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Vornado Buys Junior Debt on Gluck’s Manhattan Apartment Complex

Vornado Realty Trust bought junior debt on Independence Plaza, a lower Manhattan apartment complex whose owners are seeking to restructure its senior mortgage.

The New York-based company acquired about $185 million of the subordinated debt at a discount, according to a person with knowledge of the purchase who asked not to be named because the transaction is private. The deal was done “on a consensual basis,” said John Marino, a spokesman for Stellar Management, the owner of the 1,300-unit, three-tower property.

“Stellar Management continues to engage in an amicable dialogue with various lenders to extend the overall debt on the property,” Marino said in an e-mailed statement.

Stellar, founded by developer Laurence Gluck, put its $425 million senior mortgage on Independence Plaza into special servicing in April as it seeks to extend an August maturity date. Special servicers negotiate with commercial-property borrowers who want to work out troubled loans.

Independence Plaza consists of townhouses and three 39-story apartment towers, just south of Citigroup Inc.’s trading complex on Greenwich Street in the Tribeca neighborhood. It also has 73,000 square feet (6,780 square meters) of commercial space and a 230,000-square-foot parking garage.

Vornado, the fourth-biggest U.S. real estate investment trust by market value, owns office buildings mainly in New York and Washington, as well as retail properties across the country.

In 2005, the company acquired 220 Central Park South, then a rent-stabilized apartment tower, which it is converting into condominiums. Vornado has done seven condo projects, according to the annual letter from Chairman Steven Roth issued April 15.

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