CMBS Investors Clamor for a Piece of a New Manhattan Skyscraper


So you think demand for Manhattan offices is dying? Investors think those fears are overblown, at least for high-quality properties.

This week money managers said demand was strong for pieces of a massive $3 billion bond backed by a single mortgage tied to a brand new trophy office tower, One Vanderbilt, next to Grand Central Terminal. The bond offering, due to be sold next week, is the largest private-label commercial mortgage security since the Covid pandemic started, and the loan is one of the largest office mortgages to be bundled into a bond in the last decade.

As of Friday morning price guidance on the AAA slice of the transaction, with an average life of around 10 years, was 80 to 82 basis points over a swaps benchmark, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s tighter than the pricing on a separate commercial mortgage bond backed by two properties in midtown, with a similar average life and top ratings, that sold at 98 basis points over swaps in April.

The property is enormous -- at 1,401 feet, it is now the tallest commercial skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. But it’s well located for attracting commuters, and companies are evidently eager to lease space there, with 89% of the building accounted for, and few contracts due to expire during the term of the mortgage. Tenants include companies such as Toronto-Dominion Bank and Carlyle Group.