Owners of Two Connected Midtown South Buildings Refinance Property

By Keiko MorrisFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

The owners of two connected Midtown South buildings have secured $430 million to refinance the newly renovated property, which houses companies such as Facebook Inc. and BuzzFeed.

The group led by Morton F. Silver obtained the 10-year, fixed-rate loan from Barclays PLC, enabling the partnership of owners to repay the previous $217 million debt early and take advantage of an attractive interest rate, Mr. Silver said. The loan will also allow them to recoup the $135 million spent on a significant makeover of the early 20th Century office buildings at 225-233 Park Ave. South.

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Almost 100% leased, the two-building property drew many proposals from a wide range of potential lenders, including life insurance companies, domestic and foreign banks as well as mezzanine lenders from overseas, said Jordan Roeschlaub, executive managing director at commercial real estate advisory firm Newmark Knight Frank.

The attractiveness of the building's tenants, which also includes T. Rowe Price Group Inc., and the work Mr. Silver and his firm Orda Management Corp. did to reposition the property made it compelling to lenders, said Mr. Roeschlaub, who led the NKF Capital Markets team that brokered the financing of the office property.

A skybridge was built to connect the two buildings' upper floors, which aren't level, Mr. Silver said. One building is 12 stories and the other is 19.

All the floors connect, creating a 40,000 square-foot footprint attractive to large users," Siad Mr. Silver, chairman of Orda Management.

In addition, the owners removed paint from the facade to restore the original limestone look. A number of outdoor spaces were added, such as a 13th floor rooftop garden, a 14th floor garden terrace and a courtyard on the 19th floor, where the building's cooling tower once was located.

The ownership added new mechanical systems, created space to park about 75 bicycles in the loading dock area and redid the lobby with a new stone floor.

Write to Keiko Morris at Keiko.Morris@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 04, 2017 11:51 ET (15:51 GMT)