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SL Green Makes Another Sweetheart Deal To Retire Office Debt

280 Park Ave. in Midtown Manhattan

SL Green has managed to strike another deal to settle a loan — this time by cutting it in half. 

At 280 Park Ave., the 1.2M SF office tower the REIT co-owns with Vornado Realty Trust, the landlords extended and modified a nearly $1.1B securitized mortgage. They also modified, extended and subsequently repaid a $125M mezzanine loan for just $62.5M, they announced Wednesday.

The CMBS loan was sent to special servicing in January when SL Green and Vornado — which own the most and second-most office space in Manhattan, respectively — requested a modification, according to Morningstar Credit. 

Under the modification, the floating-rate loan’s maturity date is September 2026, and the partnership has the option to extend to September 2028. The loan had $1.2B outstanding and had been set to mature in September, according to an SL Green regulatory filing.

Newmark advised in the transaction. SL Green declined to comment further on the loans.

The 43-story tower is 97% occupied, with tenants paying triple-digit rents per SF, and it is one of the biggest assets in each owner's portfolio. In November, Crain’s New York Business reported the property was losing money due to borrowing costs exceeding rental income. 

In the meantime, 280 Park Ave. has continued to draw large office leases. This week, it announced that Antares Capital signed a lease for 76K SF, expanding its footprint in the building.

SL Green has made other sweetheart deals to get out from office debt. In January, the firm announced that it settled the $182.5M mortgage for 2 Herald Square with just a $7M payment. An analyst described the deal to Crain's as the REIT “pulling rabbits out of hats.”

SL Green has been able to rework its loans even as traditional banks are pulling back from lending and borrowers become increasingly at risk of default

“While others may throw back the keys, SL Green continues to work with our lenders and partners to restabilize assets and create value for us and our partners,” CEO Marc Holliday said in a statement to Crain’s after the 2 Herald Square deal. “We are in New York for the long haul and believe things will improve over time. Where others see challenges we see opportunity.”