ENY complex gets $130M in financing

A large apartment complex in East New York, Brooklyn, has secured $130 million in public and private financing that will be used to rehabilitate the aging Mitchell-Lama structure.

Linden Plaza, comprised of 1,527 apartments in five buildings, is a low-income multifamily development built in 1971 that housing advocates said needed major repairs.

The complex’s owners, the DeMatteis Organization, planned to spend $52 million for upgrades to the units, the common spaces and parking decks, said Jim Gillespie, managing director of Red Stone Partners, the principal lender.

The deal, which closed last week, involved tax-exempt financing from federal and city sources, Gillespie said. The apartment buildings are located at 790 Eldert Lane, 765 Lincoln Avenue, 760 Eldert Lane, 735 Lincoln Avenue and 675 Lincoln Avenue.

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Housing advocate Amy Chan, a Mitchell-Lama organizer at the advocacy group Tenants and Neighbors, said the deal was far better when compared with a rejected proposal at Starrett City, also in East New York, that would have led to substantial rent hikes.

But Chan said tenants are uneasy about some aspects of the deal.

“I think they are torn because on the one hand they see the necessity of improving the physical defects, but on the other hand for many of them it will mean a rise in rents and also people are skeptical of [Section 8] sticky vouchers,” she said.

Rents range from $800 to $1,400 for studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, but only a fraction of that is paid directly by the tenants, depending on income. The balance is paid by federal rent subsidies. 

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