First Republic Provides $60M Loan as Queens Resi Building Nears Opening

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Pi Capital Partners has nabbed a $60M mortgage to refinance construction debt on a new residential building in Queens, Commercial Observer can exclusively report.

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The debt comes in the form of a five-year, fixed-rate loan on the building, known as The Elm West, according to Meridian Capital Group, the finance brokerage that arranged the deal. It replaces construction financing from People’s United Bank that dated to 2016. A spokesman for Meridian declined to identify the lender, but a source close to the transaction confirmed that the mortgage is from First Republic Bank.

Meridian’s Cary Pollack and Judah Neuman led the New York City-based debt brokerage’s work on the deal.

Leasing at the retail and residential building, at 85-15 Queens Boulevard in the borough’s Elmhurst section, is set to ramp up in February 2019. When finished, it will include 142 rental units, ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments, and 25,000 square feet of ground-level storefront space. Forte Preparatory Academy Charter School, an Elmhurst middle school that emphasizes college preparation, has dibs on an additional 30,000 square feet in the seven-story building.

A few blocks west of the Queens Center Mall, The Elm West will face a sister building also developed by Pi Capital, The Elm East, across Broadway. At that building, finished in 2015, a one-bedroom apartment rented last month for $2,299 per month, according to StreetEasy, while a two-bedroom apartment went for $2,899 in August.

Those rates came in slightly above the borough average for monthly rent, which was $2,164 in September, as per a separate report from the real estate website.

A representative for Pi Capital declined to comment, and a First Republic spokesman said the bank typically does not speak to the press about its deals.