Mortgage Observer

Mortgage Observer

Morgan Stanley Refis Midtown Office Building

33 West 46th Street

Morgan Stanley provided a $19.5 million loan to refinance 33 West 46th Street, a Midtown Manhattan office building, according to CBRE, the broker on the deal.

The 38,259-square-foot, 1915 loft office building in Manhattan was sold to an LLC associated with the government of Argentina in 2009 for $11 million, according to city records and a source with knowledge of that deal. CBRE declined to comment on the ownership.  Read More

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

Mortgage Observer

$821M in 2005 Loans on Houston Galleria Mall Prepaid

The Galleria in Houston, Texas.

The Galleria, a 2.3 million-square-foot mall that is Houston, Texas’ most visited attraction, has prepaid $821 million in debt at the start of an open prepayment period, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

The CMBS loan that constituted a hefty portion of the debt—$290 million—was conservatively underwritten, with a 47.5 percent loan-to-value ratio and debt service coverage ratio of nearly 2.73, according to data from Trepp.

Indeed, in January, the CMBS data service had warned that “if this loan can’t refinance, the entire CMBS market will be licking its wounds in 2015,” as the “Wall of Maturities,” approached. Read More

Mortgage Observer

So They Say: Sheldon Silver

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

Democrats of the New York State Assembly found themselves electing a new speaker last month, following the resignation of the legendary Sheldon Silver. Mr. Silver, 71, is now facing federal corruption charges—a dark ending to his 21-year term as one of New York State’s most powerful politicians.

The charges sparked a wildfire of further investigation as prosecutors search for more people involved in the criminal behavior, which included allegedly trading favors for cash and referrals.

Mortgage Observer takes a look back at quotes from the speaker’s lengthy time in office. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Old New York: The Starrett-Lehigh Building

Starrett-Lehigh Building (Library of Congress)

A look at the history of the Starrett-Lehigh building, which traded last month in a massive sale from RXR Realty to Blackstone Group. The dazzling structure, first built to accommodate rail deliveries, has transformed throughout the years as it went from offering rents from $1 per square foot per year to trading for nearly $100 million. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Capital One Finances 731 Market Street Buy

731 Market Street.

Capital One Bank closed a $32.5 million loan to a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Jamestown Properties for the purchase of a six-story office building in San Francisco’s South of Market district, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

Jamestown, a national real estate investment and management company with $7.7 billion of assets under management, bought the building at 731 Market Street from Connecticut-based Harvest Properties and Atlanta-based Invesco Real Estate, as previously reported. The asset was acquired for $65 million in mid-January. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Reneging on Retail: Traditional Shopping Centers’ Future Looks Bleak

Last year, Mortgage Observer and others reported that lenders and investors had turned their eye to a new belle of the ball: retail. As the multifamily sector became overly competitive, many looked to the next most stable asset class and in their minds retail was that.

But that was before the bankruptcies of major retailers, such as RadioShack, that anchor a certain strata of shopping center. Following financial troubles for both J.C. Penney and Sears, malls across the nation have been met with foreboding appraisal reductions. Two major shopping centers— Indian River Mall & Commons, in Vero Beach, Fla., and Village at Main Street Shopping Center, near Portland, Ore.—fell into special servicing this week alone, according to data from Trepp. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Sapir Taps Column Financial for Mondrian Soho Purchase

Mondrian Soho Hotel.

A group of investors led by Alex Sapir of the Sapir Organization took a $180 million CMBS loan from Column Financial to acquire the 263-room Mondrian Soho hotel at 9 Crosby Street in Lower Manhattan, public records show.

The billionaire real estate mogul and his partners purchased the financially troubled five-star hotel from Deutsche Bank at a foreclosure auction in January, as previously reported. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Historic Florida Hotel Gets Construction Loan for Redevelopment

Park Central Hotel.

Chicago-based BB&T Real Estate Funding provided a $40 million construction loan for the redevelopment of a 1939 Miami Beach hotel in a deal brokered by HFF, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

The three-year, senior loan, which was provided to a subsidiary of Daphne, Ala.-based Optimum Asset Management, will be used to take three existing Art Deco buildings—the historic Park Central Hotel, the Imperial Hotel and Heathcoat Apartments—along with a 0.15-acre development site and convert them into a modern hotel property. The completed structure will be known as the new Park Central Hotel. Read More

Mortgage Observer

A.M. Property Refinances 75 Maiden Lane

75 Maiden Lane.

New York Community Bank lent $46.5 million to Jeffrey Wasserman of A.M. Property Holding Corp. to refinance a 12-story office building at 75 Maiden Lane in Manhattan’s Financial District, according to records filed with the city.

The seven-year debt, which comes with a five-year extension option, replaces a $31 million CMBS deal that Column Financial provided in November 2005, according to an NYCB spokesperson. The preexisting loan was due to mature at the beginning of 2016, documents show. Read More

Mortgage Observer

What the Wall of Maturities Means


With an anticipated $350 billion in real estate loans set to mature each year for the next three years, the so-called Wall of Maturities has finally arrived.

Panelists at CREFC’s High Yield and Distressed Realty Assets Summit, held this week in New York, were mostly celebratory about the impending flood of maturities, which they say will create opportunities for the right (i.e. smart) lenders.  Read More