Distressed Loan Secured by Former UBS Property Up for Sale

Mortgage

The distressed $149.4 million loan that backed UBS Group AG’s giant trading-floor complex in Stamford, Conn., is up for sale, according to a person with knowledge of the offering.

CWCapital Asset Management, the servicer that controls the property’s defaulted mortgage, has put the loan on the market through financial consultant Mission Capital Advisors LLC, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The loan’s status is “matured non-performing” after having been placed in special servicing earlier this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Purchasing the loan would give the buyer control of the former UBS property, where the trading floor was the largest in the world.

The UBS compound was once considered state of the art for securities trading, with its wide-open expanses with about 1,400 work stations and a ceiling as high as 45 feet. Opened in 1994 by UBS predecessor Swiss Bank Corp., it was expanded between 2000 and 2002. Its trading floor is 103,000 square feet, or about half the deck space of the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier. The entire building is 712,000 square feet.

UBS, which had owned the building, is responsible for its maintenance until its lease expires at the end of next year, the person said. Brokers were hired more than a year ago, “but there has been little to no interest in leasing the building to date, despite several tours being completed and the attractive location within walking distance to the train station,” according to servicer notes compiled by Bloomberg.

Calls to UBS and CWCapital weren’t immediately returned. Mission Capital declined to comment on the loan, said Shlomo Morgulis, a spokesman for the company.

The marketing of the loan was reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Jim Fagan, senior managing director at brokerage Cushman Wakefield’s Stamford office, said he’s been marketing the space on behalf of AVG Partners, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company that controls the property. It is a “premier” office building because of its condition and location, but that it will take “a very capital-intensive program” to secure a new tenant, he said.

“It’s a really cool space,” Fagan said. “But you need somebody with vision, who would know how to use it. We’ve had a lot of corporations look at the space, and be enthralled by it. But it’s still somewhat challenging because it’s not conventional.”

The Stamford office market was 29.1% vacant at the end of the third quarter, according to Cushman Wakefield research, and it’s difficult to draw tenants to the area, Fagan said.

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