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Massey Knakal Realty Services has arranged the sale and financing of a portfolio of residential condominium units within The Corinthian building at 645 First Avenue, located on the west side of First Avenue between East 37th Street and East 38th Street in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood.  The units were sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $147 million.  Acquisition and construction financing with a commitment amount of $125 million was arranged by Massey Knakal Capital Services, with an initial funding of $115 million.

The portfolio consists of 144 residential condominium units within a 57-story building, with an aggregate unit size of approximately 150,747 square feet. The units are spread throughout the building and consist of nine studios, 91 one-bedrooms, 30 two-bedrooms, and 14 three-bedrooms. Of these 144 condominium units, 90 have been renovated over the last few years. The transaction was handled exclusively by Chairman Bob Knakal and Vice Chairman John Ciraulo. The sale price equates to approximately $975 per square foot.

“Within the multifamily sector today, sales are often impacted by a condominium conversion exit strategy. This asset was already teed up as a condo allowing for a very flexible operating strategy as a rental block, selling units or a combination of both,” stated Mr. Knakal. “This burgeoning sub-market continues to improve and is ready to explode,” added Mr. Ciraulo.

Massey Knakal Capital Services secured the financing, arranging the $125 million financing commitment used to acquire and renovate the units.  “Our team worked closely with the borrower to identify the optimal debt capital source, negotiate the deal terms, coordinate third parties, and assist in the closing process. In order to achieve a short closing time period, our team was mandated to find a single lender that would underwrite the full loan amount,” said Massey Knakal’s Scott Aiese, who exclusively handled the financing.  

“I have to thank Bob, Scott, and the whole MK team for doing an outstanding job making the sale and the financing come together on this transaction,” stated Danny Fishman, Managing Partner of Gaia which was the purchaser.

This transaction completes a hat trick for Massey Knakal relative to the Corinthian. In October of 2009, Messers Knakal and Ciraulo sold the garage component of the property for $10.25 million to Alliance Parking and in June of 2011 the duo sold the 81,000 square foot medical condominium for $31 million to ProMed.

The Corinthian is one of the most spectacular residential development projects the city has ever seen, and features breathtaking 280 degree city and East River views from most of the units. It was crowned New York City’s largest apartment building at its completion in 1987 and contains over 850 condominiums. The Corinthian’s iconic curvilinear architecture was designed by renowned architect Der Scutt in the late 1980s, and is still considered an iconic part of the city skyline today. Located within the Murray Hill neighborhood, it benefits from convenient access to major employment centers in Midtown and its connectivity to the rest of New York City will improve upon the completion of the Second Avenue Subway.

The Corinthian was developed by the Spitzer family in the mid-1980s and was the largest single apartment building in the city at the time, containing 850 apartments. "The Massey Knakal team, led by Bob Knakal, was superb throughout the multiple transactions they handled for us at the Corinthian. They delivered the best price, consummate discretion and a complete understanding of our strategic objectives," stated Eliot Spitzer who guided the sales process on behalf of his family.

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Neighborhoods: Murray Hill/ Agents: John Ciraulo