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Deals & Dealmakers

$500M construction loan a record for Queens market

The development team behind 23-14 44th Drive in Long Island City, Queens, has closed on a $502 million construction loan from JP Morgan.

The loan was closed with a syndicate of domestic and international banks.

Once completed, the 802-unit luxury condominium project with ground-floor retail and will rise 67-stories, making it the tallest residential building outside of Manhattan.

23-14 44th Drive is a collaboration by the lead developer, Chris Xu of United Construction and Development, and partners Henry Yeung, Brian Pun of FSA Capital and Risland U.S. Holdings, LLC.

The project was designed by NYC-based architecture firm Hill West Architects, with interiors by its design arm, Whitehall Interiors.

Morris Betesh, senior managing director at Meridian Capital Group, negotiated the loan, which now stands as the largest condominium construction loan to have closed in Queens.

“Large condo construction loans are challenging to get done in today’s market, but the unique features of this project and the strength of the sponsorship enabled us to achieve favorable terms from a syndicate of banks,” said Betesh.

“Chris Xu is one of our most creative and resourceful developers, and we are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with him on this historic project. Partnering his expertise with Risland gives us certainty that this project will be a success.”

The building will span 958,000 s/f and contain 802 luxury studio to four-bedroom condos as well as 15,000 s/f of grade-level retail space and 225 parking spaces.

Construction began on the foundation of the property in late 2018 and is expected to be completed in phases between 2021 and 2022.

Long Island City brokerage firm Modern Spaces will exclusively handle marketing and sales for the project.

Prior to construction, the development team had secured the initial $100 million land loan from Bank of China.

Herrick Feinstein provided legal representation to the development team in its newest loan transaction.

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