Zara lands $83M construction loan for energy-efficient Queens apartments

Developer claims 223-unit Jamaica project will beat city’s 2030 climate goals by 40 percent

Zara co-managing partner Tony Subraj with renderings of the project (George Subraj Family Foundation, Zara Realty)
Zara co-managing partner Tony Subraj with renderings of the project (George Subraj Family Foundation, Zara Realty)

Zara Realty landed nearly $83 million in financing for its newest apartment building in Queens, which it’s touting as one of the first projects in the area that will meet with the ambitious caps the city has set on greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade.

Queens-based Zara locked in the construction loan from Emigrant Bank and Arbor Realty Trust for its planned 223-unit multifamily development at 153-10 88th Avenue in Jamaica, the company developer confirmed to The Real Deal.

Zara plans to break ground shortly and aims to finish the project by 2023. The nine-story, 218,000-square-foot building will rise a block from Jamaica’s 11.5-acre Rufus King Park, which the developers are touting as a major amenity for future tenants.

“Manhattan has Central Park, Brooklyn has Prospect Park, and the beautiful and historically significant Rufus King Park is an absolute jewel for the people of Queens,” wrote Zara co-managing partner Tony Subraj in a statement.

The building, which will set aside 30 percent of its apartments as income-restricted, incorporates design features meant to cut water consumption, retain heat during the cold and cool down through heat waves.

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Zara representatives said the building will come in 40 percent below the 2030 emissions caps imposed by the city’s Climate Mobilization Act. The City Council in 2019 passed the legislation, referred to as New York City’s version of the Green New Deal, which aims to slash citywide carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.

One of the building’s key features is a solar roof that the developers say can produce 69 kilowatts of energy, the equivalent of taking 282 combustion-engine cars off the road.

Zara, which the Subraj family founded in 1982, began assembling the development site back in 2007.

The property is near the site of the former Mary Immaculate Hospital, which Joe Chetrit’s Chetrit Group is developing into a 481-unit multifamily complex.

A JLL team led by Christopher Peck and Peter Rotchford arranged the financing for Zara’s development.

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