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Debt & Equity

SBO closes on $160M package for Vanderbilt legacy building

The Singer & Bassuk Organization LLC (SBO) announced the closing of an $80 million loan with AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company to provide permanent financing for 501 Madison Avenue, a recently transformed, 30-story office and retail property owned by heirs of Cornelius Vanderbilt III.

The loan is the last phase of a three-part series of interim, construction and permanent financings – which SBO first started to arrange in 2013 – that aggregate to more than $160 million for the 200,000-square-foot asset.

“It has been an honor to work hand-in-hand with ownership in securing sound, multi-tiered financing for this remarkable building,” said Andrew J. Singer, Chairman and CEO of SBO.

“The transformative renovations, complemented by the property’s ‘triple-A’ location and rich history, have elevated 501 Madison Avenue to Class-A status within the highest echelon of Manhattan’s most coveted pre-war commercial spaces.”

The land beneath the Plaza District property has been owned by descendants of Cornelius Vanderbilt III since 1929.

Soon after acquiring the property, the Vanderbilt family entered into a long term ground lease with a developer who erected the building.

The leasehold changed hands several times before expiring in 2013, at which point Vanderbilt’s descendants chose to operate the building themselves instead of entering into a new ground lease.

Under the direction of Kevin Wang of KRW Realty Advisors LLC, who serves as the asset manager for 501 Madison Avenue, ownership embarked on executing a major restoration and upgrade of the building, which had not been materially improved or renovated since it was constructed.

Renovations included: a new facade for the first- and second-floor retail spaces, new building entrance, lobby, elevators, windows, cooling tower, electrical-system upgrades and revitalized, multi-tenant common areas.

Located at the northeast corner of 52nd Street, 501 Madison Avenue is nearly 100 percent leased. Notable tenants include Carlo Pazolini, Oscar Heyan Inc., Randi Rahm, Innisfree M&A Inc., The World Jewish Congress Foundation, among others.

The property includes floor plates ranging from 1,826 to 8,938 square feet, with German apparel company Porsche Design occupying the ground-floor retail space as its flagship location.

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