Headlines were made when veteran investors entered into a partnership for a real estate investment fund worth $150 million. These investments are focused on American urban centers with distressed assets including New York. The investors are Steve Witkoff and Michael Ashner who are focusing on real estate investments as they partner once again regarding the investment fund for $150 million. The investors are placing their funds in the most major urban centers in America and have included New York. The first deal has already been closed by their fund. The investors have acquired a mezzanine loan for $75 million. They are planning to use the funds from the loan for a hotel project. The project is located at 1568 Broadway in New York.
Michael Ashner agreed to invest with his old partner Steve Witkoff due to their potential as a team. There were other partners involved in the deal worth almost $1 billion. The investment revolves around an Edition-brand hotel that is currently being completed. The location of the hotel is 20 Times Square in New York. Michael Ashner and Steve Witkoff have been successful partners in the past. They worked together as activist shareholders in a REIT located in New York. They were responsible for spearheading an impressive plan. The pair wanted to see the placement of a new Chief Executive Officer in a process involving the liquidation of the holdings of the firm. At this point in time the firm was having trouble with their holdings.
Steve Witkoff had spoken about his work with Michael Ashner regarding the complicated project located at 20 Times Square. It was during this time the two men established a very close friendship. Steve Witkoff was sixty years old and felt his career had advanced to the point he wanted to work with individuals who were great partners and smart. Michael Ashner fit his description perfectly. Both men have made the decision to invest $25 million into the real estate investment fund. There were investment firms brought into their project as anchor investors including Soros Fund Management, Baupost, and Sequoia. The fund gives the participants the ability to invest as much as $1.5 billion. This money will be placed into the investment portfolio. This will effectively enhance the ability of the fund to allow more deals.
Michael Ashner says ten percent of the ownership interest will be retained as the acquisitions are made. When specific deals come into play all the anchor investors will have the ability to place further investments into any deals they take a liking to. Both investors have agreed the fund will be considering a wide range distressed deals in the future. This will include distressed deals for the acquisitions of loans, development projects, and real estate assets that are not performing well in the market. Michael Ashner believes with the expertise Steve Witkoff has acquired in the field of development the project will be successful. Michael Ashner admits he does not have this skill set but feels their individual qualifications will work together in a complimentary fashion.