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Category ArchiveNew York State Housing Finance Agency

Thorobird Wins $65M in Public Bonds for Bronx Supportive Housing Plan

A residential project in the Bronx, designed to house middle-class and low-income tenants, as well as people with addiction and mental-health problems, has received $65 million in public bonds to fund construction, according to an announcement from its developer, Thorobird Companies.

Known as The Grand, the project, which will comprise three buildings at 220 East 178th Street, 225 East 179th Street and 2189-2195 Morris Avenue in the Mount Hope neighborhood, will offer 138 apartments targeted to residents across the income spectrum. Although a suite of features including a furnished roof deck, solar electricity and a modish design concept recall market-rate developments elsewhere in the city, dozens of The Grand’s apartments will be dedicated to supportive housing, a program designed to reintegrate mentally ill or formerly homeless or imprisoned people into the mainstream housing stock.

To that end, the complex will sport round-the-clock onsite counseling and support from social workers and other therapists. That service will be administered by ACMH, a New York City-based non-profit that runs programs for transitional residents at several housing programs in the city.

The 40-year financing for the project—which consists of contributions from the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, will help Thorobird create a more humane community for needy residents than currently exists in the city, according to Thomas Campbell, Thorobird’s founder.

In typical affordable housing projects, “housing is something you do to someone, not for someone,” Campbell said. “We believe in homes, and we want to humanize the experience for our residents, [allowing them] to live in a place built with them in mind.”

“We’re so far behind as a society in providing affordable housing,” he added.

The project was jump-started in part by a $250,000 capital injection from the office of the Bronx borough president, Ruben Diaz Jr. The grant, known as Resolution A funding after the city provision that allows for the discretionary outlay, was crucial for getting larger agencies on board, according to the developer.

“When you get started with a project, you need someone to step in first,” Campbell said.

Diaz described Campbell’s project as a model for integrated housing solutions in the city.

“This is construction with common sense and compassion,” Diaz said, praising the conceit to house some of the city’s neediest residents alongside working-class neighbors. “It’s important for us to have income diversity.”

Still, Diaz said, the funding process was flawed. The HFA pushed Thorobird around in the project’s planning stages, the borough president averred, requiring the developer to meet exacting specifications before providing the financing bond.

Freeman Klopott, a deputy commissioner in the state housing administration, resisted that narrative, noting that New York State received an application for funding in February 2017 and approved the bond in September, without unusual delay. An official at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, who requested anonymity, agreed that no delay had occurred.

Source: commercial

Hudson Companies Closes $92M Refinancing for Brooklyn’s Parkline

Hudson Companies has refinanced a $72.7 million construction loan at The Parkline in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn with $91.8 million in permanent financing provided by California-based Union Bank, Commercial Observer has learned.

Today’s deal was structured as a direct purchase of bonds issued through New York State Housing Finance Agency‘s 80/20 housing program—the city program of tax-exempt financing for developers who make 20 percent of their units affordable, Greystone Bassuk’s Drew Fletcher, who arranged the financing, explained.

“This is the first time Union Bank has purchased HFA bonds in New York,” Fletcher said.

Alison Novak, a principal at Hudson, said that now that the project has been stabilized, the firm was seeking higher leverage. “We wanted to stick with the bond financing so we selected Union Bank because they had the best terms,” she said. The interest rate on HFA bonds is typically lower than for conventional financing.

The October 2013 construction loan was a private placement of state housing bonds purchased by Citibank and expiring in 2020, Novak said. The refinancing replaces that loan with 10-year debt from Union Bank carrying an interest rate just above 3 percent.

Hudson acquired what was a development site at 626 Flatbush Avenue in June 2013 for $11 million, as CO previously reported, and erected a 23-story, 254-unit residential rental building, of which 51 apartments are affordable. The structure was constructed to meet LEED Gold and Energy Star standards. Construction concluded in September 2016, and leasing was completed this spring.

The building includes a full floor of amenities on the top floor, “so even if you have a studio apartment on the second floor and your view isn’t that spectacular you feel like you own a piece of the sky. You just go upstairs,” Novak said. The top floor houses 24/7 tenant lounge, roof deck with barbecues, party room and private chef’s kitchen. There is a playroom on the first floor off the courtyard, a dog washing station in the basement, a screening room on the second floor and a gym on the third floor. Gross monthly market-rate rents range from $2,300 for a studio to $4,500 for a three-bedroom apartment.

The building houses the Maple Street School, Greenlight Bookstore and by the summer of 2018, a 2,300-square-foot neighborhood restaurant and bar.

Robert Rengifo led the Union Bank team. A company representative didn’t respond to a request for comment.


Source: commercial

Fetner Gets $202M Refi for Midtown Mixed-Use Property

The New York State Housing Finance Agency has provided Fetner Properties, Inc. with a $176.8 million loan for The Epic, a 59-story primarily residential skyscraper located at 125 West 31st Street.

The $176.8 million senior portion replaces a previous loan of the same amount. HFA also provided an additional $25 million subordinate note for the construction of the building’s multifamily portion where 20 percent of the units are reserved for affordable housing, according to information from HFA’s website.

The financing was assigned to Wells Fargo, property records show, and the loan was provided from the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds. A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo was not immediately able to respond for a request for comment.

Fetner Properties acquired the Durst Organizations stake in the 473,783-square-foot, 459-unit condominium building in April 2016 as part of the two firms dissolving its $740 million residential development partnership, Durst Fetner Residential.

The building was constructed in 2005 and includes 326,067 square feet of residential space, roughly 4,917 square feet of retail space and 25,009 of parking garage space, according to information from PropertyShark. It is comprised of a five-story facility for a non-profit organization and an 11-story American Cancer Society “Hope Lodge” to support cancer sufferers, according information from HFA and ACS.

Officials at HFA did not immediately respond for a request for comment on the financing. Officials at Fetner Properties did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

Additional reporting by Rebecca Baird-Remba


Source: commercial