Scott Rechler’s RXR gets mega-refi for Yonkers project that proved critics wrong

438-unit luxury rental development is nearly 94% leased

New York /
Nov.November 19, 2021 06:00 PM

Scott Rechler (Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, RXR Realty), view of Sawyer Place from the Hudson River (RXR Realty, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

When RXR Realty broke ground in December 2016 on a two-tower luxury rental development in Yonkers, skeptics said the “if you build it, they will come” strategy would not work there.

But come they did.

The success of Sawyer Place allowed RXR Realty to recently land a $160-million refinancing for the multifamily complex.

Scott Rechler-led RXR, in conjunction with Yonkers-based Rising Development, completed the 438-unit project in the heart of Yonkers’ downtown near the Metro-North train station in 2020. According to the complex’s website, it is nearly 94 percent leased.

Aaron Appel and Jonathan Schwartz led a Walker & Dunlop team that advised RXR on the refinancing, which replaced a construction loan. Mesa West Capital provided the five-year, floating-rate, non-recourse bridge financing, according to Walker & Dunlop.

Like the many other developments sprouting near Westchester train stations in recent years, Sawyer Place aimed to attract young professionals and empty nesters by offering luxury rentals near mass transit at lower rents than comparable New York City buildings do. Walker & Dunlop’s Appel said the capital market saw the value in the strategy, resulting in an attractive financing deal.

The first phase of the two-tower, $190-million development, formerly known as Larkin Plaza, started leasing in November 2018. According to the website, available apartments include a 720-square-foot one-bedroom for $2,086 a month.

RXR Realty also serves as master developer for another Westchester city, New Rochelle.

In addition to renters, Sawyer Place attracted some unwanted attention when a Dec. 5, 2019, letter from federal prosecutors revealed that a project manager for the development was allegedly part of a mafia bribery scheme. But RXR confirmed with prosecutors that it was not a subject of the investigation.





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