Real Estate Weekly
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Debt & Equity

$725M loan to build one of the world’s tallest apartment towers

The partners behind the newest Billionaires Row super-tower locked down $725 million in construction financing last week.

The financing for 111 West 57th Street was obtained in two parts — a first mortgage construction loan with AIG Asset Management (AIG) and a mezzanine loan with Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc. (ARI).

Both loans have a four year term with a one year extension option.

Simultaneously with the closing of the AIG and the Apollo financing, the developers repaid $230 million in full satisfaction of all outstanding liabilities and obligations to Annaly CRE, LLC under a mortgage and acquisition loan agreement.

In a press release, Partners LLC said it intends to use the remaining loan proceeds for construction and related costs, loan interest escrow and other related project expenses.

ARI closed a $325 million mezzanine loan for the construction of the condo. ARI funded $41 million and a fund managed by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, LLC (Apollo) acquired a $50 million participation in the mezzanine loan.

Over the next several months, ARI said it will seek to syndicate additional participations in the loan in order to reduce its exposure

The tower by Michael Stern’s JDS Development and Kevin Moloney’s Property Markets Group will consist of 253,000 s/f of residential condominium space and 52,500 s/f of retail space. The tower is expected to rise to 1,400 feet in height, making it one of the tallest residential towers in the world.

Kasowitz’s transactional real estate practice group represented JDS and Property Markets Group in closing the loan for the 90-story tower at the former Steinway site,.

“Opportunities like this are why we choose to become real estate lawyers — a skyline altering project that the Kasowitz team worked on at every stage of development hand-in-hand with the client, not just as lawyers executing a deal, but also as advisors working with the client throughout the past two years to help steer the project to this very successful moment,” said Douglas Heitner, who led the Kasowitz team.

Heitner’s team included Sara Saylor and Tyler Vinal, with assistance from Bessie Takatsu. They acted as lead counsel to the owners since January 2013, when the site was acquired.

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