April 5, 2012 / 8:42 PM / 6 years ago

Ukrainian billionaire takes over 14 Wall St-source

NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - Ukrainian billionaire Alex Rovt has stepped in to pay off the loans on landmark office building 14 Wall Street, leaving former co-owner Capstone Equities as manager and leasing agent and former co-owner Carlyle Group LP out of the deal, a source familiar with the deal said on Thursday.

Rovt, a fertilizer tycoon listed as No. 1,015 on Forbes magazine’s annual list of world billionaires, provided about $300 million, essentially wiping out the debt coming due in May, the source said. Rovt is a U.S. citizen and is ranked No. 372 on Forbes’ list of 400 richest people in the United States.

Carlyle and Capstone bought the building in 2007, paying $325 million.

An estimated $375 billion in maturing commercial real estate mortgages and construction loans are expected to mature this year and $275 next year, providing robust demand for new capital to refinance it. Much of it is related to five-year loans on real estate purchased at or near the top of the U.S. commercial real estate boom market. The recapitalizations almost always revalues the properties at a price lower than the boom-time price.

The recapitalization values the former Banker’s Trust Building at just under $300 per square foot. The 1.05 million-square-foot building was constructed in 1912. An addition was completed in 1933. Capped by a seven-story stepped pyramidal roof, the 37-story building was modeled on the campanile of San Marco in Venice. Bankers Trust owned the building until 1987.

The building is 75 percent occupied. Tenants include NYU Medical Center, architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and financial website TheStreet.com.

Eastdil Secured brokers Adam Spies and Doug Harmon handled the deal. Neither Capstone nor Eastdil representatives immediately returned phone calls seeking comment. A Carlyle representative declined comment.

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