Norwalk portfolio secures $53.5M for refinancing, contractor pleads guilty in $45M bid-rigging scheme and more Westchester & Fairfield real estate news

By Maya Rajamani | May 08, 2019 06:00PM

Clockwise from top left: CBRE arranges $53.5M in refinancing at two properties in Norwalk, buildings with loft-style apartments aimed at artists open in Peekskill, a Ridgefield insulation contractor pleads guilty to being involved in a $45M bid-rigging scheme and a developer proposes building an affordable assisted living facility in Mount Vernon.

CBRE arranges $53.5M in refinancing for two Norwalk properties
Los Angeles-based Thorofare Capital has provided $53.5 million in senior debt to refinance a multifamily portfolio in Norwalk, the Daily Voice Plus reported. The portfolio includes Berkeley at Waypointe on West Avenue and the Quincy Lofts on Orchard Street, which house a total of 198 units. Affiliates of Alex Brown Realty and the Belpointe Companies developed the two properties back in 2016, according to DVP. The financing was arranged by CBRE’s debt and structured finance group in its New York office and will “be used to retire the original senior construction loan and provide future funding to cover costs associated with the lease-up of the retail space,” the outlet reported. [DVP]

Ridgefield contractor pleads guilty in $45M bid-rigging scheme
Michael Flynn, 48, a Ridgefield-based insulation contractor, pleaded guilty last week to charges connected to a $45 million bid-rigging scheme, Patch reported. Connecticut’s top federal prosecutor John Durham said in a May 1 statement that Flynn “profited handsomely by colluding with other insulation contractors and inflating bids on $45 million worth of insulation jobs” in a scheme that “victimized hospitals, universities and businesses throughout New England.” The antitrust charge that Flynn pleaded guilty to carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, while the fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Flynn, who reportedly worked at Oxford-based BC Flynn Contracting Corporation, “has agreed to pay restitution to the victims and to resolve civil forfeiture cases connected to the criminal charges,” the Justice Department said. Construction Dive reported that Flynn is the latest contractor to be charged by federal prosecutors this year. [Patch]

Brother of White Plains developer accused of aiding $58M fraud
A month after former Westchester County developer Michael D’Alessio received a six-year prison sentence for running a $58 million Ponzi scheme, his brother has been sued by a bankruptcy trustee overseeing the dissolution of his former White Plains-based development firm Michael Paul Enterprises, according to Daily Voice Plus. Marianne O’Toole, a Katonah-based attorney handling the liquidation of D’Alessio’s estate, claims that Ronald D’Alessio sought to help his brother by engaging in suspicious money transfers and potentially bogus property transactions to protect certain assets. Ronald D’Alessio, a resident of Eastchester, did not return the DVP’s request for comment. The Real Deal reported in April that two former Manhattan buildings owned by the convicted D’Alessio had been sold for a total of $38 million to a California-based buyer in a bankruptcy auction. [DVP]

Peekskill debuts $28M loft-style apartments for artists
A pair of four-story buildings with affordable, loft-style apartments meant for artists have officially opened in Peekskill, LoHud reported. The Lofts on Main houses a total of 74 apartments, with monthly rents ranging from $986 to $1,901, according to the outlet. Amenities at the $28 million development include an internet cafe, a lobby art gallery and dance, music and visual arts spaces. The ground floor has four commercial spaces, all of which are currently occupied. At a ribbon cutting ceremony, New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul described the development as “more than just a building — it is a recognition that painters, photographers, musicians and more enrich our society, while driving tourism and economic vitality.” [LoHud]

Developers eye apartments on Bridgeport movie theater site
A movie theater in Bridgeport could become an apartment development, the Connecticut Post reported. Norwalk-based Spinnaker Real Estate and Fairfield-based Eastpointe LLC recently secured approval for a zoning change from the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission that will allow them to build hundreds of apartments on a site across from Showcase Cinemas. The developers are in the process of buying both the theater and the site across the street, according to the outlet. The theater itself hit the market back in 2014. The developers plan to draw up a proposal for the apartment project within the next few months now that they have secured the zoning change. [CTPost]

Affordable assisted living facility proposed in Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon could be getting an affordable assisted living facility, the Daily Voice Plus reported. Developer Eric Newhouse told the outlet that he hopes to build a facility called The Sentinel of Mount Vernon on North Fulton Avenue. The original plans call for an 8-story building with six floors of assisted living and two floors of independent living, but those plans could end up being modified slightly, according to DVP. Newhouse said he hopes to start building within the next year. “I think we’ve had a great reception so far at various levels of city government in Mount Vernon and we’ve held public comment events and it’s all been very enthusiastic,” he said. [DVP]

Fairfield malls seek to adapt in light of retail’s ‘Amazon effect’
A number of stores at the Stamford Town Center have closed within the past few months, but the four-floor mall’s general manager said their exits aren’t cause for concern, the Daily Voice Plus reported. Stores such as Armani Exchange, Charlotte Russe, Gymboree, Payless ShoeSource and Williams-Sonoma have all shuttered, but general manager Dan Stolzenbach maintained that “tenant vacancies create an opportunity to bring in new merchants that will better connect with our customers.” He noted that several new businesses either will be opening at the mall soon. One, Bedford Hills-based Custom Candle, has already opened. Other malls in the area are also working to adapt to the new landscape created by the so-called Amazon effect, according to the outlet. Norwalk’s SoNo Collection, which is set to open sometime later this year, earlier this month confirmed that Chicago-based Pinstripes will bring its beer, bowling and bocce concept to the complex. [DVP]