KREF Bankrolls $204M Financing of Big UWS Resi Acquisition

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Following a slew of large out-of-town loans in recent months, Big Apple-based KKR Real Estate Finance (KREF) turned its attention back to the home front in December with a $204 million loan to finance Centurion Property Investors‘ purchase of an Upper West Side apartment building, according to property records.

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The deal, which closed on December 20, supported Centurion’s acquisition of 200 West 72nd Street, a large-scale rental tower known as The Corner, previously owned by teachers’ pension fund TIAA. The KREF debt refinances $158.9 million in previous debt, which was assigned to the lender from Citibank, and adds a $53.9 million gap mortgage, a $27.4 million building loan and an $18 million project loan. That tally represents 90 percent leverage against the $227.2 million that Centurion laid out in the acquisition.

A spokeswoman for KREF did not respond right away, and no one answered a call to Centurion’s phone line.

The Gotham Organization developed the 196-unit property, designed by Handel Architects, in the late 2000s before its 2010 opening. TIAA took it over six years ago with a $209 million price tag, and its sale to Centurion late last month represents an 8 percent markup. Andres Escobar did the interior design.

Throughout the autumn a steady stream of renters signed leases in the building, which spans the west side of Broadway from West 71st Street to West 72nd. A third-story studio went for $3,693 per month in November, , according to data from CityRealty, and someone agreed to rent a one-bedroom unit on the 17th floor for $7,618 last month.

Renters at the 251,000-square-foot structure get access to a fitness center, a rooftop garden and a full-time doorman.

The deal represents a return for KREF to its home turf after a set of big loans in other markets late in 2018. In November it financed a pair of Florida multifamily projects with $285 million in debt, and in October the debt platform lent $265 million to back a pair of Seattle office buildings.