Madison Realty Capital Lends $55M on Morningside Heights Student Housing Project

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A joint venture between Charney Companies and Criterion Real Estate Capital has landed $55 million of acquisition financing to purchase and redevelop a Morningside Heights dorm facility adjacent to a church and convert it into luxury student housing, Commercial Observer has learned.

 Madison Realty Capital originated the bridge loan on the sponsorship’s acquisition and repositioning of historic McGiffert Hall, an 82-unit dormitory facility at 99 Claremont Avenue next to Riverside Church. The developer group acquired the 80,000-square-foot building for $38 million, New York Business Journal reported citing property records.

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“We are pleased to provide flexible financing to a well-capitalized and highly experienced developer group to deliver a purpose-built luxury housing product that will serve college students in a historically supply-constrained market,” Josh Zegen, managing principal and co-founder of Madison Realty Capital, said in a statement. 

New York Business Journal was first to report Madison Realty Capital provided financing for the student housing project, but an incorrect loan amount was stated. 

An affiliate of Riverside Church acquired McGiffert Hall for around $46.5 million in 2018 from The Union Theological Seminary, which leased the property as a dorm for five years after selling it, according to The Real Deal

When completed, the property will become the second recently completed off-campus student housing project in the Morningside Heights submarket, according to Madison. The property is a few blocks from Columbia University.

“The opportunity to restore a historic, irreplaceable 92-year-old building with all the beauty that 99 Claremont offers while providing critically needed best-in-class student housing to New York City is a tremendous one,” Sam Charney, principal of Charney Companies, said in a statement. 

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com