Local banks provide financing for multi-family residential buildings

By Michael Stoler | January 27, 2009 11:39AM

In a time when many real estate lenders are sitting on the sidelines, preferring not to offer financing, it is interesting to see that a few community banks are showing their support of New York City by providing financing for multi-family residential buildings.

Lenders who are actively involved in providing financing for multi-family residential properties include Capital One, Astoria Federal, Flushing Federal, M & T, Dime of Williamsburg, Signature Bank and Intervest National Bank.

One real estate owner, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors, a subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, had decided to test the investment sales market last year, retaining an investment broker to sell its 44-story, luxury market-rate, multi-family rental building, Riverbank West on the Far West Side.

Riverbank West, the 44-story mixed-use building at 560 West 43rd Street between 10th and 11th avenues, has a total of 418 market-rate rental apartments, 25,738 square feet of retail and an 84 space underground parking garage. The residential portion is 97 percent leased.

Cornerstone had hoped to sell the property, developed by Macklowe Properties more than 20 years ago, for close to $200 million. With investment sales activity down by close to 60 percent in 2008, due in part to the lack of financing for buying, Cornerstone decided not to sell the property and seek to refinance the property.

In December, the owner closed on a $94 million, four-year, fixed-rate loan with a five-year extension option from one of New York’s largest banks.

Even in these difficult times of real estate financing, a number of local financial institutions are aiding local real estate owners in providing attractive financing.

Michael Stoler is a columnist for The Real Deal and host of real estate programs “The Stoler Report” and “Building New York” on CUNY TV and on WEGTV in East Hampton. His radio show, “The Michael Stoler Real Estate Report,” airs on 1010 WINS on Saturdays and Sundays. Stoler is a director at Madison Realty Capital as well as an adjunct professor at NYU Real Estate Institute, and a former contributing editor and columnist for the New York Sun.