What's Next For Francis Greenburger
Time Equities founder Francis Greenburger has nailed down $398M (equity from Elliott Management and a $288M syndication loan from PNC, Wells Fargo, M&T, Union, MidFirst, and Emigrant) to restart construction on the condos at 50 West St that will tower over Battery Park City (success there was part of the spark for his condos). The art collector, whom we snapped in his 55 Fifth Ave office with a painting by his friend Kinga Czerska, tells us his firm was capitalized well enough to table the project in '08 and sit on it through the downturn. (Similarly, we've stockpiled Nestle Crunch bars to help us survive should anyone give us raisins this Halloween.)
We snapped the machines in action on the $400M, 63-story condos, a few blocks south of the WTC. Next up, he says, is a combo renovation of a historical property and development above it in NoHo. For its NYC portfolio, Francis says, Time Equities looks for three kinds of properties: income-producing (cap rates are too low for that to work now), renovation or ground-up construction (barring a spectacular opportunity, the company's appetite is limited and its plate is full), and conversions, both of apartments to office and office to office condos.
Here's a preview of 50 West, expected to deliver in 2016. (Looks like a beautiful day; anybody want to play Ultimate Frisbee that day in 2016?) Office condos is the category Francis is immediately ready for, considering the units at 131 W 33rd St just sold out. He made a bid on one such project on Wednesday after our meeting. It's a niche, he says, but his company understands it, and there's plenty of demand, including from associations.