JV Scores $120M for Manhattan Condo Conversion

Led by New York City-based SHVO, the venture is creating the first Mandarin Oriental-brand standalone residences in the Americas.
685 Fifth Ave. Image via Google Street View

A joint venture led by development firm SHVO, Bilgili Group and Deutsche Finance have landed a $120 million construction loan for its adaptive reuse conversion of 685 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan. The group is transforming the historic office property into a Mandarin Oriental-brand condo tower, with the lower floors remaining as retail spaces.


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Other investors in the project include Bayerische Versorgungskammer, one of Germany’s largest institutional investors and a top ten pension fund in Europe. The loan comes two months after the same group of developers scored a $190 million loan for a luxury residential development rising in Beverly Hills, Calif. In September, the same group acquired the former Coca-Cola Building at 711 Fifth Ave. for $937 million.

The conversion will create 69 Mandarin Oriental branded residences at the building and will entail a full restoration of the property as well as the construction of ten additional floors to the building. The condos will be spread across 25 floors of the property, which will feature amenities including a library, a top-floor lounge and a restaurant. The building will also feature a fully equipped gym, a spa with beauty treatment rooms and a rooftop pool with cabanas and lounge beds.

Built in 1928, the Beaux Arts tower at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 54th Street is in the heart of Midtown’s Plaza District. Formerly known as the Dorothy Gray Building, the 15-story property houses a total of 134,215 square feet and underwent cosmetic renovations in 1999, according to Yardi Matrix data. The first three floors of the building house retail tenants including Coach, Stuart Weitzman and Tag Heuer, while floors 4 through 15 are office space, which is currently 100 percent occupied.

In 2012, in a similar move, Ken Horn’s Alchemy Properties purchased the top floors of the iconic Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan in order to transform the space into luxury condos. Years later, in 2017, the penthouse apartment at the converted property was listed for $110 million.