Hines, Goldman Partner with Pontiac Land on High-Profile NYC Condo Development

Backed by $860 million in construction financing from a consortium of Asian bankers, a high-profile luxury condominium project planned for 53 W. 53rd St. next to the Museum of Modern Art, is moving forward after stalling during the recession.

VIEW_CENTRAL_PARK_-2Backed by $860 million in construction financing from a consortium of Asian bankers, a high-profile luxury condominium project planned for 53 W. 53rd Street next to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan is moving forward after stalling during the recession.

In the planning stages since 2007,when Hines and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Principal Investment Area bought the 18,000-square-site just west of MoMA from the museum for $125 million, the residential tower was designed by architect Jean Nouvel. Initially planned to be 1,250 feet tall, the building between 53rd and 54th streets will now be 1,050 tall. The 72-story, 750,000 square-foot tower will have 145 luxury condominium residences designed by architect Thierry Despont. The three lower levels will have 36,000 square feet of exhibition space for MoMA designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The dormant project, estimated to cost about $1.3 billion, got back on track with a reported $300 million infusion from new partner Pontiac Land Group of Singapore, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hines said the Pontiac Land Group also secured the $860 million in construction financing from the unnamed Asian banks. It is Pontiac Land Group’s first investment in the United States.

“Pontiac Land’s longstanding partnerships with our local banks have enabled us to participate in this important deal. We are confident in the recovery of the U.S. economy, the largest in the world, and believe in the resilience and potential of the New York property market,” Michael Su, CEO of Pontiac Land Group, said in a joint news release. “The U.S. will continue to be an investment destination of choice for us, so it was important for our first investment to be stellar.”

The Kwee family, one of the wealthiest families in Singapore¸ owns Pontiac Land Group. Forbes has estimated the family’s wealth at 4.6 billion. Kwee Liong Tek, director of Pontiac Land Group, said the privately held company was “delighted to partner with Hines and Goldman Sachs on this landmark project.”

An international art collector, Kwee said his family admired MoMA’s contributions.

“We are pleased that this project will expand their galleries and enhance the visitor experience,” Kwee said.

Hines Chairman Gerald Hines and Tommy Craig, senior managing director and head of Hines’ New York office, both said they expected the design by Nouvel and its location adjacent to the MoMA will make it an iconic New York property.

“The location deserved a significant piece of skyline sculpture, and this project will deliver,” Hines said in the release. “We think it will be a great investment for Hines and our partners, as well as for future homeowners.”

All approvals are in place and construction is expected to begin in mid-2014 with occupancy beginning in late 2018. Lend Lease is the general contractor. Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group will begin the project’s marketing and sales in 2014. The tower will feature views of New York City and Central Park. Amenities will include a 75-foot lap pool, fitness facility and full-time concierge service.

The residential tower is just one of several luxury skyscrapers that are either being built or getting closer to construction in New York City. One57, a 90-story skyscraper, is being developed by Extell Development Co. at 157 W. 57th St. Slated for completion in 2014, the tower will have 94 luxury residences atop a 210-key Park Hyatt New York hotel. CIM Group and Macklowe Properties are building a $1.2 billion, 96-story luxury tower at 432 Park Avenue between 56th and 57th streets. Set for completion in mid-2015, the developers said in March one-third of the residences had already been sold. It will be the tallest residential property in New York City. In Downtown Manhattan, Silverstein Properties is planning a $950 million, 82-story skyscraper that will have a 185-room Four Seasons Hotel and 157 luxury residences. The project, now known as 30 Park Place, was also put on hold during the recession.  Silverstein secured a $660 million loan from a London investment fund to jumpstart the construction this fall.