Natixis provides $315m to refinance Queens trophy tower

Natixis Real Estate Capital has provided a $315m loan to Savanna for the refinancing of One Court Square, aka the Citigroup Building.

Natixis Real Estate Capital has provided a $315m fixed-rate loan to Savanna for the refinancing of One Court Square, aka the Citigroup Building. 

Savanna and a private investor group acquired a controlling interest in the 52-story, 1.5m sq ft office building — the tallest in New York State outside of Manhattan — from a private investment group led by David Werner in the summer of 2014 for an undisclosed sum.

Screenshot 2015-09-24 at 5.42.38 PM
One Court Square towers over neighboring buildings in Court Square

Werner and company had paid SL Green Realty Corp. and its joint venture partners, including JP Morgan Chase, $481m and change for the asset in July of 2012, assuming with it $315m of debt from US Bank, city property records show.

Often referred to as the Citigroup Building after its former owner and sole tenant, the words “Citi” display prominently in signature white and red signage atop the tower, but the bank sold the building to the SL Green joint venture back in July of 2005 for $468.8m.

Savanna is understood to have scrapped plans to potentially sell the property after enlisting Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), which arranged the new financing, to market the tower earlier this year. A C&W Equity, Debt and Structured Finance team of Steve Kohn, John Alascio, Alex Hernandez, Chris Moyer and Alex Lapidus arranged the financing.

“In addition to the strong attraction of the asset quality, premier sponsorship and credit tenancy, Long Island City has become a highly sought-after submarket in New York City,” Kohn, president of the C&W team, said.

The property, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, has been fully leased to the consumer division of Citibank since it was built in 1989. The bank remains on a lease that runs through 2020.

The property sticks out like a sore thumb in the Court Square neighborhood of Long Island City, though perhaps less so today as an anticipated residential boom births a number of tall residential buildings in its proximity.  

There are more than 19,200 residential units either planned or under construction in Long Island City, according to recent figures from C&W.