Harry Macklowe's Secret Business Partner Is Reportedly Qatari Royal
Manhattan luxury condo developer Harry Macklowe has a secret business partner backing his projects at One Wall Street and 432 Park Ave. and it is none other than Qatari royal Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber al-Thani, according to The Real Deal.
Macklowe is planning a conversion of One Wall Street, and, in an interview on Bloomberg Monday, said he had increased his equity in the residential, seeking a lower construction loan of $850M. He bought the property for the conversion — which was planned to be rentals but will now bring even more condos to the market — for $585M in 2014, backed by a loan from Qatar National Bank.
He had initially sought assistance from JLL brokers Dustin Stolly and Aaron Appel to search for a $1B loan, TRD reports. Macklowe and his partners are investing an additional $200M in equity to reduce the loan-to-value ratio, a key sticking point for construction loans in 2017.
The Qatari royal and former prime and foreign minister of the oil-rich emirate, who goes by HBJ, has massive luxury real estate holdings all over the world, including stakes in One Hyde Park in London, Harrods Department store, the Shard and the Canary Wharf district, the Financial Times reports. The billionaire is also the subject of accusations that he kidnapped and tortured one of his own citizens, according to a Guardian report.
HBJ, who was also the head of Qatar's $250B sovereign wealth fund until 2013, triggered an investigation by the UK Serious Fraud Office after he invested billions in Barclays bank, according to the Guardian, and he was intimately involved in what has been widely viewed as a corrupt bid for Qatar to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Macklowe told Bloomberg he still has about 18 condos left to sell at the lightning rod 432 Park, which is already embroiled in lawsuits and has been received with ambivalence by architecture critics. HBJ's equity is behind 432 Park's cubelike retail space, bought for $400M. One Wall Street is expected to cost $1.5B to build and to sell for $2.5B.