Wednesday Roundup: The Developers and the Environmentalists . . . Join Forces?

A public stock offering, a CMBS report, West Side affordable housing, and more:

  • A Port Washington, N.Y., REIT announced a public offering yesterday, and the pricing today.  Cedar Realty Trust Inc. will issue and sell six million common shares in a public offering.  The NYSE-traded company closed down slightly today at $6.19 a share. The offering press release can be found HERE. Today's pricing press release is on the company's site HERE. The offering is expected to settle next week.
  • Kroll Bond Rating Agency put out its first new year CMBS report yesterday, noting that origination standards loosened over the course of the year, but at the same time, it said that high-leverage loans wih amounts-to-value ratios in excess of 100% also were rising.   You can see the newsletter HERE with registration.
  • The Albany Times Union yesterday noted that environmental interests, like the Environmental Advocates of New York, New Partners for Community Renewal, New York League of Conservation Voters and NYC Environmental Justice League, are joining with pro-development groups, like the New York State Business Council and Real Estate Board of New York, to support retaining laws that the environmental groups previously opposed:  extending the decade-old Brownfield Tax Credit Program, which expires at the end of next year. The program, the article says, already has cost the state $1.1 billion in tax credits and could kick out another $2.3 billion for developers, who are incentivized to clean up sites and build on them. The newspaper reported three years ago that the credits were going to developments like luxury Manhattan buildings, with only 10% of the credits going to actual cleanups. But the article suggests that the environmental groups want to see the law extended so long as the rules are changed to target the credit more toward cleanup projects. The article can be found HERE.
  • DNAInfo has an article on West Side affordable housing development.  It notes that Community Board 4 voted to support plans to build 210 affordable units to the former Clinton Urban Renewal Area--on West 52nd and 53rd Sts., from 10th to 11th Aves. It would include three new or reconditioned buildings by the Clinton Housing Development Corp., a longtime Hell's Kitchen nonprofit community developer; Taconic Investment Partners, a New York real estate owner and developer, and Ritterman Capital, a 25-year-old Boca Raton, Fla., investment firm. DNAInfo's article says that the units will be made available to New Yorkers "with a wide range of incomes—from people making $24,000 a year to those making $99,000 a year, or families of four making from $34,000 to $141,000 a year." The community board's vote isn't full authorization or even binding:  the proposal needs a sign-off from the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio. 
  • Crain's New York Business today has details on the deal that will get the Queens Flushing Commons built.  The article says that the $850 million development by a partnership between TDC Development International, the Rockefeller Group, AECOM Capital and Mount Kellett Capital Management, with financing from Starwood Property Trust Inc., closed Dec. 30. The last piece in the long-discussed deal was the $20 million purchase of a big city parking lot, which, Crain's reports, made the mixed-use project, which includes a park, "the last development project to be sewn up during the Bloomberg administration, and one which the city and the developers contend will revitalize downtown Flushing after a groundbreaking expected sometime this month."  The article can be read HERE with registration. The Flushing Commons project page on the website of TDC's parent, F&T Group, can be viewed HERE.
  • Chicago-based Ares Commercial Real Estate Corp. announced yesterday that it originated six new loans in December for its principal lending portfolio.  The commitments totaled $339 million, of which $258 million was aggregate initial funding. ACRE was at work in New York City.  It reported that 60% of the December loans closed were collateralized by multifamily properties, including a $125 million first mortgage and mezzanine financing for an Upper West Side apartment building. The remaining loans, ACRE said, were secured by office and industrial properties. Last month, the Real Deal reported that ACRE funded the purchase of 212 W. 91st St.; you can see that article HERE. You can see ACRE's press release on its website HERE; the firm now values its lending portfolio at more than $1 billion.
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