva University lecture hall at 237-241 East 34th Street in Murray Hill has sold for $15.5 million, city records show.

A caveat in the potential for development at the site didn’t stop a series of potential buyers from lining up for a competitive bid to buy the property, said Massey Knakal’s John Ciraulo, who handled the sale along with Michael Azarian and Kobi Leifer.

Three developers courted the university, but a New York City-based firm with a long track record of building dormitory space ultimately prevailed, with plans to do the same at the Yeshiva site. Read More