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September 20, 2019  

Developer Seeks $1.1 Billion for NY Condos

A JDS Development partnership wants to line up a $1.1 billion floating-rate loan on a nearly completed luxury condominium complex along “Billionaire’s Row” in Midtown Manhattan.

The 86-story property, at 111 West 57th Street, encompasses 60 residential condos and around 50,000 square feet of retail space. JDS is developing the complex with two other New York firms: Property Markets Group and Spruce Capital. Completion is scheduled for early next year.

The five-year loan request is being pitched to a range of lenders via AKS Capital, an advisory shop formed last month by a group of former JLL executives, including Aaron Appel, who was a JLL vice chairman and head of debt and equity capital markets in New York.

The mortgage would be paid down as individual units are sold. It’s unknown how many condos are under contract. The complex consists of a slender limestone tower with 46 units and a low-rise historic building with 14 condos.

The limestone tower will be the third-tallest building in the city, offering sweeping views of Central Park, one block north. It’s along a corridor referred to as Billionaire’s Row for its concentration of ultra-high-end residential buildings.

The project has had a complicated history and a variety of backers that entered and left. In 2012, JDS joined a partnership that owned the parcel at 105-107 West 57th Street. By the middle of 2013, JDS and others had bought the adjacent Steinway Hall, a historic building at 109-113 West 57th Street, which formerly housed showrooms and offices of piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons. JDS and its partners used the air rights of Steinway Hall to dramatically increase the planned building’s height.

Ground was broken in 2014. A lender group that included AIG and Apollo Global provided $725 million of debt financing. As development proceeded, an early investor, AmBase Corp. of Greenwich, Conn., filed lawsuits over cost overruns and alleged that its equity stake had been inappropriately diluted. Those suits were eventually dismissed.

The lending assignment is one of the first substantial listings for brokerage AKS. When Appel left JLL last month to found the shop, he was joined by colleagues Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz and Adam Schwartz. Kurland and Jonathan Schwartz were vice chairmen at JLL, and Adam Schwartz was a managing director.