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Sterling National Bank Provides $15.7MM Credit Facility to West Farms Apartments

March 03, 2017, 07:01 AM
Filed Under: Real Estate

Sterling National Bank, the principal subsidiary of Sterling Bancorp,announced that it has provided a credit facility totaling $15.7 million to West Farms Apartments, an affordable housing initiative in the Crotona Park East/East Morrisania section of the Bronx. The credit facility includes a $12 million construction loan and a $3.7 million senior commercial multifamily mortgage. The deal closed on January 19, 2017.

West Farms Apartments is a proposed new construction of an 81-unit affordable apartment building for the transition of homeless persons living with HIV/AIDS from shelters to permanent housing in the Bronx. According to the New York City Department of Homeless Services, there are more than 60,500 homeless residents in New York City, including more than 10 percent of whom are HIV positive or suffering from AIDS. Development on the project, which will be led by the Walison Corporation, is expected to commence in April of 2017 and will be completed within 24 months.

"Sterling is fully committed to community reinvestment and development," said Vinny DeLucia, Sterling's Executive Vice President and Regional Banking President of New York and New Jersey. "This project reflects our continued support for those in need and our commitment to financing affordable housing."

"We are very excited to be supporting an essential project like West Farms, which will have such a positive impact for the homeless in New York City," said K. James Dittbrenner, Managing Director of Community Development at Sterling. "We are committed to providing financing and helping innovative projects like this get off the ground. The combination of affordable housing and community service that this project provides is a great model for the future, and we are very proud to help make it happen."

The West Farms site is adjacent to the intersection of Interstate 95 (Cross Bronx Expressway) and Interstate 895 (Sheridan Expressway), approximately one-quarter of a mile from the 174th Street Station, which serves the 2 and 5 lines of the New York City subway.

The project will be restricted to residents earning up to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) and will target chronically homeless single adults living with advanced HIV or AIDS. It will also include a community space, on-site management, on-site security and a dedicated office space for Comunilife, Inc., which will provide social services to residents. Comunilife owns or manages 1,607 units of supported transitional and permanent housing for homeless adults with HIV/AIDS, serious mental and behavioral health issues, and other chronic medical conditions.

"Sterling has been a key partner in making this project possible, and has worked with us every step of the way to understand the importance of the initiative and the uniqueness of our financial needs," said Rafi Rajput, Chairman of Walison Corporation, the developer. Sabah Rajput, a Principal of Walison added, "We are looking forward to seeing the benefits this project will bring to the community and to making a real difference for homeless New Yorkers with HIV and AIDS." Sal Rajput, also a Principal of Walison added, "We value our partnership with Sterling and look forward to more projects with them in the future to benefit communities in New York and beyond."

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