Bank that backs Brooklyn’s biggest Hasidic developers lends $40M on synagogue conversion on UWS

Bank of Internet CEO Gregory Garrabrants and 212 West 93rd Street (Credit: BOFI Federal Bank and SZNYC)
Bank of Internet CEO Gregory Garrabrants and 212 West 93rd Street (Credit: BOFI Federal Bank and SZNYC)

Bofl Federal, the California-based lender that’s provided a slew of loans to Brooklyn’s most prolific Orthodox Jewish developers, has provided a $40 million loan for a synagogue conversion on the Upper West Side.

Leyton Properties and Chinese developer Landsea Homes secured the funding to build a 14-story luxury condominium development at 212 West 93rd Street, according to Commercial Observer. The new building will replace the existing Shaare Zedek Synagogue and is being designed by Eran Chen of ODA New York.

The San Diego-based lender, formerly known as Bank of Internet before a rebranding in 2011, provided the senior loan, while Ackman-Ziff Real Estate will provide the construction loan, according to the report.

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Bofl, founded in 1999 on the pitch that it would provide funding even on the traditional bank holiday because its services are online, now holds around $9 billion in assets. It made headlines earlier this year after it was tied to two Kushner Companies projects. In 2016, the SEC probed the company after a series of whistleblower claims it was providing money illegally to foreign nationals, but the investigation was reportedly dropped last year without any further action. (The New York Post reported Thursday morning that an inquiry by the Treasury Department remains ongoing.)

Its services have appealed to middle-market investors and luxury rental developers in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox communities. Eight of the bank’s largest loans in the past three years were tied to Brooklyn developers, including Williamsburg’s Hasidic community, according to a May analysis of property records by The Real Deal. [CO] — David Jeans