JUPITER, Fla. – October 28, 2020 – Berkadia today announced the financing secured for London Townhomes, a garden-style multifamily mixed-income property located in Atlanta, Georgia. Managing Director Carolyn Whatley of Berkadia’s Jupiter, Florida office originated the $21.9 million loan on behalf of the borrower, Atlanta-based The Benoit Group, LLC. The deal closed on August 31. This is a perfect example of public and private sectors coming together to benefit low income residents and preserve affordable housing units.
Located in an opportunity zone at 308 Scott St. SW in Atlanta, Georgia, London Townhomes features one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom floor plans, for a total of 200 mixed-income units. The property will offer a clubhouse/community room, a computer/business center, a playground and covered pavilion with grilling stations. Residents are afforded convenient access to Interstate 285. One hundred eighty of the units will be rented to residents who earn 60 percent or less of AMI and 20 units are unrestricted with market rents. One hundred of the townhomes will receive project based rental assistance from Atlanta Housing’s HomeFlex Program.
London Townhomes was a cooperative (“co-op”) that had been developed in the 1960’s. Many units are in disrepair, with water leaks and other damage, rendering the property in need of substantial rehabilitation. The members of the co-op had made several attempts to refinance the property but were unsuccessful. In 2017, they were nearing foreclosure, however, Atlanta Housing collaborated with The Benoit Group and developed a plan to rescue the property, preventing foreclosure and displacement of the co-op members/residents, many of whom are seniors. The Benoit Group is following a HUD approved tenant relocation plan based on the construction schedule. Current residents are eligible to return once the construction rehabilitation is complete, provided they meet eligibility requirements under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and HomeFlex Programs, or otherwise qualify for the unrestricted units.
Torian R. Priestly, Chief Development Officer of The Benoit Group, said, “With the cooperative efforts of Invest Atlanta, Atlanta Housing and The City of Atlanta, we we’re able to provide a comprehensive and innovative real estate solution for the senior and multifamily residents at London Townhomes.”
The capital stack, which totals $40 million, includes a $21.9 million HUD 221(d)(4) first mortgage loan originated by Berkadia and approved by the Atlanta HUD Office; a subordinate $1.1 million loan from Atlanta Housing and $17 million in equity generated by PNC Bank’s syndication of State and Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Atlanta Housing also provided a $6.3 million bridge loan. Tax exempt bonds were issued by Urban Residential Finance Authority (Invest Atlanta) in the amount of $19,600,000 which were underwritten by Stifel Financial. The HUD 221(d)(4), 40-year fully amortizing construction/permanent loan is non-recourse and assumable.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of bringing this endeavor to fruition with all of the aforementioned partners, and especially to work with The Benoit Group once again,” said Whatley. “Since meeting in 2012, I have had the pleasure of working with The Benoit Group on more than 1,000 affordable housing units for seniors and families.”