Shanghai Commercial Lends $67M for Upper Manhattan Resi Project


The owner of a long-undeveloped lot in Manhattanville, Columbia International, has secured a $66.8 million financing package from Shanghai Commercial Bank, New York City property records show.

The site, at 402-422 West 126th Street, has been fallow for years, since Queens developer Bo Jin Zhu bought the lot for $6.6 million. He had originally planned to build a nine-story hotel and a 16-story apartment building on the block, between Morningside and Amsterdam Avenues, according to New York YIMBY, but the project stalled for two years after he filed permits in 2015.

SEE ALSO: Madison Realty Capital Adds Samir Tejpaul to Lead Capital Markets Business

In 2017, Columbia bought the site for $28 million. The sale appears to have followed debt trouble for Bo: a public legal notice dated Aug. 1 of that year announced that the property’s mezzanine lender, named only as West 126th Street Mezz Lender LLC, would be selling the property in a foreclosure auction. 

Columbia’s acquisition followed three months later. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the new developer bought the property at auction or in a separate arrangement.

Since its purchase, Columbia has pushed the project in a different direction, abandoning the lodging component to focus solely on a residential structure. Its plan for the lot calls for a mixed-use 16-story tower with 92 apartments and 59,000 square feet of commercial space, according to ABS Partners, a real estate firm that detailed Columbia’s vision for the site in a recent newsletter.

The debt from Shanghai Commercial Bank includes a $46.2 million building loan and a $6.6 million project loan, according to records. The deal also transfers to Shanghai Commercial Bank the $14 million acquisition loan that Columbia used to buy the property from Bo in 2017. Cathay Bank was the original lender in that acquisition.

The bank came through with financing for a similarly scaled deal earlier this year when it lent $75 million to fund construction on an residential-and-retail project at 144-51 Northern Boulevard in Flushing, a development spearheaded by Hung & Chong Real Estate.

Columbia International couldn’t be reached. A loan officer for Shanghai Commercial Bank declined to comment.