Northwind Group Provides $111M Takeout Financing on Houston Condo

The Hawthorne, a 17-story, 67-unit luxury condominium, has presold more than 50% of its units

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A joint venture by Houston-based Pelican Builders and Ember Group has secured $111 million in first-mortgage inventory financing for The Hawthorne, a 17-story, 67-unit luxury condominium in the Tanglewood neighborhood of Houston, Commercial Observer has learned. 

Northwind Group provided the loan through its closed-end debt fund. The $111 million first mortgage takes out and replaces the construction financing. CBRE (CBRE)’s John Fenoglio and Brock Hudson brokered the transactions on behalf of the sponsors. 

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Fenoglio said in a statement that the deal went from term sheet to closing within 45 days. 

“Northwind is the perfect capital partner for The Hawthorne due to their flexibility, attractive financing terms, and deep understanding of the condo market,” he said. “In addition to offering competitive terms, Northwind provided reliable execution and a smooth closing process.”

More than 50 percent of Hawthorne units have been presold as the joint-venture sponsorship finishes construction, and the remaining units will cover the rest of the loan, according to Ran Eliasaf, founder and managing partner of Northwind Group.   

“There’s not a lot of condo projects in Houston, so the market isn’t oversupplied, in that regard, and the proof is in the pudding in the amount of presales they’ve done,” Eliasaf told CO. “All of the buyers are local Houston buyers. They’re selling their house and moving into a condo. 

“They’re empty nesters who don’t need a big house anymore and prefer the safety and comfort of a condo,” he added.   

The loan marks another large financing by Northwind Group this year. Since the start of 2024, the New York-based debt fund has closed $310 million across five loans: three residential projects in the Northeast and a pair of health care facilities. 

“This has been the strongest start ever since we launched our debt funds. It looks like it will be a record-breaking year for us,” said Eliasaf. “What we’re seeing across the board is that banks are scaling back. In normal times, this loan would’ve been done by a bank, but we’re stepping up and have been very active lending.”  

Located at 5656 San Felipe Street, The Hawthorne is a glass-encased tower overlooking the upscale Tanglewood area near downtown. The building is named after Nathaniel Hawthorne, an author whose works include “Tanglewood Tales,” a favorite book of the daughter of real estate developer William Giddings Farrington, who put the Tanglewood neighborhood on the map beginning in the late 1940s. 

The 67-unit building offers 24-hour concierge service, a roof deck, a pool, a private residents’ lounge, a fitness center and a dog spa. 

“It’s an upscale project with a lot of amenities,” said Eliasaf. “The first four stories are the lobby and the parking, the fifth floor is the amenity floor, and then really the units start on the higher floors so they have nice views all around.” 

Brian Pascus can be reached at bpascus@commercialobserver.com