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NEW YORK CITY- Remarking that it was a good sign for Lower Manhattan, Richard Bassuk, president of The Singer and Bassuk Organization, announced the closing of a $60.5 million loan for 17 Battery Place, a 440,000-sf commercial office building located in the financial district across from Battery Park.

“Not only were lenders willing to commit, but there was spirited competition and the lenders were pleased to participate,” Bassuk tells GlobeSt.com.

The $60.5 million first mortgage, which has an interest rate of under 4.6%, was funded by JP Morgan Chase with negotiations led by Steven Schwartz and Brian Baker, together with Patrick Ciriello, Daniel Rood, and Michael Mesard. Evelyn Savino worked closely with Bassuk on the transaction.

According to Bassuk, the interest shown by many financial institutions in the transaction was a testimony to the project and to Joseph Moinian, the managing member of the property’s ownership group which also includes Jeffrey Gural and other key executives of Newmark & Company Real Estate Inc.

Moinian adds, “Originally we were looking for a floating rate loan, but with interest rates so low, we decided to convert to a fixed rate loan. With Bassuk’s advice, we chose a five-year term and gained substantially more flexibility than would have been possible with a traditional 10-year maturity.” Moinian went on to state that “SBO created the tightest auction I have ever seen with lenders bidding not only economic terms, but also deal structure.”

The 17 Battery transaction was the latest in a series of transactions involving financing downtown residential and office buildings for many of SBO’s clients. SBO recently completed the first Liberty Bond deal financed by the New York City Housing Development Corporation for Moinian’s 90 Washington St. project. The amount of the financing was $82 million.

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