Scale Lending Provides $142M Construction Loan for 521-unit Queens Multifamily

The floating-rate construction loan will help Sutphin Boulevard Equities lease up the Queens mixed-use property

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Sutphin Boulevard Equities, a development entity owned by New York City real estate financier Joel Zupnick, has secured $142 million in construction financing to complete a 521-unit multifamily building in Jamaica, Queens, Commercial Observer has learned. 

SCALE Lending, the debt financing business of Slate Property Group, provided the floating-rate loan, which has a 30-month term and two six-month extension options. Steve Hersko of SHB Group arranged the financing on behalf of the sponsor. 

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Martin Nussbaum, co-founder and principal at Slate Property Group, praised both Zupnick and the location of the mixed-use building, which sits at 147-35 95th Avenue, next to the bustling Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue-JFK Airport subway station and right along the active Jamaica Avenue corridor that features numerous restaurants and shops. 

“We were attracted by the opportunity to work with an experienced and well-capitalized sponsor in Joel Zupnick and his project team, who have already topped off the superstructure of the building,” said Nussbaum in a statement. “Its prime Queens location near multiple transportation hubs, combined with quality construction and an extensive amenity program, will make 147-35 95th Avenue an attractive rental option for local residents.”

Zupnick has developed and invested in commercial real estate through his firm Remsen Capital Management for the last 24 years. Sutphin Boulevard Equities, a limited liability company under that firm, worked with Heartfelt Townhouse Builders as the general contractor on this project, and used Thornton Tomasetti as structural engineer and J Frankl Architects as the architect. 

Sutphin Boulevard Equities intends to use the $142 million in construction financing to finish the 24-story apartment complex and finalize both lease-up and stabilization, according to Slate.

Construction is expected to be completed in summer 2024. The building is eligible for New York State’s 421a tax abatement, which subsidizes affordable housing in new developments but expired last year.  

Daniel Ridloff, managing director of Slate Property Group and co-head of Scale, noted the difficulty of finalizing the loan in the current market, where the 10-year Treasury and Federal Funds Rate each sit at 15-year highs. 

“In today’s challenging capital markets environment, more lenders are moving to the sidelines due to balance sheet and capacity issues,” Ridloff said. “Scale remains one of the most active lenders in multifamily, offering borrowers a wide range of financing options that continue to make high-quality development possible.”

When completed, 147-35 95th Avenue will feature studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartment units. Amenities for the building will include a gym, yoga room, rooftop lounge, game room, theater room and “TikTok Room,” ostensibly to record TikTok videos. The property itself will feature 363 parking spaces and 1,231 square feet of retail space. 

Brian Pascus can be reached at bpascus@commercialobserver.com