Merchants Capital Arranges $78.4M in Financing for Affordable Redevelopment of Manhattan’s Park 79 Hotel

NEW YORK CITY — Mortgage banking company Merchants Capital has closed a $51 million construction loan and a $28.4 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to fund an affordable housing project in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The project, a redevelopment of the historic Park 79 Hotel, comprises the largest 9 percent LIHTC allocation in New York City history, according to Merchants. The borrower and project developer is Fairstead.

Renovations to the original hotel, which first debuted in 1899 as “The Indiana,” will create 77 affordable residences for very-low-income seniors in the heart of Manhattan. Under an agreement with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the property will remain affordable for at least 60 years.

Fairstead will oversee renovations that reconfigure the seven-story building into 77 apartments along with multiple community spaces, including an indoor/outdoor community room, dining room and meeting rooms.

Additional rehabilitation will be done throughout the building, including creation of a common dining and recreation room, social services offices and an outdoor garden area. Upon completion, the property will employ two full-time social service coordinators to work alongside residents in organizing community programming events. The building will also have a full-time attendant serving residents as a lobby concierge.

Redevelopment of the Park 79 Hotel creates affordable housing in an extremely desirable location of New York City, where affordability and accessibility is traditionally hard to find. Located steps away from Central Park, the project will allow Manhattan’s low-income seniors to continue residing in their home neighborhood without having to look for affordable housing outside of the city limits.

Renovation on the original hotel is scheduled for completion in 2022.