Sutton and GGP Land $1.25B Loan from Four Banking Giants for Crown Purchase


Billionaire New York developer Jeff Sutton and Chicago-based General Growth Properties closed on their $1.78 billion acquisition of the Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue with a $1.25 billion mortgage provided by Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley‎, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, Commercial Observer has learned.

The loan closed last Friday. Oxford Finance and another, unnamed, mezzanine lender grabbed junior portions of the enormous debt deal, a source with intimate knowledge of the transaction said.

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The Crown Building.
The Crown Building.

A Citi spokesman declined to comment. Representatives for the other lenders did not return requests for comment by publication time.

The sponsors bought the 390,000-square-foot, 26-story office tower from Spitzer Enterprises, led by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, and New York-based Winter Properties.

Mr. Sutton and his joint venture partners additionally completed a $500 million deal last week to put an Aman Resorts hotel on the building’s fourth through 24th floors, Commercial Observer has also learned. The hotel portion of the property will be sold off as a condominium, according to the person in the know.

The Crown Building, which contains roughly 100,000 square feet of retail space, is located on the corner of West 57th Street, where Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany anchor the other three corners of the intersection. Luxury retail tenants in the newly purchased asset include Piaget, Bulgari and Mikimoto.

The Warren and Wetmore-designed property was completed in 1921.

At about $4,490 per square foot, the per-square-foot-price paid by Mr. Sutton of Wharton Properties and GGP is a world record for an entire office building, while the surrounding neighborhood is considered the world’s most expensive retail district, as Bloomberg News previously reported.

Mr. Sutton and a spokeswoman for GGP declined to comment.

—Additional reporting by Max Gross