NYC Innovation Tower Reels In $749M for Redevelopment

A new advisory firm secured the loan for Milstein Properties' transformation of a 35-year-old tower into the city's first vertical innovation campus.
Aaron Appel, Founding Partner & Managing Principal, AKS Capital Partners. Image courtesy of AKS Capital Partners

With the assistance of AKS Capital Partners, Milstein Properties has landed a $749 million refinancing package for continued redevelopment activity at 355 Madison Ave. Milstein is in the midst of transforming the 1.1 million-square-foot tower into The Company Building, the first vertical innovation campus in New York City.

AKS Capital secured the financing through Brookfield, which was one of more than a few lenders interested in accommodating Milstein’s hefty financing needs for 355 Madison. “Milstein Properties’ outstanding reputation as a well-capitalized, generational family owner together with the project’s appealing financials of a loan per foot of $650—well below replacement cost—and strong leasing prospects, drove significant lender interest,” Aaron Appel, founding partner & managing principal of AKS Capital Partners, told Commercial Property Executive.

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Milstein is submitting 335 Madison, developed in 1984, to a comprehensive renovation, paving the way for the property’s reimagination as the high-tech The Company Building, an office community providing turnkey solutions for large enterprise companies seeking a campus designed to attract and retain the best of today’s top talent. SHoP Architects is aboard the project to help create a hospitality-centric office community with amenities that can rival those of the best hotels. Offerings will include a wellness center, dining options, a theater and outdoor space. The tower’s namesake tenant, The Company, recently expanded its occupancy at 355 Madison to 250,000 square feet and, as noted in a report by ABS Partners Real Estate, will select as many as 200 new ventures to set up shop in the space. An additional 700,000 square feet at the 29-story high-rise will be earmarked for up to 30 global brands. Milstein will utilize proceeds from the new financing transaction to refinance an existing loan and fund leasing efforts at the rebranded The Company Building.

New business, big business

In addition to Appel, AKS Capital co-founding partners Jonathan Schwartz, Keith Kurland, Adam Schwartz and Michael Diaz orchestrated the financing on behalf of Milstein. The partners, all formerly top performers at JLL, established the real estate capital markets advisory firm earlier in 2019. Including deals commenced at JLL, the partners expect to close more than $15 billion in transaction volume placement for the year. The powerhouse team’s notable accomplishments this year include the securing of $664.1 million in construction financing for JDS Development Group’s completion of 9 Dekalb Avenue, a 575-unit, 1,066-foot high residential skyscraper that will hold the distinction of being the tallest building in Brooklyn. The team was also responsible for landing $311 million in financing for Silverstein Properties and the Arden Group’s acquisition of 1735 Market St., a 1.3 million-square-foot office asset in Philadelphia.