Stalled 912-Foot Manhattan Tower Lands $313M To Finish Construction
After spending years as an empty 88-story reminder of New York's luxury condo glut, 125 Greenwich has a new partner, new financing and a new lease on life.
Developer Bizzi & Partners has secured $313M to finance the final stretch of construction on its 273-unit luxury condominium tower in Manhattan's Financial District. Private equity firm Northwind Group provided the construction loan, and Fortress Investment Group was added to the project as a co-developer after having acquired its previous construction loan.
"Fortress is a leader and innovator, and we are thrilled to be working with them on this project,” Bizzi & Partners Head of Special Operations Mario Tornaghi said in a statement. "When we come to market, buyers will be amazed at the quality, craftsmanship, and distinct lifestyle that can only be found at the building,”
EB-5 lender U.S. Immigration Fund is staying on as a partner in 125 Greenwich, which began construction in 2017. The developers will use the new influx of capital to complete the final 15% of the building, The Real Deal reported, and they plan to launch sales this fall.
A Walker & Dunlop team that included Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz, Adam Schwartz and Michael Diaz arranged the financing, with law firms Skadden; Hogan Lovells; Kramer Levin; Rosenberg & Estis P.C.; and Polsinelli also involved in hammering out the deal.
“We are excited to provide our flexible financing solution that will enable the completion of this one-of-a-kind property to such high caliber sponsors,” Ran Eliasaf, Northwind’s founder and managing partner, said in a statement. “We remain bullish on the long-term success of NYC and strongly believe in the downtown area as it is continuing its transformation into an attractive residential neighborhood.”
Topping out at 912 feet, 125 Greenwich falls 72 feet short of being classified as a supertall. Designed by Rafael Viñoly, the same architect who designed 432 Park Ave. on Billionaire’s Row, 125 Greenwich quickly began experiencing problems, from construction delays to friction between Bizzi & Partners and one of the project’s original partners, Chinese firm Cindat, the Wall Street Journal previously reported. A 2018 conviction on criminal tax fraud charges for developer Michael Shvo, another of the project’s original partners, further complicated matters.
In addition to the fraught partnership behind the tower, lender United Overseas Bank filed a foreclosure suit against the tower. Meanwhile, sales weren't going as the developers hoped. In December 2018, Douglas Elliman, the brokerage selling units, requested permission to cut sales prices to meet a deadline set by the Singaporean bank.
Douglas Elliman will once again handle sales when they launch later this year, according to the release. Developers also plan to rename the tower, which will be made up of studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.
125 Greenwich’s completion comes as Lower Manhattan undergoes a transformation, with a handful of office owners pursuing residential conversion options. FiDi is home to the largest office-to-residential conversion project in the country, 25 Water St., while conversions have been a hot topic among lenders, including Northwind, looking for opportunities to deploy capital in 2023.