The Doe Fund Lands $53M in Construction Financing for Brooklyn Transitional Residence

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The Doe Fund has secured $52.6 million in construction financing for 510 Gates Avenue, a 200-bed transitional residence in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Commercial Observer can first report.

Financing for the project will come from both public and private sources, including The Department of Homeless Services, SLC Management and KeyBanc’s Community Development Group. The Doe Fund acquired 510 Gates Avenue in 2020, financing the purchase with a two-year loan from KeyBanc Capital Markets. Servicing and repayment of the loan will come from contractual payments by DHS under a 22-year service contract, according to a release.

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The property at 510 Gates Avenue sits adjacent to 520 Gates Avenue, a 60-bed facility originally developed by The Doe Fund in 1990. Since then, the organization, known for its Ready, Willing & Able work program, has expanded its holdings to include a 200-bed residence in Harlem and a 400-bed residence in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The organization’s portfolio also includes nearly 900,000 square feet of state-of-the-art permanent affordable and supportive housing in both the operational and development stages. 

“Gates Avenue is where it all began for us — where we first proved to the world that, when given the opportunity to work and earn a living, people experiencing homelessness would seize it,” John McDonald, executive vice president of real estate & interim president of The Doe Fund, said in a prepared statement. 

Demolition of the existing structure at 510 Gates Avenue is expected to start in February, with the new project’s development estimated to take 27 months.

“Projects like 510 Gates demonstrate the ability of sophisticated mission-driven organizations like The Doe Fund to improve the lives of those most in need,” Sam Adams, managing director of public finance at KeyBanc Capital Markets, said in a prepared statement. “Their partnership with NYC DHS shows how private and public parties can work together to achieve incredible results.”

“We’re delighted to be continuing our work with The Doe Fund in financing their latest project at 510 Gates Avenue,” said Liz Thorne, managing director of private fixed income at SLC Management. “The health and well-being of our communities is integral to an equitable society, and we’re thrilled that this investment will be providing an essential service to a vulnerable population that will help break the cycle of homelessness in New York.” 

When completed, 510 Gates Avenue will provide 200 beds to homeless men who have been referred by the NYC Department of Homeless Services transitional housing program. These individuals will have the option to voluntarily participate in The Doe Fund’s nine- to 12-month Ready, Willing & Able program, a workforce development program that provides access to paid work in social enterprise — including a street cleaning service covering 115 miles of NYC streets — alongside support services such as case management and career training in living-wage fields such as skilled trades. The program also offers, addiction recovery, adult basic education, high school equivalency preparation, computer literacy, financial management, parenting and legal support.

“The Department of Homeless Services is proud to partner with The Doe Fund on 510 Gates Avenue. This transitional housing facility will provide men experiencing homelessness access to essential workforce development training, case management and other targeted services to support transition to permanency,” Gary Jenkins, department of social services commissioner, said in a prepared statement.

Emily Fu can be reached at efu@commercialobserver.com.