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Lois Weiss: The Refinancing of Forest Hills Tower
May 8, 2019
By Lois Weiss
Forest Hills Tower at 118-35 Queens Blvd. was developed in the Forest Hills neighborhood by the Muss family in 1983 and fully occupied by Con Edison for around 30 years.
The 375,000 square-foot building is also owned and operated by the Muss family under a long-term ground lease to an entity they also control.
But with Con Ed’s lease coming to an end, and Jason Muss taking the reins as president of the 106-year old firm, he recognized he needed to upgrade the structure to today’s design and technological standards.
Muss wanted to embark on building-wide improvements including a new lobby with a skylight and concierge desks, new common finishes along with energy-efficient upgrades to all mechanical systems.
Scott A. Singer and Jeffrey Moroch of The Singer & Bassuk Organization were hired to obtain the loans needed to make the capital improvements.
The brokers first obtained project and other loans in 2014 from Ladder Capital of around $62.6 million. In 2016, that loan was upped in 2016 to $71.2 million.
The upgrades attracted the United Federation of Teachers which leased 44,000 square feet and other tenants including the Board of Elections, the New York Police Department and Plaza College.
To replace this short-term project financing, in June, 2018, the brokers obtained a new building loan from AXA Financial for $75.35 million.