NYC’s Lipstick Building Lands $272M in Financing

HFF arranged the first mortgage from an affiliate of Credit Suisse on behalf of Ceruzzi Holdings LLC and SMI USA.
The Lipstick Building
The Lipstick Building

A joint venture between Ceruzzi Holdings LLC and SMI USA has received $272 million in first mortgage financing for the ground lease position of 885 Third Ave., known to New Yorkers as the Lipstick Building, a 635,000-square-foot, trophy office tower in Midtown Manhattan.

HFF arranged the four-year, fixed-rate loan with Zurich-based Credit Suisse through its U.S. subsidiary, Column Financial Inc.

“This transaction is further evidence as to the strength of the debt capital markets when financing trophy-quality real estate for trophy-caliber borrowers,” Christopher Peck, HFF’s managing director, said in a prepared release. “Not only was pricing incredibly strong, but Credit Suisse’s process was exceptional, closing a complex transaction within a very tight timeframe.”

The Lipstick Building has a storied history. Designed by architect Philip Johnson in 1986, the 34-story building has a unique elliptical profile, separating itself architecturally from other quadrilateral towers in the area. At 453 feet tall, the skyscraper sits across from the Citigroup Center and is one of the most recognizable buildings in Manhattan.

According to Peck, the money from the loan will be utilized to retire the existing loan and cover closing costs. HFF previously advised on the sale of the building’s fee position to the borrower in 2016.

Argentine real estate company IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones SA and a group of investors owns the Lipstick Building through a long-term ground lease and have an option to buy the land from Ceruzzi in 2020 for $520 million.