Wells Fargo Leading $973M Construction Loan for St. John’s Terminal

Wells Fargo is leading the construction loan for Oxford Properties and CPPIB's St. John's Terminal, which boasts Google as its sole tenant.

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The redevelopment of St. John’s Terminal is officially one step closer to fruition. 

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Wells Fargo has been selected to lead the $973 million construction loan for Oxford Properties Group and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board’s (CPPIB) mega-project, lender sources familiar with the transaction told Commercial Observer, with a number of other banks coming into the deal as syndicate participants.

CO first reported last month that Oxford and CPPIB were in the market for a roughly $975 million loan, which works out at roughly 55 percent loan-to-cost.

As CO reported, CBRE’s James Millon, Tom Traynor and P.J. Finley are running the debt assignment and arranging the syndicate. CBRE officials declined to comment.

At the time, sources indicated the competitive nature of the lending opportunity, telling CO that “every major bank is fighting to get a piece” of the high-profile deal. Sources speculated that a bank syndicate would take the loan down, given the sheer size of it. 

The highly sought-after mandate isn’t surprising; St. John’s Terminal is one of New York City’s most buzzed-about redevelopments and the 1.3-million-square-foot project boasts Google as its sole tenant.  As one lender source said last month: “If you can compete on this deal, you’ll compete.” 

In late 2018, the internet powerhouse selected St. John’s Terminal —at 550 Washington Street—as part of its plans to invest $1 billion in its Google Hudson Square campus. The campus also includes 315 Hudson Street and 345 Hudson Street., which are owned by Jack Resnick & Sons and a joint venture led by Trinity Real Estate, respectively. Google expects to move into the Hudson Street properties this year and into St. John’s Terminal in 2022.

The Canadian developers reimagined the former High Line freight terminal, which sits between Houston and West Streets next to Hudson River Park’s Pier 40. At one point, Oxford and CPPIB considered demolishing the property in lieu of a tall, narrow new structure, but decided to center the design around the existing shorter, wider building with large floor plates instead.  

“We felt a tremendous responsibility to reimagine St. John’s Terminal in an authentic yet modern way,” Dean Shapiro, the head of U.S. Developments at Oxford Properties, told CO in a 2018 interview. “St. John’s Terminal has a long history as a hub of innovation and productivity. Its unique form allows us to create workspaces that reduce the friction of expansion and change over time, so tenants can focus on productivity.”

Officials at Oxford Properties and Wells Fargo declined to comment.