Manhattan’s Thriving On The Ave Hotel Lands $80M in Refinancing

The 282-room On The Ave Hotel in Manhattan has been refinanced to the tune of $80 million.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Matthew Comfort, JLL executive VP

The 282-room On The Ave Hotel in Manhattan has been refinanced to the tune of $80 million. Acting on behalf of an affiliate of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels obtained the mortgage loan for the Upper West Side lodging destination from an Asian lender.

Housed in the century-old building at 2178 Broadway, On The Ave is the kind of property that lures lenders from around the world. Talk about low risk, the boutique hotel has the right numbers. Its occupancy level didn’t waver during the recession, having held in the 95 percent range for the last five years. And then there’s the New York City address. “Properties like On The Ave that are located in the top gateway markets will continue to garner the most interest from hotel lenders,” Matthew Comfort, executive VP with JLL, said in a prepared statement. “We received proposals from a wide range of sources and were ultimately able to secure excellent terms from a foreign bank.”

It’s just as JLL predicted earlier this year. In a January study, the firm noted that New York would likely garner international interest from select Asian investors and high-profile Middle Eastern investors. Across the board, it appears that commercial property owners in the U.S. are increasingly benefiting from foreign lenders’ favor. In response to a third-quarter survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Board, branches and agencies of foreign banks reported that demand for commercial real estate loans had increased notably.

With the refinancing transaction now closed, Lehman plans to use part of the proceeds to renovate On The Ave, which was last upgraded in 2005. The multi-million-dollar makeover is scheduled to begin later this month.

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