Multi Investment Facilitates $200+ Million Sale of NYC's 88 Leonard
New York NY - Chicago-based real estate investment firm Waterton Associates closed on the first part of its purchase of 88 Leonard Street from Africa Israel USA this evening, the firm's managing member and co-founder, David Schwartz, confirmed.
Waterton closed on a 49 percent stake of the 352-unit rental building near Broadway in Tribeca for $37 million. Steven Vegh of Multi Investment, whose firm represented Waterton, said the transfer of Africa Israel's remaining stake, the senior mortgage and the mezzanine loan would close sometime in the first half of 2012. The prices for those components were $17 million, $132 million and $24 million, respectively, according to a previous report by Bloomberg News, for a total cost of over $210 million. The deal is being closed in two stages for accounting purposes, according to Schwartz.
The purchase was funded by the $500 million Waterton Residential Investment Fund 11 represented by Multi. Schwartz said the firm has more New York City transactions pending as it looks to build its presence in the area, but declined to discuss the deals until they close.
"We've targeted this market for a long time," he said. "But it's taken a long time to actually enter it because first the market was too hot, and then there was the downturn... Now, we're seeing good opportunity."
Cushman & Wakefield brokers Steven Kohn, Helen Hwang, Nat Rockett and Karen Wiedenmann began marketing 88 Leonard for Africa Israel in February, which sought $200 million in an effort to reduce its debts. The firm came to an agreement with Waterton in June. At the time, Africa Israel's U.S. CEO Tamir Kazaz called Waterton "sophisticated real estate investors" that he believed would "continue to increase the value of the asset."
Neither Kazaz nor an Africa Israel spokesperson could be reached for comment. None of the Cushman brokers were immediately available for comment, and Vegh of Multi Investment declined to comment. Multi Investment the investment affiliate of Multi Capital Group which is a real estate investment banking firm, are both headquartered in NYC.
Constructed in 2007 by AI Boymelgreen, the building is located in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. Multi has been heavily involved in the TriBeca area since 2004. Eli Verschleiser CEO of Multi called the area "from the best locations in NYC", "rent will continue to rise" he said "The World Trade Center is the neighborhood just to the south".