Real-Estate

Soho Properties Lands NYC’s Biggest Hotel Refi of 2021 for Margaritaville

Soho Properties chairman and CEO Sharif El-Gamal (Getty, Margaritaville)

Sharif El-Gamal’s Soho Properties has closed on a $317 million refinancing of its recently completed Margaritaville Resort Times Square.

Leading the financing was senior lender Bedrock Capital Associates LLC, the real estate finance affiliate of One William Street Capital Management, while mezzanine funding came from South Korea’s Hana Financial Investment, Soho Properties said in a joint statement Monday with co-developers Chip and Andrew Weiss.

The refinancing was the largest for a New York City hotel property so far this year, according to the developers.

The 70,000-square-foot, 234-key hotel opened in June. The 32-story property cost $400 million to develop. Soho Properties acquired the site seven years ago and agreed to find a new home for the Garment Center Congregation synagogue that previously stood there.

The hotel opened its doors at a time of turmoil for the city’s lodging industry. Data from Trepp last November showed that more than 80 percent of New York hotels that are backing CMBS loans, equivalent to $3.1 billion, were under strain due to the pandemic.

“Hotel and retail assets are not easy to finance today,” Soho Properties CEO Sharif El-Gamal said in a statement. “We’ve built something incredible.”

The project has a long history. Soho Properties and partner MHP Properties purchased the site in 2014 with a $63 million loan from Colony Capital, planning a 29-story mixed-use building anchored by a Dream Hotel.

After the joint venture defaulted on the loan when it matured, investor Eli Cohen bought the distressed note, in May 2017, and had an option to foreclose on the site. El-Gamal said a $270 million construction loan in 2019 from Related, Angelo Gordon and mezzanine lender Hana retired Cohen’s $85 million debt in the project.

It’s not the only Sharif El-Gamal project with a long history. Soho Properties’ other well-known Manhattan development is the 50-unit condo tower at 45 Park Place, which occupies a piece of the site where the developer had once hoped to build an Islamic community center and mosque.

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