Silverstein Nabs 116 John Street Residential Tower for $250M

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Silverstein Properties has picked up the residential tower at 116 John Street for $247.5 million from an affiliate of Metro Loft Management, Silverstein announced Wednesday.

The 35-story Financial District building, between Gold and Pearl streets, has 416 apartments with the second to 14th floors leased to short-term rental provider Sonder, according to Silverstein. While Silverstein’s portfolio consists of 2,280 residential units, the landlord built those properties itself and said this was its first residential acquisition in the city.

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“I am thrilled to add this outstanding property to our portfolio,” Larry Silverstein, the chairman of Silverstein Properties, said in a statement. “Downtown is our home, and I am proud to have been part of this neighborhood’s incredible transformation and renewal over the past 20 years. We are excited to provide the residents of 116 John Street with exceptional services and look forward to building an inspiring community in the building.”

Silverstein plans to start a capital improvement project at the property to renovate the apartments and upgrade the common areas. It will also brand the building under its new hospitality platform, Inspire, giving residents amenities and social and wellness programs.

As part of the deal, $170 million in in-place debt on the property was assumed, comprised of a $130 million senior loan from AIG and a $40 million mezzanine loan from Brookfield, according to Silverstein.

The Art Deco 116 John was built in 1931 as an office property until Nathan Berman’s Metro Loft, known for its office-to-residential conversions in the neighborhood, picked it up from Hacienda Intercontinental Realty for $25 million in 2011, according to property records.

Metro Loft converted the 266,000-square-foot building to residential in 2012 with a mix of studio to two-bedroom apartments with 11-foot ceilings, according to its website. Amenities include a fitness center, roof deck and tenant lounge.

Gary Phillips and Will Silverman from Eastdil Secured originally put the property on the market in 2020 and the off-market deal was brokered by Platinum PropertiesKhashy Eyn and Lenny Sporn of the Sporn Group.

Eyn and representatives from Metro Loft did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Sporn and Eastdil declined to comment.

With additional reporting by Celia Young.

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.