Mortgage banking company Merchants Capital has secured $35.4 million in agency funding for a 133-unit multifamily transitional housing facility located on Jamaica Avenue in the Queens neighborhood of New York City.
The project – known as Jamaica Apartments – is at the forefront of New York City’s strategy for eradicating homelessness.
The seven-year agency funding and immediate Freddie Mac Optigo Targeted Affordable Housing Capital Markets Execution (TAH-CME) cash loan was secured on behalf of Freddie Mac and Bayrock Capital.
The loan proceeds will be used to pay back the borrowers construction, acquisition loan for the property. Bayrock acquired the property in 2018 for $10.2 million, according to city records. CORE, a community-based, non-profit human services organization, operates the property.
“A project of this magnitude and significance, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, is needed now more than ever,” said Merchants Capital Vice President Michael Milazzo.
“The Right to Shelter obligation, which provides safe, multifamily housing with no required tenant contributions for homeless New Yorkers, is crucial as many Americans are out of work or otherwise struggling financially throughout these unprecedented times.”
Located at 199-21, 201-05, 201-15, Jamaica Avenue, Queens, residents of the property are given access to social services and mental health counseling, as well as education and career training to help them get back on their feet. Each unit has its own private bathroom and kitchen.
The two-building property was effectively built as a 133-unit multifamily development that partnered with the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to offer transitional housing to homeless families. All of the units are reserved for transitional housing.
In April 2016, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a major restructuring of the way homeless services in New York City are delivered.
The city plans to open approximately 20 new multifamily transitional housing shelters annually over the next five years to reach its goal of opening approximately 90 new shelters. Jamaica Apartments represents one of the multifamily transitional housing shelters that New York City is utilizing to eradicate homelessness in the future.
Others involved in the project include Brook Hollow Capital, a boutique mortgage brokerage based in Mahwah, New Jersey, which helped to manage the closing process.