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Moinian Group Receives $595M CMBS Loan to Refinance 3 Columbus Circle in Manhattan

3 Columbus Circle (blue-green office building at top right) spans 26 stories in Manhattan. The property sits about a block south of Columbus Circle and the Merchant's Gate entrance to Central Park. (Photo courtesy of Columbia University)

NEW YORK CITY — The Moinian Group has closed on a $595 million CMBS loan from J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank to refinance 3 Columbus Circle, a 26-story office tower in Manhattan that also houses the real estate investment firm’s headquarters.

Formerly known as the Newsweek Building and originally built as the headquarters of General Motors Corp., 3 Columbus Circle is situated along Broadway and occupies a full city block just south of the Merchant’s Gate entrance to Central Park.

The CMBS financing includes 10 years of interest-only payments at a fixed interest rate of 3.91 percent. The Moinian Group is using the loan to replace an existing $350 million CMBS loan.

The property is fully leased, according to Moinian Group. Anchor office and retail tenants include global marketing firm VMLY&R, Moinian, Nordstrom, Chase Bank and CVS/pharmacy.

History of ownership

The Moinian Group originally purchased 3 Columbus Circle in 1999. The company’s path back to full control of the tower began in 2011, when the company first partnered with SL Green on the property.

In 2012, together with architectural firm Gensler, Moinian completed the redevelopment of the building, including the design of a new facade, lobby, elevator system and the only digital billboard on Central Park.

Also in 2012, Moinian sold six stories within 3 Columbus Circle to advertising firm Young & Rubicam, one of the parent companies of the newly created marketing firm VMLY&R.

In November 2018, Moinian regained nearly full ownership when it purchased the outstanding shares in the building from SL Green.

Using excess loan proceeds from the new CMBS loan, and additional cash equity, Moinian purchased the lone holdout within 3 Columbus Circle: VMLY&R’s six-story condo.

With this new loan in place and the acquisition of the VMLY&R office condo, Moinian has reacquired full control of the property.

“For 20 years, 3 Columbus Circle has been a cornerstone of The Moinian Group’s portfolio,” says Joseph Moinian, founder and CEO of The Moinian Group. “Our history with 3 Columbus Circle began at a very different time in the market, so it is especially gratifying to reacquire full control of this beloved property.”

Mary Ann Tighe and Gregory Tosko of CBRE represented VMLY&R in the sale.

— John Nelson

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