By Orlando Lee Rodriguez
Less than a year following a 19-year, 1.6 million square foot lease renewal for Viacom at 1515 Broadway, SL Green Realty Corp. (NYSE: SLG) announced on Tuesday that it had completed its first mortgage refinancing for the office and retail property.
The new $900 million, 12-year mortgage, will stand at a fixed 3.93 percentage rate and will replace a $775 million, seven-year, floating-rate loan from the Bank of China.
“Our ability to execute long-term fixed rate financing at historically low rates is a significant achievement and reflects this property’s strength,” said Andrew Mathias, president of SL Green said in a statement.
“The long-term renewal of the Viacom lease, coupled with our redevelopment of the building’s lobby, common areas, retail space, and the introduction of LED signage, has created significant value,” he said.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP represented SL Green in the transaction. Sidley Austin LLP represented the financier.
SL Green stands to gain approximately $116 million in net proceeds from the transaction. According to The Online Investor, the publicly traded company now has a higher market capitalization than home builder DR Horton.
“SL Green, through this transaction, powerfully took advantage of a great financing environment,” said Bruce Schonbraun, co-head of the real estate practice of FTI Consulting. “In a loan heavily bid for, [it] emphasizes the strength of the New York City commercial real estate market and the Times Square market in particular.”
Shares of SL Green closed 0.79 points higher in Tuesday trading, closing at $83.49 per share. The company’s stock price has risen almost 9 percent since the beginning of 2013.
Last April, Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) signed a long term lease extension as well as a deal to name 1515 Broadway after the media company. The owner of MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Black Entertainment Television (BET) plans to take over the entire building by 2020 as other building leases expire.
Shares of Viacom have risen 30 percent since the long term lease was announced. The stock closed 0.70 higher on Tuesday at $60.16 per share.
SL Green along with SITQ Immobilier bought the 54-story building for $480 million in 2002. Green later bought its partner out in a deal that valued the building at $1.21 billion.
The Times Square office tower, located on the west side of the square between 44th and 45th streets, underwent a $60 million renovation in 2010. When first constructed in 1972, it replaced the famed Astor Hotel which stood on the site from 1904 to 1967. It is sometimes called ‘One Astor Plaza’ in homage to the now defunct hotel.