UPDATED: Top Rock Holdings and RJ Capital Holdings closed yesterday, June 15, on the $100.5 million acquisition of a vacant office condominium unit at the commercial building 609 Fifth Avenue, according to sources familiar with the transaction. The seller was SL Green Realty. The buyers plan to convert the office portion of the building, located on the corner of East 49th Street, into high-end residential condos, following the prior or under-way conversions of office space at the Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue, the former Coca-Cola building at 711 Fifth Avenue and the Mandarin Oriental Residences at 685 Fifth Avenue, which all involved developer Michael Shvo.
The acquisition is 115,000 square feet of built space as well as additional air rights which brings the total to 178,000 square feet of buildable space.
The bulk of the condo space is on the third through 13th floors. The developers plan to bring to market 90 to 100 units with the construction wrapping up in 2025, according to a source. The sale has not yet been recorded in city records.
The sale was previously reported but the buyers and the conversion plan had not been disclosed. SL Green acquired a stake in the property through a joint venture with Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties and divided the building into an upper portion office condo and a lower portion retail condo. (Sutton with partners bought the property in 2002 for $65 million.) SL Green sold the retail to the Reuben Brothers for $168 million in 2020. SL Green refinanced the office condo in 2020 with $85 million in debt from Citibank.
The buyers financed the purchase with an $80 million acquisition loan from Bank Luemi, which is now a part of Valley National Bank. The principals of Top Rock Holdings are Joseph Yushuvayev and Uri Mermelstein and those of RJ Capital Holdings are Rudy and Michael Abramov.
The brokers on deal were Isaac Matayev and Mike Sezan (licensed as Manashe Sezanayev) of Asset CRG Advisors.
Despite the sharp rise in interest rates, apartment buyers have recently closed expensive residential condo purchases at similar conversions on Fifth Avenue. For example a buyer closed a $55 million unit at 730 Fifth Avenue, the Wall Street Journal reported. In addition, Vladislav Doronin’s OKO Group, the developer of the Crown condos, recently refinanced that project with a $754 million loan from JPMorgan Chase, The Real Deal reported. Michael Shvo and partner Deutsche Finance Group recently refinanced a $162.4 million loan at 685 Fifth Avenue with Northwind Group. And Yimby recently reported on Shvo’s 711 Fifth Avenue project.
Correction: A prior version of this post only listed the approximately 98,000 square feet given in city property records. In fact the total size of the condo is approximately 115,000 and there are additional air rights which yield a total of 178,000 square feet. Brokers were added after initial posting.
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