Developers land $414M for Inwood project after waiting out rezoning fight

Joy Construction and Madd Equities scored construction financing for 611-unit project at 3875 9th Ave

Eli Weiss and a rendering of 3875 9th Avenue
Eli Weiss and a rendering of 3875 9th Avenue (Joy Construction)

More than seven years after buying the land, Joy Construction and Madd Equities are finally ready to get going on their planned 611-unit apartment complex in Inwood.

The developers secured $414 million in construction financing for the mixed-use project at 3875 Ninth Avenue, a site on the Harlem River that sat undeveloped for years as a legal fight played out over the Uptown neighborhood’s controversial rezoning.

The funding is a combination of tax-exempt bonds issued by the city’s Housing Development Corporation, city loans and tax credits. Wells Fargo provided credit enhancement on the bonds and is acquiring the tax credits. The financing deal closed last week, according to Joy Construction’s Eli Weiss.

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Given the mix of tax incentives, public financing and the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, all units in the project, dubbed North Cove, will be below market rate. The complex will be open to tenants earning between 27 to 90 percent of the area median income and for individuals who were formerly homeless.

The joint venture acquired the site in 2015 for just $4.25 million, anticipating a rezoning that would allow for taller construction. But the project was delayed, first by years of debate and litigation, then by the pandemic. The Inwood rezoning was ultimately upheld by the New York Court of Appeals in 2020, and North Cove was approved by the Department of Buildings the following year.

Filings for multifamily projects have waned since property tax break 421a’s expiration last year, but publicly financed ones like North Cove have moved forward.