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Koreans make $350M loan on luxury Centrale condo

Seoul-based conglomerate Meritz has made its first foray in the the New York City apartment market with a $350 million loan on Ceruzzi Property’s luuxury condo The Centrale.

The 124-unit luxury condominium tower at 138 East 50th Street in the Midtown East opened last fall and has closed on 21 units at an average price of nearly $4 million each. Nine are currenlty in contract and there are 22 “active sales,” according to StreetEasy.

Douglas Elliman is the exclusive sales agent for the property

The new loan pays off a previous $300 million construction loan Madison Realty Capital provided to Ceruzzi in 2017.

“We are pleased with the seamless execution of this latest financing between all parties involved,” said Ceruzzi President Arthur Hooper. “In addition, we are very appreciative of the original construction loan that Madison Realty Capital provided on the property, which allowed us to complete this remarkable asset within the original timeline.”

The 803 ft, 63-story tower features 8,527 /f of retail space at and below grade, and a 25-space parking garage, with a façade designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Ceruzzi completed The Centrale in early 2019 and has begun selling condos at the project.

VI Development Group advised Meritz on the transaction and tapped PIA Asset Management to enter as the asset management company for the project.

“We’ve always had great confidence in this borrower and this asset,” said Terence Park, CEO and President of VI Development Group. “The transaction shows that Korean investors have rapidly developed their underwriting abilities in recent years, putting them on par with major local lenders. We believe this is just the beginning of an influx of sophisticated Korean capital that will provide an attractive alternative financing option for New York City borrowers moving forward.”

JLL represented Ceruzzi exclusively on the transaction.

“‎New York City remains the go-to market for global capital,” said JLL Managing Director Chris Peck. “This transaction proves that quality product and premier sponsorship, coupled with a central location, will always drive liquidity for condo inventory financing.”

The Centrale offers a mix of one- to five-bedroom units, ranging from 777 to 5,388 s/f. The building features an indoor pool and spa, fitness center, and shared work spaces.

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