TPG Lends $123M for Gaia Real Estate’s 416 West 52nd Street Purchase


The middle-market condominium investment firm Gaia Real Estate landed a $122.8 million acquisition loan from TPG Real Estate Finance Trust to help fund its purchase of a vacant seven-story residential property at 416 West 52nd Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

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Meridian Capital Group arranged the three-year, floating-rate loan, which comes with two 12-month extension options, according to the mortgage brokerage firm. Meridian Senior Managing Director Ronnie Levine and Managing Director Jeff Berkes negotiated the debt deal.

Gaia acquired the former St. Vincent’s Midtown Hospital, located between Ninth and 10th Avenues in Hell’s Kitchen, from the Chetrit Group on Aug. 20 for $156.5 million, city records show. Chetrit had converted the more than 70-year-old hospital into 156 apartment units in 2014. The 141,350 square feet of residential space remains unoccupied.

Gaia, which is headquartered in Manhattan and Houston, plans to further upgrade the building and convert the empty apartments to condos within the less than $1 million to $2.5 million range, The Wall Street Journal recently reported.

Meridian previously arranged acquisition and renovation financing for the property from Natixis Real Estate Capital on behalf of Chetrit.

“Having this unique perspective allowed us to quickly highlight the merits of the transaction to lenders and structure favorable terms based on the strength of Gaia’s business plan,” Mr. Levine said.

TPG Capital, one of the largest private equity investment firms in the world, recently hired Ladder Capital’s former chief investment officer, Greta Guggenheim, to lead its newly formed debt origination and acquisition platform. Ms. Guggenheim will assume her new role in the firm’s New York office in January 2016.

TPG launched its real estate finance arm in January 2015 when it acquired $2.5 billion in high-yield real estate debt from Deutsche Bank.

“We received numerous bids to finance the acquisition and the outcome was very positive on all accounts,” said Gaia Managing Partner Danny Fishman in prepared remarks emailed to CO.