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W&M Properties refinances 10 Union Square East; early return of equity payment made to investors.

Reaffirming its long-term commitment to independent ownership in the metropolitan New York area, and making an early return of equity to its limited partnership investors, W&M Properties has secured $16 million in permanent financing for its retail condominium in Zeckendorf Towers at 10 Union square East.

Peter L. Malkin and Anthony E. Malkin led the investment group in the acquisition of the 57,977 square-foot property, which occupies a full square block on Union square.

The lender of the 10-year fixed-rate loan mortgage is M&T Real Estate, Inc., an affiliate of Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company. The $16 million refinances the original acquisition loan of $11.375 million, dating back to December 18, 1996, which had been paid down to $11.2 million.

"We were able to return a considerable mount of capital to our investors. If you had $100,000 in the original investment, you got $55,000 back," said Anthony Malkin. "The explanation is simple. When we bought the property, our intent was to reposition and re-tenant the space. This return of equity reflects our initial strategy and success in attracting tenants of the highest quality - those with superior reputations and credit ratings.

Howard E. Peskoe, a partner in the law firm of Whitman Breed Abbott, represented W&M, in coordination with the law firm of Wien & Malkin.

The retail unit is part of the successful mixed-use condominium development called Zeckendorf Towers, which was completed. in 1987. The development includes 670 residential units (all sold), a 362,000 square-foot office unit (completely occupied and owned by Beth Israel Medical Center), a 350-seat not-for-profit theater, and a 198-space parking garage.

"In today's overheated environment, we could easily have sold the property for a substantial profit, but our investors put their money with us for long-term income, and through this financing, we accomplished several objectives that enhance the long-term viability of their investment," said Anthony Malkin.

"We were able to make a significant tax-free return of a portion of our investors' initial investment, secure a permanent loan at a very favorable cost of funds, and maintain a low level of debt," he added. "In addition, this demonstrates the continuing viability of our limited partnership ownership structures. In an era when real estate investment trusts gamer all the headlines and dominate the attention of the real estate investing public, we are the 'man bites dog' story."

Entities led by the Malkin family and managed by W&M Properties own real estate in eight states, all through syndications funded by sales to accredited investors through Wien & Malkin Securities Corporation. Anthony Malkin's grandfather, Lawrence A. Wien, pioneered real estate limited partnerships beginning in 1934. In subsequent decades, he and Peter L. Malkin (Anthony's father) syndicated the ownership of numerous properties, including the Empire State Building.

"'Those early syndications are the models of our current successful real estate syndication program," said George S. Perry, vice president of acquisitions. "In the 1980's, fast-buck syndicators pushing fee-driven and ill-conceived tax shelters gave limited partnerships a bad name in the public consciousness. But syndication as a conservative investment approach to capital markets, combined with real estate operating savvy, still works."
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 12, 1998
Words:525
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