Multifamily leads big month for outer-borough loans

Waterfront developments in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Astoria got financing

From left: 346 Kent Avenue, 30-77 Vernon Boulevard, and 1 Java Street
From left: 346 Kent Avenue, 30-77 Vernon Boulevard, and 1 Java Street (Getty, SHoP Architects, James Corner Field Operations, Lendlease, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development)

The multifamily market looked robust in Brooklyn and Queens last month, with lenders committing nearly $1 billion to waterfront apartment projects in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Astoria.

Overall, the 10 largest real estate loans in the outer boroughs last month fetched $1.43 billion, making it the strongest December for big loans since at least 2018. Brooklyn claimed seven of the 10, while Queens had three. Here are more details.

Arboreal finance | Williamsburg | $364M

Two Trees Management got financing from JPMorgan Chase to build 600 apartments in a two-tower, waterfront project at 346 Kent Avenue. Construction of the buildings, which will share a podium, began six months ago and is expected to be completed within two years.

The project qualified for the 421a tax abatement, but a separate 1 million-square-foot portion of Two Trees’ Domino Sugar megadevelopment faces uncertainty following the tax benefit’s expiration.

Kiwis and roos | Greenpoint | $360M

Aussie megadeveloper LendLease secured funding to build two multifamily towers from a consortium of lenders led by Bank of America and including Mizuho Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank) and TD Bank.

The residential complex will have 834 apartments, 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and about 18,000 square feet of public waterfront. LendLease partnered with an Australian pension fund manager to buy the northern Brooklyn project’s 2.9-acre site from RedSky Capital and JZ Capital in October 2020 for $110.8 million.

East River views | Astoria | $212M

Cape Advisors refinanced its recently completed 534-unit, waterfront Astoria West complex with money from the real estate investment arm of global insurer AIG. The funds included $32 million in gap financing and replaced Square Mile Capital Management as the senior lender.

Square Mile originated construction financing for the Queens project in 2020. Mack Real Estate Credit Strategies had provided $65 million in acquisition financing in 2018.

Grabbing the airport shuttle | South Jamaica, Queens | $94M

Connecticut-based Soundview Real Estate Partners refinanced two new Marriott hotels — a 182-key Residence Inn and a 360-key Marriott — near JFK Airport with MSD Partners, which invests on behalf of Dell Technologies founder Michael Dell and his family. The loan includes $22 million in construction financing and replaces Bank OZK as senior lender.

Scaling up | Williamsburg | $90M

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Bridge City Funding snagged $90 million from Scale Lending, an affiliate of Slate Property Group, to build a 305-unit multifamily building at 268 Lorimer Street. The 247,000-square-foot project features rooms which break diagonally through the building envelope. Scale supplied a $47 million acquisition loan in January 2022.

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Bank OZK gives OK | Williamsburg | $83M

Arkansas-based lender Bank OZK lent Naftali Group $83 million to consolidate debt at 470 Kent Avenue, where the developer will use $385 million to build a 561-unit project with two rental buildings and a condominium. The loan replaces one from HSBC Bank.

Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries is partnering with Naftali on the project. Barings, the investment arm of MassMutual, will provide $75 million in mezzanine financing.

Long time coming | East Williamsburg | $66M

Hudson Companies and two local nonprofits secured funds from UMB Bank to convert the former Greenpoint Hospital into a 200-bed men’s shelter with a completion date of 2025. The second phase of the long-awaited project includes a ground-up, 18-story building with more than 300 units of affordable housing.

The city first chose a developer for the project in 2010, but community opposition to homeless men and controversy over the bidding created delays.

Retail refi | Rosedale | $55M

The Jemal family’s ISJ Management refinanced the Five Towns Shopping Center, a 500,000-square-foot, single-story retail outlet in Queens, with Signature Bank, which replaced Capital One as the senior lender.

Ohana manna | Downtown Brooklyn | $55M

As part of Ohana Real Estate’s takeover of the Tillary Hotel, Madison Realty Capital reduced the amount of leasehold debt on the property to $55 million from the original loan amount of $70 million. Ohana bought the property out of bankruptcy following a protracted dispute with Isaac Hager. It includes a 174-key hotel, a 64-unit apartment building and a commercial condo unit at 60 Duffield Street.

Cash-out refi | Clinton Hill | $54M

Atlanta-based self-storage company Storage Post secured $54 million from JPMorgan Chase, including a new $11 million mortgage, to refinance a 2,635-unit, 280,000-square-foot building at 35 Ryerson Street. Moishe Mana manages the property.

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