Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Houston Developer Finds Cash for Bryant Park Tower

Houston-based developer, Hines is close to a deal with JPMorgan Chase to provide construction financing for its planned 470,000-square-foot, 28-story tower across from Bryant Park. The property's relatively modest size is seen as easing the path to funding. Construction could start as early this fall.

Houston-based developer, Hines has reached a deal with JPMorgan Chase to get financing for a planned 470,000-square-foot office tower on Sixth Avenue, overlooking Bryant Park.

It is unclear how much JPMorgan had pledged to lend the developer and its partner, Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, to build the 28-story tower that will be known as 7 Bryant Park. Pacolet, a private, family-run investment company has owned the land since 1954.

Any loan would be quite an accomplishment for Houston-based Hines, or any other developer, because lenders hate to open the purse strings for speculative office towers.

Nevertheless, while some of the developers, including Brookfield Office Properties, Silverstein Properties and The Related Cos., need tenants to commit to leasing around 500,000 square feet of space in their respectively huge planned projects to make the developments financially viable, Hines does not need a tenant anywhere near that big.

However, it will still face competition for tenants from other new buildings that are under construction, such Minskoff Development's property at Astor Place in the East Village and Boston Properties' project at 250 West 55th Street.

Hines has tapped architecture firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners to design the steel and glass building. It noted that construction could start as early this fall and be ready for tenants as early as 2014.

Hines is close to securing financing for the luxury residential tower it plans to construct across the street from the Museum of Modern Art.