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NEW YORK CITY-Developers Ronny Bruckner and Nathan Berman secure $145.4 million in permanent enhancement of Liberty Bond financing. The 35-story neo-classical office tower, which served as the headquarters of banking concern Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., was converted into 476 rental apartments. It is now 100% occupied.

The former 10,000-sf banking hall was totally restored and now serves as the lounge and entertainment center for the residents. In addition, the building has its own tenant movie theater and health club.

The Singer & Bassuk Organization structured the transaction. In September 2003, SBO arranged the closing of a $70-million bridge loan for the 410,000-sf site conversion program. Richard Bassuk, president of SBO, advised the developers on a new issuance of bonds by the New York City Housing Development Corp. which replaced the Liberty Bonds arranged by the firm in 2003. The enhancement was negotiated by SBO chairman Andrew J. Singer and Kathleen McSharry, senior managing director of SBO. Helaba Bank provided the financing.

In the past two years, Bruckner and Berman also acquired 20 Exchange Pl. and 67 Wall St., both of which have had financings arranged by SBO. Including the 63 Wall St. construction financing, these transactions aggregate in excess of $550 million. Acquired in 2004, 20 Exchange will be converted to residential use, while 67 Wall will become a mixed-use building upon completion of a renovation program.

Singer says SBO has now surpassed the $2-billion mark in aggregate financing for residential and commercial properties south of Chambers Street, river to river. The borrower was represented by Carl Schwartz, chairman of the Real Estate Department at the law firm of Herrick, Feinstein and Ken Lore, Partner at Swidler Berlin LLP. In December 2003, Herrick, Feinstein helped the JV obtain Liberty Bond financing toward the $150-million conversion 63 Wall St.

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