New Yorker Hotel’s $106M Note Sells to Yellowstone Real Estate Investments 

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It’s a national park and also a hit television series starring Kevin Costner, but a different Yellowstone is now the owner of the New Yorker Hotel’s $106 million loan. 

Yellowstone Real Estate Investments — a private equity firm focused on opportunistic and value-add real estate transactions across the U.S. — purchased the debt this week, Commercial Observer has learned. 

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The exact purchase price couldn’t be ascertained, but sources said the performing loan traded at “close to par.” 

Commercial Observer first reported that Newmark was marketing the Manhattan hotel’s debt on behalf of M&T Bank in mid-July, with final bids due Aug.10. Newmark’s Adam Spies, Steven Schultz, Adam Etra, Adam Doneger and Doug Harmon led the sale, sources said. 

The senior mortgage has a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 43 percent and is secured by the 1.1 million-square-foot building at 481 Eighth Avenue, which features 1,000 hotel keys, 140,000 square feet of student housing, 110,000 square feet of office space and 16,000 square feet of multilevel retail space. 

M&T decided to part with the debt partly because of the regulatory capital treatment associated with hotel loans, one source told CO at the time, adding that they expected a successful sale due to the loan’s low LTV and the hotel’s fame, with the loan sale being marketed as a “generational repositioning opportunity” in July. 

Now a Wyndham-branded hotel, the asset was built in 1930, its iconic “New Yorker” sign becoming a recognizable feature in the New York City skyline in countless photos and movies over the years. 

Today it sits in a prime position close to Madison Square Garden, the Penn District, Hudson Yards and Manhattan West. 

The Unification Church bought the hotel in 1976 for $5 million. In 2013, the church started a $30 million renovation of the hotel, and in 2014 it was rebranded under the Wyndham banner.

 M&T, Yellowstone and Newmark didn’t respond to requests for comment. 

Cathy Cunningham can be reached at ccunningham@commercialobserver.com