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Wharton Properties, Brookfield Seeking $900M To Refi Crown Building's Retail Portion

730 Fifth Ave.

The owners of the retail portion of the Crown Building on Fifth Avenue are reportedly on the hunt for a massive loan.

Wharton Properties and its partner Brookfield Properties are looking for a $900M, three-year floating-rate mortgage, Commercial Mortgage Alert reports. JLL is brokering the financing.

The 92K SF retail condominium is in the lower part of the building at 730 Fifth Ave. The upper portion of the tower is slated for luxury residences and a hotel.

Wharton, led by Jeff Sutton, and what was then General Growth Properties (before it was acquired by Brookfield) paid $1.8B for the entire property in 2015. A Deutsche Bank syndicate provided $1.3B debt for the purchase, CMA reports.

Later that year, Michael Shvo and Russian developer Vladislav Doronin bought the top part of the building — floors four through 24 — for $475M from Wharton and GGP.

The loan from the Deutsche Bank syndicate stayed.

Shvo stepped away from the project when he was charged with tax fraud in 2016, which he has since settled.

Aman Group is partnering with Doronin for the upper-floor conversion.

Last year, the senior mortgage was modified, and $720M was set aside for the retail portion of the building, according to CMA.

The new loan would be used to retire debt on the retail area.

Retail rents of Fifth Avenue have reached some of the highest in the world, but it has lost a number of retailers in recent years. Ralph Lauren closed its flagship there in 2017.

Late last month, Tommy Hilfiger announced it is shuttering the doors of its global flagship on Fifth Avenue, adjusting to modern-day shopping habits.