May 8, 2022
New York YIMBY

241 West 28th Street’s Brick Façade Takes Shape In Chelsea, Manhattan

Façade work is shaping up at 241 West 28th Street, a pair of 22-story residential buildings in Chelsea. Designed by COOKFOX for MAG Partners, Atalaya, Safanad, and Qualitas, the 400,000-square-foot development will yield 480 units with 30 percent reserved for low- and middle-income households, as well as 8,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space. King Contracting Group is in charge of brickwork and Urban Atelier Group is the general contractor for the complex, which is located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues on what used to be an open-air parking lot that MAG Partners acquired in December 2018 under a 99-year ground lease with Edison Properties.

At the time of our last update in January, window installation was progressing and the first portions of the brick façade had just begun to be laid. Work has been steady since then, and the warm-colored masonry now covers more than half of both superstructures.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

Only the top few floors above the setbacks are left to clad on the outer elevations, while the inner walls facing the central courtyard and the flat western elevations are further behind. The walls for the central cores that go up to the mechanical bulkheads above the last residential floors have yet to be enclosed in their dark gray metal paneling.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

YIMBY last reported that 241 West 28th Street is aiming for LEED Silver certification. Amenities include multiple indoor lounges, a fitness center, a children’s playroom, and an outdoor lounge with a swimming pool and adjoining terrace. Approximately 144 residences are to be designated as permanent affordable housing.

One noticeable change in the construction of 241 West 28th Street is the color of the brick, which appears to be more reddish brown than the lighter beige appearance in the renderings.

241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX
241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX
The central courtyard of 241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX
241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX

241 West 28th Street is slated for completion in July 2023.



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January 11, 2022
New York Real Estate Journal

MAG Partners, Safanad, Atalaya Capital Management and Qualitas, with Urban Atelier Group, top out 241 W. 28th St.

Shown (from left) are: Tom Alaimo, James Palace, Andy D’Amico, Rick Cook, MaryAnne Gilmartin, Jon Mechanic, Susi Yu, Brandon Specketer, and Jeff Rosen.

Manhattan, NY MAG Partners topped out construction on a 480-unit rental residential building at 241 W. 28th St. in Chelsea. The development is expected to be complete in late 2022.

The first development project of MAG Partners, founded by MaryAnne Gilmartin, is being designed by celebrated architects COOKFOX Architects. The building will include 8,000 s/f of ground floor retail. Developed under the Affordable NY program, 30% of the project’s units are reserved for low- and middle-income New Yorkers. Urban Atelier Group is the construction manager for the development.

The project is a joint venture between MAG Partners, Safanad, Atalaya Capital Management and Qualitas.

MAG Partners previously announced that it had secured a $173 million construction loan from Madison Realty Capital for the project.

The exterior of the building is designed with contextual masonry inspired by the historic architectural fabric of the neighborhood, while the residences will incorporate biophilic design strategies that connect its residents to nature. A landscaped canopy will welcome residents at the 28th St. entrance and a central courtyard and garden will unite the amenities and lobby areas. Above, alternating piers of hand-laid, angled brick and expansive windows allow light and shadow to dance across the façade. A series of outdoor terraces offer residents rooftop gardens and panoramic views of Midtown, Downtown, and the Hudson River.



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January 10, 2022
NY YIMBY

241 West 28th Street’s Brick Façade Begins Installation In Chelsea, Manhattan

Construction has topped out on 241 West 28th Street, a 22-story two-tower residential project in Chelsea. Designed by COOKFOX for MAG Partners, Atalaya, Safanad, and Qualitas, the 235-foot-tall, 400,000-square-foot development will yield 480 residential units with 30 percent reserved for low- and middle-income households. King Contracting Group is in charge of brickwork and Urban Atelier Group is the general contractor for the complex, which is located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. MAG Partners acquired the Midtown, Manhattan property in December 2018 when it was still an open-surface parking lot and established a 99-year ground lease with Edison Properties.

Work has progressed rapidly since our last update in October, when the superstructure was less than halfway to topping out. Now the reinforced concrete has reached its pinnacle and work has shifted to window installation and the assembly of the walls.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

The first lower levels on the main southern elevation are having the waterproof membrane installed around the tight grid of windows.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

The opposite northern side of 241 West 28th Street is at a comparable state of progress.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

The start of the brick envelope can be spotted on one of the windows above the sidewalk scaffolding, providing a preview of the quality of the hand-laid craftsmanship. The surface of each stretcher is not a flat solid color, nor does it look too stale in its textural appearance, and thus makes it look more like a traditional brick façade with light and dark shades. On the lower part of the columns is a series of subtly protruding strips of bricks. This design feature will only be implemented on the first two levels of 241 West 28th Street. At the top is a rectangular spandrel divided into flat square panels and above that are bricks laid in soldier orientation. There is also a decorative dark metal screen with a symmetrical pattern of curving and intersecting lines that will be installed in front of every windowsill.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

241 West 28th Street is aiming for LEED Silver certification, and is expected to include about 8,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Residential amenities include lounges, a fitness center, a children’s playroom, and an outdoor lounge with a swimming pool and adjoining terrace. Thirty percent of the units, or approximately 144 residences, will be designated as permanently affordable housing.

The following aerial and street-level rendering depict the two buildings, which will be separated from each other by a private central courtyard. On the upper setbacks are landscaped terraces reserved for a select number of units. Around the center of the walls facing the interior of the lot are flat walls lined with what seems to be a dark gray metal surface that would contrast with the overall construction. These external parts of the edifice rise and extend toward a pair of mechanical bulkheads that follow the pattern of upper setbacks.

241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX
241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX
241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX
The central courtyard of 241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX

241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX

241 West 28th Street is slated for completion in July 2023.



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December 23, 2021
CityRealty

MAG Partners celebrates topping out of first NYC project; COOKFOX-designed rental to bring 480 mixed-income apts to Chelsea

Just south of the slow-as-molasses and desperately needed metamorphosis of Penn Station, the area once known as the ‘Fur District’ is transforming into a vibrant mixed-use community. 2021 began with the opening of Moynihan Train Hall, the transformation of Farley Post Office into an airy, welcoming train station. Plans are moving forward for the Penn District, the transformation of the area around the much-maligned Penn Station that will also bring aesthetic and infrastructure improvements to the station itself.

A few blocks south, construction has topped out at 235 feet high and 22 stories at 241 West 28th Street, a 400,000-square-foot through-block development between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. MaryAnne GilmartinJeff Rosen, and Susi Yu of developer MAG Partners, as well as Rick Cook and Brandon Specketer of designer COOKFOX Architects, were on hand to mark this milestone, which puts the building well on its way towards its target completion of late 2022.

241 West 28th Street topping out
MaryAnne Gilmartin, Founder and CEO of MAG Partners

The project will comprise two 22-story towers, individually fronting West 28th and West 29th Streets, and a private courtyard in between. There will be approximately 8,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, and apartments on all floors above. As part of the Affordable NY program, 30 percent of the units (or approximately 144) will be permanently affordable to low- and middle-income New Yorkers. Permits filed in September 2019 show that amenities will include a children’s playroom, pet spa, fitness rooms, bike room, lounge, and pool.The project is targeting LEED Silver certification, and COOKFOX is well known for its work relating to sustainability and occupant wellness. Released renderings showing details of 214 West 28th Street’s facade show the building will have a planted canopy above the entrance, beautifully-articulated brickwork, and deeply-inset windows with chamfered surrounds to augment views. Additional outdoor offerings will include a central courtyard and garden, as well as a series of terraces and rooftop gardens with views of Midtown, Lower Manhattan, and the Hudson River. Examples of the firm’s commitment to biophilic design include 550 Vanderbilt Avenue150 Charles Street, Google’s expansion in Hudson Square, and a nearby condo development at 39 West 23rd Street.

Rick-Cook COOKFOX
Rick Cook of COOKFOX Architects via MAG Partners
241-West-28th-Stret-05
Rendering courtesy of MAG Partners and COOKFOX Architects
241 West 28th Street
Street-level rendering of 241 West 28th Street (MAG Partners/COOKFOX)

“We have never met a surface we haven’t wanted to plant green” — Brandon Specketer, COOKFOX

Resident landscaped courtyard located between the buildings

The new building is being developed in a joint venture between MAG Partners (led by Ms. Gilmartin), Safanad, Atalaya Capital Management and Qualitas. The lot was previously owned by major parking landlord Edison Properties and was acquired by MAG Partners in December 2018 by way of a 99-year ground lease.

The property had long been slated for development, and a 2011 rezoning allowed for new residential uses to breathe new life into the shrinking Fur District. Fast-forward nearly a decade later, the acquisition of a $173 million loan from Madison Realty Capital allowed construction to proceed.




Topping out ceremony photos via MAG Partners
November 2021
March 2020

“As true believers in the future of New York City, we are thrilled to be able to begin construction on this innovative project that will bring mixed-income housing and hundreds of jobs at a critical time for the City.” — MaryAnne Gilmartin, Founder and CEO of MAG Partners

“This marquee 480-unit multifamily rental building, located within a few blocks of Hudson Yards and other prominent tech tenant expansions on the west side, will be one of the only new multifamily rental projects built in Manhattan in the next few years,” said Josh Zegen, Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Madison Realty Capital. “We were pleased to fill a void which would customarily be financed by conventional banks, and provide our flexibility, certainty, and conviction.”

NYC construction projects
Maverick Chelsea and office building 28&7 are also under construction on the block (Image credits: HAP Investments and GDSNY/Klovern)

241 West 28th Street is taking shape in what is rapidly becoming a central live-work-play community. The site is a few doors west from Maverick Chelsea, an eye-catching new building where current availabilities start at $1.5 million. Around the corner, MAG Partners and COOKFOX have teamed up again to transform 335 Eighth Avenue, an affordable housing cooperative, into a 200-unit building with commercial space, including a grocery store.

These projects will provide much-needed affordable and market-rate apartments to a central Manhattan location within walking to distance to thousands of office tenants in Midtown, the Garment District, Chelsea, and Hudson Yards. Facebook is set to occupy the office space in the James A. Farley Building, and industry giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon are among the firms embarking on expansions nearby. The area has also seen a commercial building boom over the past few years with developers undaunted by the pandemic and growing work-from home arrangements. Around this building alone, Fashion Institute of Technology is planning a multi-layered glass academic building designed by SHoP Architects across the street, and construction is winding down on 28&7, a sleek new commercial tower designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

Google Earth image showing location of 241 West 28th Street
Google Earth image showing the location of 241 West 28th Street

“As a firm, we continue to believe in the future of cities as places where the world’s most talented and creative minds congregate – we expect New York City to continue to lead the way on that front and the Chelsea neighborhood to strengthen its attributes as a highly desirable place to live, work and play. We are excited to commence building this project.” — Mark Fischer, Global Head of Real Estate at Qualitas

The site is also a stone’s throw from the new Penn District plan set to transform the decrepit Penn Station and the surrounding area. Andrew Cuomo called for a new business district of 10 skyscrapers to be built, and for using the money from those buildings to finance much-needed infrastructure upgrades. More recently, Governor Hochul has called for revisions of the plan, saying, “It’s time for a Penn Station that meets the needs of New Yorkers.” Her vision calls for the same number of buildings, but not as dizzyingly high as the supertalls previously proposed. It also calls for 540 permanently affordable housing units among the 1,800 new ones proposed in the plan, as well as eight acres of public space and a plaza that would limit car traffic.

It is unclear how Madison Square Garden would fit into all this. The arena was granted a 10-year permit in 2013 so the owners could find a new home; eight years later, ownership has not revealed plans for that, but did announce that they had signed a lease for a 428,000-square-foot corporate headquarters at Penn 2, one of the new office towers in the Penn District. Some critics say that moving Madison Square Garden would let natural light into Penn Station and improve conditions from a safety standpoint. Governor Hochul’s plan calls for keeping Madison Square Garden where it is, but requiring the Hulu Theater to be demolished to accommodate a grand entrance to Penn Station.



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December 8, 2021
Real Estate Weekly

MAG tops out Chelsea tower

MAG Partners has topped out construction on a 480-unit rental residential building at 241 West 28th Street in Chelsea. The development is expected to be complete in late 2022.

The first development project of MAG Partners, founded by MaryAnne Gilmartin, is being designed by celebrated architects COOKFOX Architects. The building will include approximately 8,000 s/f of ground floor retail. 

Developed under the Affordable NY program, 30 percent of the project’s units are reserved for low- and middle-income New Yorkers. Urban Atelier Group is the construction manager for the development.

MARYANNE GILMARTIN

The exterior of the building is designed with contextual masonry inspired by the rich historic architectural fabric of the neighborhood, while the residences will incorporate biophilic design strategies that connect its residents to nature. A landscaped canopy will welcome residents at the 28th street entrance and a central courtyard and garden will unite the amenities and lobby areas. Above, alternating piers of hand-laid, angled brick and expansive windows allow light and shadow to dance across the façade. A series of outdoor terraces offer residents rooftop gardens and panoramic views of midtown, downtown, and the Hudson River.

The project is a joint venture between MAG Partners, Safanad, Atalaya Capital Management and Qualitas.

MAG Partners previously announced that it has secured a $173 million construction loan from Madison Realty Capital for the project.

Pictured top are project team members MaryAnne Gilmartin, Jeff Rosen and Susi Yu of MAG Partners, Rick Cook and Brandon Specketer of COOKFOX, Andy D’Amico, James Palace, and Tom Alaimo of Urban Atelier Group, and Jon Mechanic of Fried Frank.



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October 5, 2021
New York YIMBY

241 West 28th Street’s Reinforced Concrete Superstructure Climbs Over Chelsea, Manhattan

Construction is rising on 241 West 28th Street, a 22-story residential project in Chelsea. Designed by COOKFOX for MAG Partners, Atalaya, Safanad, and Qualitas, the 248,000-square-foot two-tower development will yield 479 units with 30 percent reserved for low- and middle-income households. King Contracting Group is doing the brick work and Urban Atelier Group is the general contractor for the complex, which is located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

Progress has been swift since our last update in June, when work was still progressing below grade. Now the reinforced concrete superstructure has reached the ninth floor, and could feasibly top out sometime this winter.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

Crews are also about to assemble a construction crane tower.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

MAG Partners acquired the Midtown, Manhattan property in December 2018 and established a 99-year ground lease with Edison Properties. The exterior of the building will showcase a richly textured brick façade and a tight grid of recessed windows. The property will yield 214,000 square feet of residential space and about 10,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Residential amenities include lounges, a fitness center, a children’s playroom, and an outdoor lounge with a swimming pool and adjoining terrace.

Below are additional aerial and street-level renderings of the project showing how the two towers are spaced out with what will likely be a private central courtyard, while the upper setbacks make way for numerous landscaped terraces for a select number of units. Depicted around the center of the flat inner walls are dark gray panels running down the middle, highlighting the core of each tower. These extend toward a pair of mechanical extensions that contrast with the lighter brick color facing the street. A metal canopy topped with shrubbery will protrude above the main entrance along West 28th Street.

241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX
241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX

241 West 28th Street is slated for completion in July 2023.



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June 23, 2021
New York YIMBY

Excavation And Foundations Progressing At 241 West 28th Street In Chelsea, Manhattan

Below-grade work is progressing at 241 West 28th Street, a 22-story, 479-unit residential project in Chelsea. Designed by COOKFOX for MAG Partners, Atalaya, Safanad, and Qualitas, the two-tower development recently acquired $173 million in construction financing arranged by Maverick Commercial Properties. MAG Partners acquired the Midtown, Manhattan property in December 2018 and established a 99-year ground lease with Edison Properties. 241 West 28th Street is located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues and will have 30 percent of residential units reserved for low- and middle-income households. Urban Atelier Group is the general contractor.

Recent photos show numerous heavy machinery onsite and steel rebar protruding along the perimeter of the foundations awaiting work on the first level of the superstructure. We also spotted the first segment of the construction crane tower around the center of the rectangular lot.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

YIMBY also spotted another COOKFOX rendering of 241 West 28th Street. The illustration is looking east above the streets toward the two buildings that are separated by what could likely be a central courtyard, and gives us a much better idea of the final appearance and tight grid of windows. The rendering also highlights the upper setbacks that make way for numerous private landscaped terraces. The inner walls appear to be completely flat with gray panels running down the center, highlighting the core and mechanical extensions of each tower.

241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX

The rendering below is from ground level across the street, and highlights the metal canopy topped with shrubbery above the main entrance along West 28th Street. Dark stone panels will line the walls at the ground-floor retail frontage, above which the main fenestration begins with its warm-colored brick masonry surface arranged in varying horizontal and vertical running bond patterns, metal railings, and dark gray spandrels.

241 West 28th Street. Rendering by COOKFOX

Permits filed with the Department of Buildings in September 2019 listed 241 West 28th Street to yield just over 248,000 square feet divided into nearly 214,000 square feet of residential space and about 10,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Amenities include residential lounges, a fitness center, a children’s playroom, and an outdoor lounge with a swimming pool and adjoining terrace.

A completion date of July 2023 is stated on the construction board.



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December 8, 2020
The Real Deal

MAG Partners, Safanad form new joint venture

MAG Partners will bring the development experience, and Safanad will bring the capital.

That’s the setup of a new joint venture between the companies, which is targeting $2 to $3 billion worth of deals, the firms told The Real Deal. Eventually, the joint venture will pursue ground-up development, but in the short-term, it is looking at distressed properties and projects, as well as building conversion opportunities.

The companies are already working together on a 479-unit rental building at 241 West 28th Street in Chelsea. The firms, along with partners Atalaya Capital Management and Qualitas, secured a $173 million construction loan for the project in October.

MaryAnne Gilmartin launched MAG Partners, a spin-off from the firm she formed with L&L Holding’s David Levinson and Robert Lapidus, in December 2019. Gilmartin noted that while her priority since leaving Forest City Ratner in 2018 has been new development, the pandemic has shifted her focus. She described the new arrangement —which will acquire sites and pursue deals as a general partner — as “MAG Partners fueled by Safanad.”

Safanad, a private equity firm that launched in 2009, tapped Oxford Properties Group’s Andrew Trickett in 2018 to help grow its New York real estate operations. Trickett called the joint venture with MAG a “convergence of capital and expertise.”



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October 19, 2020
Bisnow

MaryAnne Gilmartin’s Firm Lands $173M Construction Loan For Mixed-Income Chelsea Project

The development firm launched by MaryAnne Gilmartin in 2018 has secured one of the biggest construction loans in Manhattan since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

MAG Partners scored a $173M construction loan from Madison Realty Capital for its new apartment building in Chelsea, even as Manhattan’s multifamily market continues to take a beating from the pandemic-prompted exodus of renters. 

The proposed 479-unit building at 241 West 28th St. — set to be completed in 2022 — will be 30% affordable housing, MAG Partners said in a release. The project is a joint venture between MAG Partners, Safanad, Atalaya Capital Management and Qualitas. Construction will begin next month. 

“We were pleased to fill a void which would customarily be financed by conventional banks, and provide our flexibility, certainty, and conviction,” Madison Realty Capital co-founder and Managing Partner Josh Zegen said in a statement. “Located within a few blocks of Hudson Yards and other prominent tech tenant expansions on the west side, [the building] will be one of the only new multifamily rental projects built in Manhattan in the next few years.” 

Gilmartin is currently serving as interim CEO of Mack-Cali Real Estate, a post to which she was appointed in July. At the time, she said MAG would be led by the internal team in place. Before founding MAG Partners, Gilmartin was the longtime CEO of Forest City Ratner.

In a statement, she emphasized the planned building’s proximity to the city’s tech hub, saying it will be a draw to renters long-term. 

“This is an incredibly desirable location as major tech companies continue to sign big leases within walking distance, and we expect to see very strong long-term demand for this property when it opens,” Gilmartin said. 

While tech giant Facebook inked a large lease nearby at Vornado’s Farley Building in August, adding to the 1.5M SF it plans to occupy in Hudson Yards, advertising and technology companies made up nearly half of the companies to offer their spaces for subleasing in Q3.

Brokers also say they are seeing some of the most dramatic apartment rent drops and concessions in Midtown while many leave Manhattan for other boroughs or outside the city, as the work-from-home revolution takes hold and many offices still remain empty



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October 19, 2020
Real Estate Daily Beat

MaryAnne Gilmartin lands financing for West Chelsea project

MaryAnne Gilmartin’s MAG Partners + Atalaya + Safanad + Qualitas have secured a $173 million construction loan from Madison Realty Capital for the development of 241 West 28th Street, CO first reported. Upon completion, the West Chelsea project will span 372,000 SF, and contain 479 apartments, plus a ground floor retail component. 

  • Why it matters: Some investors are stepping back from funding projects in New York City. Commercial-loan volume is down more than 50% this year as of early October, and no loans larger than $50 million from the five boroughs have been bundled into commercial mortgage securities in 2020, though there has been a handful of large single-asset, single-borrower deals, WSJ noted. More than $3 billion worth of loans backing commercial property in the city are delinquent, and loans in creditor negotiations total an additional $4 billion.
  • Dig Deeper: The three-year financing reportedly has a loan-to-cost ratio of 65 percent… 70 percent of the units will be market-rate and the rest will be designated affordable. The project benefits from a 35-year tax abatement.
  • Worth Noting: In 2018, L&L MAG signed a 99-year ground lease for the site. Now that the L&L MAG partnership has split, MaryAnne Gilmartin’s MAG Partners will be leading the development. [CO+WSJ+Trepp]


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