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Debt & Equity

Ceruzzi scores $272M loan for Lipstick Building ground lease purchase

Ceruzzi Holdings has arranged $272 million in financing with Zurich-based Credit Suisse AG to refinance the purchase of the ground lease for the Lipstick Building at 885 Third Avenue.

This adds to the $290 million the company already secured with Children’s Investment Fund for the luxury, mixed-use development at 151 East 86th Street a week ago.

Ceruzzi purchased the ground lease for the Lipstick Building in February 2016, subject to an above-market interest rate loan, which opened for pre-payment at the end of this week.

The new financing for the property is a four-year fixed-interest-rate loan at 3.35 percent from Credit Suisse through its U.S. subsidiary, Column Financial, Inc.  Loan proceeds will be used to retire the existing loan and cover closing costs.

Ceruzzi is the managing partner of a group that includes SMI USA and BVS Acquisitions. The entities are also teaming up on 138 East 50th Street, as well as 520 Fifth Avenue.

Th Lipstick financing was arranged by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, as was the original sale of the land to Ceruzzi.

HFF’s debt placement team was led by managing director Christopher Peck and senior managing director David Nackoul.

“This transaction is further evidence as to the strength of the debt capital markets when financing trophy-quality real estate for trophy-caliber borrowers,” Peck said.

“Not only was pricing incredibly strong, but Credit Suisse’s process was exceptional, closing a complex transaction within a very tight timeframe.”

The Lipstick Building is a 34-floor office property located between 53rd and 54th Street. Its unique aesthetic is amongst one of the most recognizable buildings of postmodern architecture, and has solidified it as one of New York City’s most iconic office locations.

It was designed by Philip Johnson, who is responsible for notable projects around the country including The Seagram Building, 550 Madison Avenue (formerly known as the AT&T Building and the Sony Building), The Williams Tower in Houston, Texas, the Center for the Fine Arts (now the Miami Art Museum) in Miami, and PPG Place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The building is also notable for housing Bernie Madoff’s notorious Ponzi scheme on the 17th floor.

SMI USA is the US subsidiary of Shanghai Municipal Investment, a real estate development, investment and management firm based in New York.

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