Artimus lands $90M to build in Gowanus, beats 421a deadline

Dwindling number of multifamily projects are able to receiving construction loans

Artimus Construction Lands $90 Million to Build in Gowanus

A photo illustration depicting a rendering of the planned project at 164 4th Avenue in Gowanus (Getty, Artimus Construction)

Artimus Construction has landed financing for an increasingly rare bird in New York City: new multifamily development.

The company, with Ken Haron, Eytan Benyamin and Barry Gurvitch at the helm, secured $90 million to build a 188-unit building at 164 4th Avenue in Gowanus, Brooklyn, in partnership with the Wiczyk family’s Heron Real Estate. 

JP Morgan Chase loaned the developer nearly $75 million to build on the site of a former gas station bounded by Douglas Street and Degraw Street. The Community Preservation Corporation loaned an additional $16 million. 

Artimus will have until 2026 to finish construction in order to qualify for the 421a tax abatement, although lenders typically require that a project wraps up a year ahead of the city’s deadline.

GKV is the architect on record, and the development will have about 32,000 square feet of commercial space, records show.

After New York’s legislature allowed 421a to expire without a replacement, 5,300 new apartments in Gowanus were on the line, many of them deeply affordable. Governor Kathy Hochul was forced to perform triage, creating a program which allows larger Gowanus projects to secure construction financing by freeing them from the 2026 deadline. 

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Artimus secured financing for its 17-story development without a deadline extension thanks to the size of its project — not too large to risk blowing construction deadlines imposed by lenders. 

Large new development sites were the first to feel the effects of the 421a expiration, due to long construction timelines that make them too risky to finance without guaranteed tax relief.

Some developers, including Charney Companies and Tavros Holdings, whose large Gowanus projects on Nevins Street were among the 5,300 apartments preserved by Hochul’s 421a workaround, bought into the neighborhood at a discount before the neighborhood’s rezoning was certified.

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Artimus formed a joint venture to develop the Gowanus site with the Wiczyk family after the rezoning was complete, and added 20,000 square feet of air rights to the property in 2023 with a $2.5 million air rights purchase, according to air rights and land value expert Duane Burress.

Last September, Artimus bought into another development site at 1140 Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattanville. Among the firm’s completed projects is Circa Central Park, at the corner of West 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

Artimus did not reply to a request for comment. A representative of JP Morgan declined to comment.