Finance  ·  Industry

SMA Equities Lands $71M Loan for Gramercy Green Energy Apartment Building

The developer acquired the site in 2015 and financed the construction for the 108-unit Gemma Gramercy in 2021

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SMA Equities, a New York City-based real estate firm, has secured a $70.63 million loan to refinance its recently completed 20-story apartment property in Manhattan’s Gramercy neighborhood, Commercial Observer has learned. 

JLL’s agency lending arm provided the 10-year, fixed-rate, interest-only Fannie Mae (FNMA) loan. The loan was originated via Fannie Mae’s “Near Stabilization Execution” program, which provides long-term financing for new construction or recently renovated projects that forecast stabilized occupancy within four months of origination.    

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The JLL Capital Markets team of Evan Pariser, Michael Shmuely, Michael Zaremski and John Flynn arranged the loan on behalf of SMA Equities. 

“This was a highly structured transaction, which allowed the client to lock rate and close prior to achieving full stabilization and is a testament to Fannie Mae’s commitment to both affordable housing and its green initiatives,” said Shmuely in a statement. 

JLL previously represented SMA Equities when it acquired the building site in 2015 and also when it secured construction financing in 2021. 

“After nearly 10 years of work that included securing a construction loan at the height of the COVID pandemic, [SMA Equities is] now powerfully positioned to reap the rewards through operational savings, increased returns and marketability of a product that appeals to environmentally conscious renters seeking a superior lifestyle in a vibrant urban neighborhood,” said JLL’s Pariser in a statement. 

Located at 200 East 23rd Street and known as Gemma Gramercy, the 20-story, 108-unit property is the first building financed under Fannie Mae’s “Passive House” green building certification standards. The property is also one of the last buildings in New York to be financed through the 421a program, a recently canceled tax abatement intended to spur affordable housing development within luxury buildings. Roughly 25 percent of units within Gemma Gramercy are designated as affordable, and the property includes ground-floor retail space. 

Boasting studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, the luxury building includes a rooftop terrace, a fitness center, a second-floor lounge and entertainment room, and communal laundry. The building’s “Passive House” construction is expected to reduce its energy usage by up to 85 percent compared to other apartment complexes. 

Brian Pascus can be reached at bpascus@commercialobserver.com