Private developers receive $120M loan to fix Bronx NYCHA complex

The lenders are Hunt Real Estate Capital and Fannie Mae

Betances Houses
Betances Houses

UPDATED, Dec. 4, 3:00 p.m.: The private developers that now manage the NYCHA complex Betances Houses received a $120 million loan to make repairs.

RDC Development, composed of Long Island developer MDG Design and Construction and Queens property management firm Wavecrest Management, landed a $120.6 million loan to acquire and update the Betances Houses in the Bronx, according to public records and a press release. RDC is partnering with Catholic Charities for the project.

The Betances portfolio covers 39 multifamily properties and one community center in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. The addresses covered by the loan include 690 East 140th Street, 445 East 137th Street, 416 East 137th Street, 509 East 144th Street, 423 St. Anns Street, 510 and 530 East 146th, 550 East 147th Street, 480 East 143rd Street, 400 Brook Avenue, 409 East 146th Street, 455 East 146th Street, 472 Willis Avenue and 460 East 147th Street, according to records filed with the city on Monday. The lender is Hunt Real Estate Capital.

The partnership is planning to build a 101-unit apartment complex at the Willis Avenue site, according to records filed with the Department of Buildings on Tuesday.
The property, which sits at the corner of East 146th Street, will be the future location of a 15-story property that spans 90,000 square feet. The building will be divided between 82,500 of residential space and 7,500 square feet of commercial space. If approved as proposed, the building would be 145 feet tall.

The planned structure will replace a five-story apartment building. The property, which has a total square footage of 63,800 square feet, currently contains 49 apartments and three commercial units, according to city data.

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RDC was one of the developers selected as NYCHA partners under the RAD program. Other developers include partnerships led by Gilbane Development and Hunt Development Group.

The Betances portfolio, which ranges from two-story buildings to 20-story properties, includes a total of 1,088 apartments. Late last month, the Betances Houses was moved to the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration Section 8 program (RAD), which ensures that apartments in the complex will remain affordable under NYCHA guidelines. RDC will take over management and perform repairs at the property, with plans to upgrade kitchens, bathrooms, boilers and security systems. Total construction costs for the complex is estimated at $109 million, according to Hunt vice president Joshua Reiss.

RDC signed a 99-year ground lease for the properties earlier this month as part of a city plan to repair 62,000 apartments over the next decade. The lease was valued at $79.2 million, property records show. The partnership did not collect a developer fee and put in $16.5 million of equity in the project.

The city is planning to spend $13 billion to repair NYCHA apartments. The Betances Houses is one of 21 developments in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx covered by the RAD program.

Updated: This story has been updated to include news of new permit filings for the Betances Houses.