Belfonti Capital Partners, LLC


Midtown Manhattan Redevelopment Calls for Condos Facing Library Lions

We believe we've set a benchmark by virtue of where the building is.

Having waited to get its condominium offering plan with the attorney general and some tenant issues in line, Belfonti Capital Partners LLC, the New York City unit of Belfonti Associates, LLC, today announced that it has acquired a 185,000-square-foot Midtown Manhattan office building to convert to condominiums for $88 million.

The deal, which actually closed in July, concerns the building at 485 Fifth Ave., which overlooks Bryant Park and the main branch of the N.Y. Public Library.

"We believe we've set a benchmark by virtue of where the building is," said chairman Michael Belfonti (pictured), who spun the subsidiary off in March to focus on acquiring larger real estate assets in conjunction with various institutional partners.

"Very few developers have created luxury redevelopments in the heart of Midtown. Our project will offer the finest finishes and kitchens and baths, 14-foot ceilings, expansive windows, concierge, doorman and a fantastic amenity package."

Belfonti will put the units on the market in February to coincide with New York's Fashion Week. The firm is negotiating with a top-tier fashion designer to do the condo's interior design.

In the redevelopment, Belfonti will replace one floor and add three additional floors on top. Furthermore, it will remove the core of the building between 41st and 42nd streets to create a new courtyard.

"This is the first time I've aligned my own capital with institutional capital," Belfonti said. "That makes this a value-added campaign because of all this new equity we have." Beyond 485 Fifth, Belfonti plans to expand to larger metropolitan statistical areas nationally and internationally.

Source: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY NEWS September 26, 2005