Underscoring the challenges facing commercial real estate credit nationwide, the owners of a New York office tower had to put another $150 million of equity into the property to refinance their $625 million mortgage.

SL Green Realty Corp. said Tuesday that it and SITQ, the joint owners of 1515 Broadway, obtained the new $475 million mortgage from a syndicate led by Bank of China, based in Beijing. The original loan was scheduled to mature in November; the new one has a five-year term.

"At a time when many commercial property owners have faced difficulties in financing and refinancing their assets, we continue to access our relationship base" of lenders, Andrew Mathias, the president of SL Green, said in a press release issued Tuesday.

The refinancing "required a lower equity contribution than previously forecast" by his New York company, he said.

Other banks in the syndicate included DekaBank of Frankfurt and Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg of Stuttgart.

The building is the headquarters of Viacom International Inc., which renewed its lease for 1.3 million square feet, or about 35% of the building, late last year. SL Green's partner in the building, SITQ, is a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

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