LI Cheat Sheet: Melville’s Fairfield Properties gets $275M to fund multifamily portfolio buy, home sales spike in Suffolk… & more

By Aidan Gardiner | March 18, 2019 01:30PM

Clockwise from top left: Fairfield Properties gets $275M from Freddie Mac for a Long Island multifamily portfolio acquisition, Syosset Park developers could ditch home plans to build more industrial facilities, Nassau County to pay $5.4 million and build more mixed-income housing to settle a lawsuit from 2005 and pending local home sales had a mixed February.

Multifamily portfolio buy gets $275M in Freddie Mac financing
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, better known as Freddie Mac, gave $275 million in financing to Fairfield Properties for its $473 million purchase of seven garden apartment properties in Nassau and Suffolk counties, the Commercial Observer reported. Melville-based Fairfield got a 15-year, fixed-rate debt deal under the lender’s Green Advantage program. CBRE Group’s Jason Gaccione, Shawn Rosenthal, Maxi Leachman and David Webb negotiated the deal. Fairfield and Maryland-based real estate investor FCP bought the multifamily portfolio from Lone Star Funds weeks earlier, as first reported by The Real Deal. That transaction also came only a few weeks after Dallas-based Lone Star sold off a $1.1 billion garden apartment portfolio to the Kushner Companies. For the more recent sale, CBRE arranged financing for 1,264 units but not the 232-unit Mid-Island Apartments in Bay Shore, which is part of the portfolio. Fairfield plans to upgrade facilities at its new holdings “so we can provide a premier level of service to the residents,” said a statement from managing partner Gary Broxmeyer. [TRD]

A mixed bag for home sales in February, but spring looms
Home sale prices in Suffolk and Nassau counties had a mixed February with the former seeing an increase and the latter a plateau, Long Island Business News reported. The median price of pending home sales in Nassau last month was $500,000, the same as it was in January and just $500 higher than it was a year prior, according to data published by the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. That median price matched the lowest median price for Nassau over the past year. In Suffolk, the median price for pending home sales rose $4,000 from January, to $374,000, which was 3.9 percent higher than the $360,000 median a year earlier. Overall, pending home sales in both counties rose 5.8 percent in February when compared to the same time last year. There were 2,177 home sales in February 2018 and 2,303 last month. Nassau had only 966 homes go to contract last month, a 1.8 percent uptick from the 949 contracted for sale a year prior. Suffolk, however, had 1,337 pending home sales last month, up 8.9 percent from 1,228 pending sales in February 2018. Long Island Press likened the splits to a “tale of two Long Islands,” with the market “getting more favorable to buyers as moving season arrives in April,” although “competition remains fierce for starter homes.” Newsday noted that declining sales and growing inventory in Nassau and Suffolk gives buyers more leverage in negotiations. Within the last two months, pending sales on Long Island have risen more than 8 percent over the same period in 2018. Inventory has also continued its climb with 10,910 homes listed for sale across Long Island, 6.2 percent more than the 10,273 listed at the end of February 2018. During that time, listings in Nassau jumped 12.7 percent, to 4,888, while Suffolk saw a 1.5 percent increase, to 5,934. [LIBN]

Newsday to move HQ a mile from newspaper’s old Melville home
Newsday Media Group has signed a 15-year lease on a 130,000-square-foot complex in Melville where the company plans to move its headquarters, the newspaper reported. The company plans to move around Labor Day into a two-building space at 6/8 Corporate Center Drive. The property, which is owned by Jericho-based real estate firm the We’re Group, is only about a mile from Newsday’s longtime base of operations at 235 Pinelawn Road, which developer Hartz Mountain Industries bought for $54.5 million in 2018 from Newsday’s former parent company Tribune Media. New Jersey-based Hartz Mountain plans to demolish the newspaper’s former headquarters to build two industrial buildings, one of which will have 600,000 square feet and the other 200,000 square feet. Construction on those two buildings is not expected to begin before 2020. The law firm Smith, Gambrell & Russell advised the We’re Group on its lease negotiations with Newsday. The newspaper’s planned move to a new building comes a week after Newsday renewed its lease at a Farmingdale warehouse where the company runs its distribution operations. [Newsday]

Syosset Park developers eye industrial facilities over home plans
The developers behind the 93-acre Syosset Park project could soon revise or entirely drop their plans to build 625 residences for the mixed-use development, Long Island Business News reported. The original plans for the site called for a town center with residences; 464,000 square feet of retail, entertainment and restaurants; 200,000 square feet of office space; two hotels with 350 total rooms and a 30-acre park. The area currently contains the former Cerro Wire facilities, the Town of Oyster Bay’s public works facilities, its animal shelter and the former Syosset landfill. Locals feared the new housing would be burdensome for the school district and potentially expose residents to hazards from the onetime landfill and Superfund site. In response, developers led by Indianapolis-based shopping mall giant Simon Property Group, the Garden City-based Albanese Organization and Manhasset-based Castagna Realty plan to revise the housing portion of the project and erect more industrial buildings, since the area is already zoned for industrial use. LIBN reported that such a switch would allow Syosset Park’s developers to take advantage of a hot market for industrial properties, thanks to an e-commerce boom that has created a surge in demand for warehouses and distribution centers. The developers have planned to pay for environmental tests of the area. LIBN noted that last month the Syosset Park Citizens Advisory Committee had selected Bohemia-based Impact Environmental for the task. [LIBN]

Nassau settles lawsuit, commits to more mixed-income housing
Nassau County officials have agreed to settle a 2005 lawsuit by giving $5.4 million to Brooklyn-based nonprofit developer MHANY Management and setting aside more money to build mixed-income housing in neighborhoods with “high-performing” schools, Long Island Business News reported. MHANY first filed its case with co-plaintiff New York Communities for Change in May 2005. The litigation claimed that Nassau discriminated against minorities by not promoting housing opportunities to families with low and moderate incomes. The county plans to earmark a quarter of its housing grants from the HOME Investment Partnerships program, which is about $450,000 per year through 2022, for developers who want to build mixed-income rental housing in “high opportunity areas” such as those with top-rated schools, according to LIBN. In the settlement, Nassau will also give $120,000 to New York Communities for Change, another Brooklyn-based nonprofit, to fund education programs. Nassau’s Office of Community Development will also develop a plan to better develop mixed-income housing. “This settlement supports my administration’s efforts to develop and promote mixed-income housing opportunities for all of our residents. We are committed to working alongside our nonprofit and community advocate partners in this regard,” said a statement from Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, who also spoke with The Real Deal earlier this year about several real estate-focused initiatives she has undertaken. [LIBN]