The Real Deal New York

Youngwoo & Associates lands $131M for its colorful Washington Heights development

Financing includes $70.M building loan
By Mary Diduch | January 08, 2019 12:13PM

A rendering of 2420 Amsterdam Avenue (Credit: MDRDV)

Shanghai Commercial Bank, one of the more active hotel construction lenders in the city, is backing colorful Radio Tower & Hotel project.

Youngwoo & Associates scored $130.6 million in financing from the Hong Kong-based lender to help build its vibrant 22-story, mixed-use development in Washington Heights.

Shanghai Commercial provided a $45.5 million project loan and a $70.5 million building loan, according to records filed with New York City’s Department of Finance Tuesday. The bank also took on a $14.6 million senior loan from HSBC Bank.

The project at 2420 Amsterdam Avenue will be a joint hotel, office and retail project, which Dutch firm MVRDV designed to look like an interconnected stack of colorful blocks.

Youngwoo & Associates and its partner on the project, Beijing Construction and Engineering Group International, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the 221-key project in November.

Youngwoo & Associate’s Bryan Woo declined to comment on the financing. Shanghai Commercial Bank did not immediately return requests for comment.

The developer picked up the site, a former parking lot, for $12 million in 2013.

Shanghai Commercial is one of the busier construction lenders in the hotel space, an area other banks have shied away from amid a glut of new properties.

The bank last year loaned $60 million to Frank Ng for a hotel he’s planning in Chelsea, at 132 West 28th Street, and provided acquisition and construction financing to Richard Lou’s LCRE Group.

Shanghai Commercial in 2016 also provided a $222 million construction loan to the Lam Group for its Virgin Hotel in NoMad.

Youngwoo & Associates in September announced the launch of an Opportunity Zone fund with investment startup EquityMultiple. Woo said the Amsterdam Avenue project is not part of this fund, but it is located in an Opportunity Zone and his firm is exploring whether it will be able to benefit from the program’s tax incentives.

Update: This article was updated with comments from Bryan Woo of Youngwoo & Associates.