CIT Lends $35M to William Macklowe to Build UES Medical Office Facility

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CIT Bank has provided $35 million to the William Macklowe Company to start construction on a planned medical office property at 323 East 61st Street in Lenox Hill, according to records filed with the New York City Department of Finance.

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The financing included a $31.4 million building loan and a $3.6 million project loan, records show.

The planned project will stand six-stories-tall and comprise roughly 60,000 square feet, according to permits filed in July with the Department of Buildings. In August the developer obtained permits to begin demolition of the existing four-story property at the location, which was erected in 1910.  

In May 2018, LaSalle Investment Management announced that it had entered into a joint venture with the William Macklowe Company (WMC) to develop a 75,000-square-foot medical office facility at the site, with WMC tapped as the venture’s operating partner and developer. LaSalle engaged in the venture through its U.S. core open-end real estate fund called LaSalle Property Fund (LPF). Daniel Goldner Architects designed the project.

At the time of the May announcement, Billy Macklowe, CEO of WMC said in a prepared statement: “323 East 61st Street provides New York City’s world-renowned healthcare institutions the opportunity to expand their footprint with a brand-new state-of-the art facility located right in the epicentre of this campus community. Our prior experience in this submarket allowed us to capitalize on this opportunity.”

The current property at the site is a Our Lady of Perpetual Help rectory, which housed the Redemptorist Fathers of New York. In May, WMC secured a 99-year ground lease with the Redemptorist Fathers as the landlord of the property, records show.

“This property fits well with LaSalle’s strategic focus on medical office acquisitions, offering long-term stability in a thriving location,” Richard Reese, a managing director of acquisitions at LaSalle, said in prepared remarks at the time of the May announcement. “The Upper East Side of Manhattan is a densely populated area with a robust pool of demand drivers. In addition, the medical facilities in the area are also able to boost demand well beyond the immediate neighborhood, creating the need for additional supply.”

The property is located a few blocks away from several Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center outposts as well as the New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center; the property also neighbors Weill Cornell’s medical diagnostics imaging center.

Officials at WMC could not be reached. Officials at CIT were not immediately available for comment on the deal.