J.P. Morgan and Fisher Brothers Lend $150M for 520 Fifth Avenue Condo Project


Ceruzzi Holdings and its partner Shanghai Municipal Investment USA landed $150 million in acquisition and pre-development financing for a mixed-use condominium tower at 520 Fifth Avenue, in a deal negotiated by HFF.

The 12-month senior loan, led by J.P. Morgan Chase, and mezzanine financing, provided by the family-run New York real estate firm Fisher Brothers, allows for the upcoming development of a residential condo, and potential hotel, property with more than 33,000 square feet of Fifth Avenue retail, according to a press release from the broker.

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HFF Senior Managing Director David Nackoul and Associate Director Christopher Peck led the negotiations on the financing. The precise breakdown of senior to mezzanine debt was not disclosed at the time of publication.

Ceruzzi and SMI USA purchased the 300,000-square-foot site, located at the corner of West 43rd Street and Fifth Avenue, from Joseph Sitt’s Thor Equities for $325 million, as Commercial Observer previously reported. Thor had purchased the property for $150 million in 2011.

Ceruzzi Principal Louis Ceruzzi told The Real Deal that plans for the property include three levels of retail at the base topped off by 180,000 square feet of luxury condos with a total projected sellout of $1 billion or more. The completed property will also likely contain a hotel with 150 to 180 rooms, he said.

“Given my long history and relationship with J.P. Morgan and 520 Fifth Avenue’s unrivaled development potential, we are delighted to have found a pre-development financing solution that allows us to set in motion a development project that will positively change the landscape of Fifth Avenue for generations,” Mr. Ceruzzi said in prepared remarks in the release from HFF.