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Rockport Provides $74M FHA Financing on NoLita Rental Building

A photo of an apartment building at 21 Spring Street in NoLita.

A photo of an apartment building at 21 Spring Street in NoLita.

in: Commercial Observer by: Mack Burke
on: April 15, 2020

Rockport Mortgage Corporation has originated a $74 million loan to LIHC Investment Group to refinance Little Italy Restoration Apartments (LIRA) at 21 Spring Street in the NoLita neighborhood of Manhattan.

The Federal Housing Administration Section 223(f) refinance extended the asset’s Section 8 housing status through 2043 and will help fund a suite of renovations planned for the property.

As part of the deal, the borrower and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) inked a new 20-year Section 8 deal at closing, effectively extending the existing contract. The deal closed early last month, records show.

A photo looking up at the 21 Spring Street Apartment building in NoLita

A photo looking up at the 21 Spring Street Apartment building in NoLita

The Section 8 housing voucher program is a decades-old system of government rent assistance administered by HUD wherein the department subsidizes a chunk, or all, of the cost of monthly rent for eligible low- and middle-income tenants of qualified buildings, essentially allowing private landlords to continue charging market-rate rents. If a renter meets the program’s income requirements, they can apply to as many waitlists in their state as they want in order to obtain a voucher once they become available.

Built in 1982, the seven-story rental building, LIRA, spans around 164,000 square feet and comprises 152 rental units, 34 of which are one-bedroom apartments and 118 of which are two-bedrooms, according to CoStar Group data. It also has about 22,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor, per CoStar data.

“We are delighted to use our expertise to preserve [the property] as affordable housing in a community that desperately needs it,” Andrew Gendron, principal at LIHC Investment Group, said in a prepared statement. “The suite of improvements and upgrades planned for the property will benefit the many seniors and longtime residents who call [the property] home, while extending the service life of the building.”

The capital improvements planned for the property include upgrading the kitchens with new countertops and appliances, renovating the bathrooms and adding new, vinyl flooring to the kitchens, living rooms and hallways, according to information from LIHC Investment Group. There will also be a renovation of the common areas within the building, including replacing doors and fixing door frames, upgrading the lighting and repainting the walls.

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