Maryland affordable housing developer scores $70M loan on Gold Coast apartment complex

The loan will back Foundation Housing’s renovation of the 256-unit Morningside North Apartments
By Alex Nitkin | July 08, 2019 04:00PM

Foundation Housing president Todd Travis and Morningside North Apartments, 170 West Oak Street

Foundation Housing president Todd Travis and Morningside North Apartments, 170 West Oak Street

The owner of a Near North Side affordable housing complex scored a massive federally backed loan ahead of planned renovations.

Maryland-based Foundation Housing secured a $70.4 million mortgage from Greystone, a New York-based real estate investment firm, for the 256-unit Morningstar North apartment complex, the lender announced Monday.

Fannie Mae backed the loan through its “duty to serve” affordable housing initiative and its “green rewards” program, which will pay for the building owner to make energy efficiency upgrades to the complex.

The 17-year Greystone loan combines with state tax credits from the Illinois Housing Development Authority and about $30.5 million in tax credit equity from Netherlands-based Aegon.

The Morningside North complex was built in 1981 at 170 West Oak Street, between the former Cabrini Green public housing development and the well-to-do Gold Coast neighborhood. The building is under a federal Section 8 contract to keep units affordable to families earning less than 60 percent of area median income.

The 18-story building mostly comprises one-bedroom apartments with a library, on-site office and club room. The units are about 98 percent occupied.

Morningside North was one of several North Side affordable complexes left standing after former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s oversaw the demolition of more than 15,000 public housing units around the city through his Plan for Transformation initiative. Even as mixed-income redevelopment proposals from developers like Hunt Companies and Holsten Real Estate Development inch forward, the former home of Cabrini Green remains littered with vacant lots.

Nonprofit Preservation of Affordable Housing, one of the largest private owners of affordable units in the city, expanded its portfolio last month to include more than 1,800 units in the Chicago area.

Foundation Housing owns nearly 12,000 apartments across 19 states, including 548 total units in Illinois, according to the firm’s website.

Representatives of Foundation Housing did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.