Carlyle, Crown Take Controlling Stake in 666 Fifth Ave. Retail for $525M

Kushner Cos. has sold a controlling interest in the 90,000 square feet of retail space at 666 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan to The Carlyle Group and Crown Acquisitions for $525 million, the companies announced today. The sale will reportedly help Kushner pay off short-term debt incurred by the then-record $1.8 billion purchase in January 2007 of the trophy building. Citing a Bloomberg report, an April 25 CPN story said the deal with Carlyle and Kushner was in the works. The deal calls for Carlyle and Crown Acquisitions to own a 49 percent stake in the ground-floor retail at the prestigious address that has 200 feet of retail frontage on Fifth Avenue. Located between 52nd and 53rd streets, the 41-story building (pictured) is set among luxury retailers and other high-profile office towers. Kushner will continue to own 100 percent of the 1.45 million-square-foot office space. The building is home to the NBA Store, Hickey Freeman and Brooks Brothers. In an effort to add value to the property, Kushner has reportedly bought out Brooks Brothers’ lease. In a deal that occurred before closing on the retail interest, Crown Acquisitions arranged for Abercrombie & Fitch to lease 20,000 square feet of newly available space at the property, according to a Carlyle Group press release. Abercrombie & Fitch will reportedly open a children’s store in February in the space, about half of what Brooks Brothers rents. “This is a landmark building in Manhattan’s prime retail shopping district,” Robert Stuckey, head of Carlyle’s U.S. real estate team, said in the release. “Locations with high national and international foot traffic such as Manhattan’s Gold Coast present unparalleled exposure and brand placement to their retail tenants.” Carlton Advisory Services arranged the joint venture between Carlyle, Crown and Kushman and the lending syndicate, which included Barclays and SL Green. Simpson Thacher and Bartlett L.L.P. and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, L.L.P. provided legal services to the joint venture. Carlyle Realty Partners V, a $3 billion opportunistic commercial real estate investment fund, provided the equity for Carlyle’s investment. Carlyle, a Washington, D.C.-based global private equity firm, has $82.7 billion assets under management committed to 60 funds as of March 31. Last week, Carlyle, along with Extell Development Co. and RREEF Alternative Investments, secured a $613 million construction loan for an upscale two-building residential project in Manhattan, according to a July 1 CPN report. The deal was the biggest construction loan obtained in the United States so far this year. The loan will be used to finance construction of a 38-story condominium and apartment town on West 62 Street and a 23-story apartment building on West 63rd Street. And 666 Fifth Ave. isn’t Carlyle’s only high profile acquisition in Manhattan in recent months. On April 9, CPN reported that Carlyle and Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. had bought 650 Madison Ave. in a joint venture for $680 million. Located between 59th and 60th streets, the 600,000-square-foot tower also has 90,000 square feet of prime retail space on the ground floor.To Blog and Comment Click Here