Taconic Partners and Clarion Partners are working to upgrade Eastchester Heights, a 1,416-unit rent-stabilized property in the Bronx that is widely seen as a case study in how to preserve quality affordable housing, via a $130 million Wells Fargo renovation loan, writes William Johnson.
The 1935 vintage property is one of the largest residential communities in the Bronx, with 114 buildings in six large clusters around amenities that include courtyards, basketball courts, a playground and a parking lot.
The property’s amenities have expanded since the partnership took control in 2007, with the addition of services like life coaching, job training, financial counseling, a computer lab, and a daycare center, David Milch, a vice-president at Taconic, tells Real Estate Capital USA.
The financing comes after the partners completed a $50 million capital campaign that updated Eastchester Heights’ amenities while also making the property more climate-friendly. Last July, the partners added a 200,000-square-foot solar panel installation on the roof and are planning additional ESG-related upgrades.
The financing will help preserve the community as affordable housing, with Milch noting Taconic is committed to maintaining this property and other similar assets in its portfolio as affordable. “We plan to renovate the units and they turn over to improve their quality,” he says.
Eastdil Secured arranged the financing with Wells Fargo, which replaced existing debt, says Milch.
“We have worked with Wells Fargo in the past on other projects and we think the combination of the terms and having the relationship them the right choice,” Milch says.
“There is definitely demand on the lending side around this type of product, anything with a workforce housing component. Between the location and amenities, we think it’s a great investment.”
1935 – Hillside Homes is constructed on 14.84 acres in the Bronx. The Clarence Stein-designed property was planned for middle-income residents, with an emphasis on community
1980s – The property falls into disrepair
1997 – Emmes Group acquires the property, embarks on a massive renovation that includes renaming it Eastchester Heights
2007 – Taconic Partners and Clarion Partners acquire the property with a plan to maintain it as middle-income housing
2021 – Taconic and Clarion refinance existing debt on the property via Wells Fargo