Alchemy scores $68M construction loan for Noma condo

Project hits "sweet spot" in the market: Ken Horn

From left: M&T Bank's Robert Wilmers, Alchemy's Ken Horn and the Noma at 50 West 30th Street
From left: M&T Bank's Robert Wilmers, Alchemy's Ken Horn and the Noma at 50 West 30th Street

Alchemy Properties and partner the Carlyle Group have scored a $67.8 million construction loan for a new 24-story condominium building at 50 West 30th Street.

The project is known as the Noma and will comprise 55 one- to three-bedroom homes, priced in the middle-market at about $2,200 per square foot, or starting at $1.4 million for a one-bedroom.

M&T Bank provided the loan just over a week after Alchemy secured another $220 million construction loan from Overseas Bank Limited for the Woolworth Tower Residences. The loans may serve as a bright spot for developers at a time when lenders, wary of a slowdown in high-end apartment sales and a potential supply glut, have retreated from the Manhattan condominium market.

Horn said sales have been very brisk since the property launched in March, calling the price point a “sweet spot” in the overall condo market.

“Novices are not going to be able to get equity or construction loans in this market,” said Ken Horn, president of Alchemy. “Lenders are lumping the ultra luxury market with every market — they’re saying, ‘Gee, the market is slow’ — but that’s not the case. The lenders coming in on this realize that this product is priced well for the genre that it’s in.”

Amenities at the building include a 125-foot long landscaped residents’ terrace equipped with an outdoor grill and dining areas, a library and a fitness center.

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“In any given week we’re having 20 appointments and we haven’t done any bulk advertising,” he said. “If you don’t try to sell a $2,800 per square foot building at $4,000 a foot, you’re going to do well.”

Horn said he was able to carve out an attractive basis at the project, since it was a very complicated acquisition. There were nearly 20 individual owners of the retail properties on the site, some of whom wanted to be bought out and others who wanted to retain a stake in the project. In the end, 11 of those owners took control of the two-story retail portion of the building below the residential component.

The building is slated to be completed by the end of 2017.

“We’ve been careful to buy properties at prices we think are correct,” Horn said. “Our thing has been to do deals that are complex and take a lot of brain power.”

There were no brokers involved in the financing deal. M&T Bank did not immediately return a request for comment.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the value of loan granted to the Woolworth Residences. It was a $220 million loan.