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Investors Refinance Land Beneath Manhattan's Lipstick Building

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04/09/2017 | 11:09am EST
By Keiko Morris 

Ceruzzi Holdings LLC and its partners have refinanced the land beneath Manhattan's Lipstick Building, securing a $272 million loan a year after they purchased the property.

The investment group bought the ground beneath 885 Third Avenue, a 34-floor midtown tower, in February 2016, assuming a $267.5 million loan with an above-market interest rate of 6.21% made about a decade ago, said Louis Ceruzzi, president of Ceruzzi Holdings.

The new financing for the property is a fixed-rate loan at 3.35% with a four-year term from Credit Suisse Group AG. The first opportunity to prepay the loan without penalties came this month, Mr. Ceruzzi said. That loan had one year left on its term.

The new loan's fixed rate was crucial because of anticipated rising interest rates, Mr. Ceruzzi said.

"There's a lot of talk and action about the Fed [Federal Reserve] raising interest rates, and had we done a floating rate loan we would have been subject to those increases," Mr. Ceruzzi said.

Ceruzzi is the managing partner of a group of investors, including SMI USA, who own most of the land beneath the Lipstick Building. They purchased the property for $453 million from SL Green Realty Corp. last year.

The tower is owned by a group that includes Argentine property company IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones SA and holds a long-term ground lease. The group has an option to buy the land for $520 million in 2020, Ceruzzi said.

Write to Keiko Morris at Keiko.Morris@wsj.com

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