Alchemy, Cain JV closes on $330M venture to built Plaza District office tower

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A partnership between Alchemy-ABR Investment Partners (Alchemy-ABR) and Cain International (Cain) has completed the $120 million acquisition of 125 West 57th Street on Midtown’s Billionaire’s Row in a transaction with Calvary Baptist Church. 

The partnership will demolish the property and develop a 26-story, 420-foot-tall building totaling approximately 260,000 s/f, which will include ground floor retail and a tower delivering approximately 185,000 s/f of Class A office space, the majority of which will have Central Park views (picture top).

Upon completion, Calvary Baptist Church will separately own
and occupy the base portion of the building.

Designed by FX Collaborative, 125 West 57th Street is
expected to open in late 2024. The building will offer tenants modern features,
state of the art technology, floorplates averaging 10,000 s/f and over 14 ft.
ceiling heights. Over 90 percent of the office space will offer direct north
facing Central Park views and private terraces will be available on select
floors.

There will be a dedicated full floor of amenity space with hospitality designed lounge and meeting spaces, board room, and over 4,000 s/f of outdoor common spaces.

KEN HORN

“Cain and Alchemy-ABR are proud to announce the closing of
this intricate deal that draws on our collective expertise of creating
symbiotic relationships to provide a much-needed supply of high-quality new
office space to the Plaza District that has not been available in recent
years,” said Kenneth Horn, Co-Founder and Partner of Alchemy-ABR Investment
Partners, and Brian Ray, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Alchemy-ABR
Investment Partners in a joint statement.

“We remain encouraged by the support received thus far by
the community and the Church members and we look forward to constructing an
innovative, world-class asset that will remain a staple amongst the community
for years to come with our partners.”

“We are optimistic about the strong demand for best-in-class
office projects in major markets including New York City, and remain firmly
rooted in our belief that the return to the office is a crucial part of the
post-pandemic economy,“ said Eric Poretsky, Senior Managing Director and Head
of US Equity at Cain International. “Cain is delighted to be partnering with
Alchemy-ABR on this investment and we have benefitted from the firm’s
collaborative approach and market experience as we navigated challenges
presented by the pandemic together.  As
one of the few truly boutique office buildings to come to market in the Plaza
District, we are confident in our investment and look forward to delivering
this exciting project alongside our partners.”

Upon completion, the building will be one of the few centrally located premier Class A boutique office buildings to come to market in the Plaza District with Central Park.

The church will have its own facility at the base of the new tower at 125 West 57th Street.

Calvary Baptist Church formerly operated both its ministry
and the Hotel Salisbury on the site and will continue to own and occupy their
current facility in the base of the mixed-use development which will be
redesigned complete with a separate entrance and interior spaces.  Upon completion, the Church will move into
its modernized facility on the site, which will double the amount of space for
its congregation and create new and enhanced spaces for worship, education
programs, community outreach and other ministries. It will have a welcoming
street presence, modern, fully accessible auditorium for large worship
gatherings, flexible education space for programs, a gymnasium also serving as
a Fellowship Hall for church and community functions and a 99-seat
studio/chapel for church meetings which was also designed with the local arts
community in mind. The congregants of the Church overwhelmingly approved the
project allowing it to remain on the property it has occupied since 1883. 

“Calvary Baptist Church is excited to see this project
moving forward as the next chapter in our continued Christian ministry on 57th
Street. The development of this much-anticipated new facility will provide a
larger, flexible, and welcoming space for the congregation, the city, and
beyond,” said Todd Williams, Chair of the Board of Deacons, Calvary Baptist
Church.

The acquisition of 125 West 57th Street adds to Cain’s
portfolio of investments in luxury residential, hospitality and commercial
properties across the U.S and will be the firm’s first office-led development
in New York City.  The privately held
investment firm led by Jonathan Goldstein is also developing a 55-story,
680,000 square foot, Class A office building in the center of Miami’s Brickell
district.  Cain’s current activity in New
York City includes the financing of the Aman Hotel & Residences New York in
the historic Crown Building and more recently the appointment on the strategic
repositioning of The Hudson Hotel. 

The project will add to Alchemy-ABR Investment Partners
growing portfolio of real estate investments. Alchemy-ABR Investment Partners,
a partnership between Alchemy Properties and ABR Partners, is a highly
experienced real estate developer and operator in New York City. The firm
primarily targets unique cash-flowing, value-add and development opportunities
in the office, multi-family and retail sectors. In addition to an acute
understanding and identification of a neglected market segment, Alchemy-ABR
brings a unique blend of skill sets and experience to its projects having been
involved in more than 40 developments ranging from high-end luxury condominiums
to premier office buildings.

Cain will be providing the majority of the equity for the
$330 million project and will be working closely with Alchemy-ABR Investment
Partners who will oversee the project development. 

Ackman Ziff arranged for the equity placement while JLL
advised the partnership on mortgage financing. JLL is also handling the leasing
assignment for the project.

Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas LLP, Gibson, Dunn
& Crutcher LLP, and Duval & Stachenfeld LLP advised as counsel to the
partnership; Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP represented CBC.
CBC was also assisted by VVA Project and Cost Managers.

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