Vampires in Manhattan
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|Put away your stakes and crosses-we're talking about opportunisticand mezz funds looking to spend money after removing it from the National Bank of Their Mattress. Murray Hill Partners founders Neil Siderow and Norman Sturner know a thing or two about investing (they're looking wise for paying one-third cash for $310M 1250 Broadway in March). We visited their Sixth Avenue office on Monday for predictions, hoping not to get spooooked.|
|Neil and Norman tell us debt-heavy buyers who purchased buildings at up to 90% debt to equity during the heat wave are having a hard time writing checks today. The shortage of financing is going to push them out of the market, bringing more opportunities for Manhattan office seekers. And cash certainly exists-money that was pulled out of the stock market recently has to go somewhere. Murray Hill, which already owns 3.5M SF of office space in Manhattan, is ready to jump in when the market calls, recently closing its fourth fund at $98M with an additional $600M to $700M in joint purchasing power. While they're waiting, you won't find these best friends on the green-they say they're the rare execs who don't play golf. Pardon us while we try to wrap our brains around that.|
|Had the 1250 Broadway transaction occurred only seven months earlier, Neil and Norman believe it would have attracted one of today's beleaguered owners. But despite bad borrowing by others, they echoed the positive outlook we've been hearing recently, pointing out that expected million-population growthover the next decade (probably all on the block where you live, no less) will faroutweigh job losses, while occupancy and rental rates will remain healthy. And all of Manhattan is fair game. There are no bad areas, Norman contends-only better ones. If this real estate thing doesn't work out, there's probably a UN diplomat seat with his name on it.|