04/02/2010

Wells Snags Big Freddie Mortgage

Wells Fargo has originated a $100 million Freddie Mac mortgage on a Manhattan apartment building.

The 10-year loan, which closed two weeks ago, is backed by the 313-unit Fairfax apartments, at 201 East 69th Street in the Lenox Hill district.

The borrower, TF Cornerstone of New York, used most of the proceeds to retire a fixed-rate loan that New York Life had provided in 2000. That loan, which had an original balance of $75 million, had amortized to $66 million.

This was the second large agency loan that Wells provided to TF Cornerstone in the past few months. In December, the bank originated a $121.4 million Freddie mortgage on Chelsea Centro, a 356-unit building at 200 West 26th Street.

The excess cash from both refinancings "gives our company even more ammunition to pursue acquisitions and continue developing our portfolio," said Derek Marcus, an acquisition and finance executive at TF Cornerstone.

Singer and Bassuk of New York advised TF Cornerstone on both loans.

The 16-story Fairfax, which is fully occupied, includes 20,000 square feet of retail space and 7,500 sf of office space on the bottom two floors, as well as a 72-car garage.

The building was constructed in 1927 as manufacturing and warehousing space for silver artifacts. It was later used as office space by the FBI. In 1980, TF Cornerstone's predecessor, Rockrose Development, converted the building for residential use.

TF Cornerstone, which is controlled by brothers Tom and Fred Elghanayan, split off from Rockrose last year. Rockrose is controlled by a third brother, Henry Elghanayan.

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