Moinian Group refi loan tops $787M Credit Suisse CMBS asset pool

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A New York developer’s refinancing loan that also secured the full repurchase of the firm's headquarters building on Columbus Circle highlights a Manhattan-centric property pool backing a new $787.5 million conduit CMBS.

Moinian Group, via lead underwriter Credit Suisse, is assigning the CSAIL 2019-C16 trust a $50 million portion of a $595 million loan it took out in March, according to presale reports from Moody's Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and DBRS. The loan to developer Joseph Moinian refinanced debt and enabled his company to reacquire the 100% stakes that it last held nine years ago in the the 26-story, Class A building at 3 Columbus Circle.

The noncontrolling portion of the Moinian loan assigned to the deal is among 47 fixed-rate loans secured by 96 commercial properties being pooled by Credit Suisse and joint underwriters SG Americas and CIBC.

The collateral pool consists of commercial mortgages originated and sold into the trust by Credit Suisse affiliate Column Financial, Societe Generale, Ladder Capital Finance, Starwood Mortgage Capital and CIBC.

The Upper West Side property is also among 22.3% of the overall pool collateral located in the New York metropolitan statistical area, the highest geographic concentration in the transaction. The former General Motors Building at 787 Eleventh Avenue is also included in the collateral with a $30 million loan with $235 million in subordinated second-mortgage debt.

Both 3 Columbus Circle and the GM building were granted structured credit assessments by Moody’s – the equivalent of investment-grade credit assets.

The 3 Columbus Circle loan represents the deal’s largest debt holding by making up 6.3% of the pool balance.

The bulk of the mortgage-backed certificates in CSAIL 2019-C16 will be split in the Class A-2 and A-3 notes that are expected to total $500.2 million, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The Class A notes benefit from 30% credit support.

The Moinian Group loan, underwritten by JPMorgan and Column, helped refinance $350 million in existing CMBS debt and also funded the $225 million sale-leaseback agreement with anchor tenant Young & Rubicam, the advertising agency that owned several floors of commercial condo space originally purchased from Moinian in 2010.

That year, Moinian Group defaulted on a 2006-vintage, $250 million CMBS loan as occupancy in the building fell to 23% in the wake of the financial crisis. Moinian sold off the condo space to Y&R as well as its 48.9% equity share in the building to developer SL Green, according to Fitch.

Moinian (which later repaid the $250 million loan) last year reacquired the SL Green stakes and in March entered into a 15-year sale leaseback transaction with Y&R to take back the 214,372 square feet condo space.

Y&R occupies nearly 50% of the leasable space in the building, which also serves as its headquarters.

The building was originally constructed in 1927 as the headquarter for General Motors, and underwent renovations between 2010-2013.

The largest concentration is in hotel properties, representing 23.1% of the pool’s balance according to Moody’s – but 30.6% based on Fitch ‘s classifications.

Moody’s estimates a debt-service coverage ratio of 1.69x.

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