Ashkenazy and Carlyle Search for Capital Infusion at 650 Madison Avenue

A year and a half after Ashkenazy Acquisition and the Carlyle Group joined forces to purchase the incredibly well-placed skyscraper at 650 Madison Avenue—a mere block from Central Park and the Plaza Hotel, and couched snugly inside New York’s fanciest office district (dubbed, appropriately enough, the Plaza District)—the developers have hired real estate advisory firm Eastdil Secured to search for a capital injection.

The landlords are quietly looking for ways to pay down the tower’s $500 million in debt, according to an industry souce.  Options they are considering: either a sale of its retail space; or allowing an investor a preferred equity interest in the building. As is, the retail space, between 59th and 60th streets, is supposedly encumbered with long-term, below-market leases signed in the early ’90s.

But their upstairs office space seems to be in good order. Earlier this year, its major tenant, Polo Ralph Lauren, renewed for 15 years its lease for 200,000 square feet.

No one from the Caryle Group, Ashkenazy Acquisition or Eastdil Secured would comment for the record.

But if their retail space, now occupied by Crate and Barrel and Tod’s, does come to market, it will be the second such offering in the Plaza District in recent weeks. In June, The Observer reported that Starwood Hotels had hired CB Richard Ellis’ Darcy Stacom to market its retail condos at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th Street.

drubinstein@observer.com

Ashkenazy and Carlyle Search for Capital Infusion at 650 Madison Avenue