Vlad Doronin’s OKO Group gets $754m refi on Crown building

Vlad Doronin with the crown (Cany, Vlad Doronin)

Vladislav Doronin’s OKO Group has completed a $754 million refinancing of JPMorgan for its Crown Building luxury condo and hotel project.

The project, which occupies the top 20 floors of the 24-story building at 730 Fifth Avenue, is expected to be completed this summer. The closings of the condo part have already started.

The Real Deal reported in April that OKO Group was close to securing an $820 million refinancing of the JPMorgan project. The lower amount can be attributed to subsequent condo closings, sources say. Doronin teamed up with developer Michael Shvo to buy the space for $475 million in 2015.

Keith Kurland and Aaron Appel of Walker & Dunlop arranged the financing.

OKO Group is converting the upper portion of the office building into 22 luxury condos and an 83-room hotel under Doronin’s Aman Resorts brand, with amenities including an outdoor dining terrace, a three-story spa and a jazz clubs.

One of the condos, a five-story penthouse, landed a $180 million deal in 2018 — among the most expensive homes ever sold in the city. Doronin told the Wall Street Journal in 2019 that two additional units were under contract for a handset $145 million.

The OKO Group previously secured $750 million in financing for the conversion project in 2019, including a $300 million senior loan from Bank OZK and $450 million in mezzanine debt from Cain International.

Jeff Sutton of Wharton Properties and General Growth Properties acquired the historic 390,000 square foot building from Eliot Spitzer for $1.8 billion in 2015. The partners retained the four retail floors at its base, but quickly sold the upper part to Doronin and Shvo.

Shvo was sidelined as a co-developer in 2017 after being charged with tax evasion charges, but retained an equity stake, sources say. Shvo’s company now uses the Crown Building in its marketing materials.

In 2019, Sutton’s Wharton Properties sold all but a nominal share of its 50% stake in the retail portion of the building to Brookfield Property Partners, which had acquired General Growth Properties the previous year, for $779 million.

The building was built in 1921 by August Heckscher and designed by architects Warren and Wetmore, who also worked on Grand Central Terminal. It was the original home of the Museum of Modern Art from 1929.

Outside of New York, Doronin is also planning Aman-branded and OKO-developed luxury
Miami Beach condo and hotel project with Len Blavatnik. And on Thursday, developers of One Beverly Hills, a luxury residential project next to Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton, announced that Aman would brand and operate the resort’s 10-story hotel, private club, restaurant and condos. .

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