Meridian Capital Lends A Hand In Central Harlem

Meridian Capital Group has arranged $125 million in balance sheet and mezzanine financing for 100 W. 125th St. in Harlem, a six-story, 200,000-square-foot retail property.

The site, owned by Jeff Sutton/Wharton Properties, is on the southwest corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue and features 150 feet of frontage on 125th Street and 200 feet of full-block frontage on Lenox Avenue. Whole Foods will be opening this summer, but the retail center already features Burlington Coat Factory, TD Bank, Olive Garden, American Eagle Outfitters and Raymour & Flanigan.

Meridian Executive Vice President Aaron Birnbaum and Vice President Tal Savariego, both located in the company’s New York City headquarters, negotiated the transaction.

The first mortgage was provided by Morgan Stanley and mezzanine loans were from J.P. Morgan. They feature a competitive LIBOR-based interest rate over, interest-only payments and up to five years of term.

“Meridian arranged first mortgage and mezzanine financing to repatriate the borrower’s equity and refinance construction financing that Meridian previously arranged for this property,” Savariego said in a prepared statement. “The new balance sheet financing provides interest-only payments at a favorable rate and gives the borrower flexibility to continue its operation of the asset.”

The package replaces $102 million in construction financing provided by Natixis Real Estate Capital that included a $95 million three-year interest-only mortgage, according to Commercial Observer.

Last week, Meridian, one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate finance and advisory firms, arranged $7.4 million in acquisition financing for the purchase of two multifamily properties in Harlem—1625 Park Ave. and 91 E. 116th St. The buildings, owned by ABJ Properties Inc., have a total of 74 units and one retail space. The seven-year loan, provided by a regional balance sheet lender, features a competitive floating rate of 2.00 percent over the 30-day LIBOR rate for the first two years, followed by a fixed rate of 4.55 percent for the remaining five years. Vice President Baruch Pelcovitz, based in Meridian’s New York City headquarters, negotiated the deal.

In January, Meridian arranged a 12-year refinance loan provided by a local savings bank for an office condominium on six floors of a 10-story building at 521-533 W. 57th St. in Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood. The $105 million loan features a fixed rate of 3.75 percent and five years of interest-only payments. It was negotiated by Managing Director Allan Lieberman, Managing Director Steven Adler and Vice President Jeffrey Berkes on behalf of 521-533 W. 57th Street Associates, an entity associated with Himmel + Meringoff Properties.

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