Affordable housing developer Camber Property buys 60-unit Harlem complex

After $30M purchase, Camber plans 40-year deal with city to maintain affordability in exchange for tax break

New York /
Aug.August 02, 2021 08:00 AM
From left: Camber Property Group principals Rick Gropper, Andrew Moelis, Harlem Congregation for Community Improvement president Malcolm Punter and 104-110 West 144th Street in Harlem (Photos via Camber, Harlem Congregation, Ariel Property Advisors)

From left: Camber Property Group principals Rick Gropper, Andrew Moelis, Harlem Congregation for Community Improvement president Malcolm Punter and 104-110 West 144th Street in Harlem (Photos via Camber, Harlem Congregation, Ariel Property Advisors)

Camber Property Group has acquired a 60-unit, project-based Section 8 apartment complex in Central Harlem for $30 million.

Camber, a mixed-use and workforce housing developer, closed on a deal to buy the four-building Johanna Apartments complex at 104-110 West 114th Street from Renaissance Realty Group.

“Building new units is not the only way we can preserve affordable housing in New York City,” said Camber principal and co-founder Rick Gropper, adding that the acquisition was partially financed with a $20.5 million loan from Walker & Dunlop, with a longer term plan of switching it to a HUD loan.

The five-story apartment complex has been operated under a contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to offer homes for low-income families. But it was never regulated by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation, Gropper said, leaving it vulnerable to conversion into market rate apartments if a new owner chose to do so.

Camber is in the process of signing a 40-year regulatory deal with the city to maintain the affordability of the complex in exchange for a tax abatement, he said, noting that an agreement is expected to be approved shortly.

Camber worked on the deal in partnership with Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, a nonprofit community revitalization group. Ariel Property Advisors’ Victor Sozio and Cortney Lee represented seller Renaissance Realty.

“The preservation of affordable housing is essential to aiding working low to moderate income families to remain in the city,” said Malcolm Punter, the nonprofit’s president & CEO, in a statement.

The Camber-Harlem Congregations partnership was also behind the Dr. Joan O. Dawson Plaza project, a 138-unit, fully affordable housing development at 11 West 118th Street in Central Harlem. The recently completed complex offers 94 units for low-income seniors and 41 homes for formerly homeless seniors.

Last month, Camber acquired a Hell’s Kitchen apartment building out of bankruptcy for $40.3 million.





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