$90M Construction Financing Earmarked For NYC Office Building

Vornado Realty Trust and Aurora Capital Associates have a 20-year lease agreement with Starbucks to open its largest location yet at the new Midtown South property.
Rendering of 61 Ninth Ave., New York (Courtesy of Rafael Vinoly Architects via Vornado Realty Trust)

Rendering of 61 Ninth Ave., New York (Courtesy of Rafael Vinoly Architects via Vornado Realty Trust)

New York—A joint venture between Vornado Realty Trust and Aurora Capital Associates has received $90 million in construction financing for 61 Ninth Ave., a planned 164,000-square-foot Class A office building with prime ground-floor retail space in Manhattan’s Midtown South region.

JLL’s Capital Markets team secured the loan from Helaba and CIT Group.

“This project is proof that despite tightening market conditions, construction financing remains available for strong, experienced sponsors with well-developed plans,” Dustin Stolly, JLL’s managing director, said in a prepared release.

The building will feature 14.5-foot ceilings with oversized floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor spaces for every floor. It will also incorporate sustainable design strategies with the intent of achieving LEED Gold certification.

Starbucks has already agreed to a 20-year lease in the building to open the NYC location of its Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room concept, and plans to occupy the ground floor and lower-level retail space. In doing so, it will become its largest space in the world.

“Our Seattle Roastery experience created something that had never been done before, transforming a retail environment into something far beyond just a coffee shop and into the single best retail experience of any kind,” Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman & CEO, said back in April when signing the lease. “In New York, we want to take elements from what we originally created and build something even bigger and bolder, celebrating coffee and craft in a completely unique and differentiated way.”

Located at the intersection of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and Chelsea submarkets, the building is adjacent to Apple’s Meatpacking store, and across the street from Google’s New York headquarters and Chelsea Market. The surrounding neighborhood includes amenities such as the elevated High Line Park and top retail and dining destinations.

“Midtown South’s strength as an office market, driven by technology and media tenants, continues to attract institutional capital,” Aaron Appel, JLL’s managing director, said in the release.

The property, designed by renowned Rafael Viñoly Architects, is currently under construction with a targeted completion date in 2017.