SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Saint Paul office of mortgage banking company Merchants Capital recently secured more than $55 million in total financing for the development of Maison’s Palmdale, an affordable housing property currently under construction in Palmdale, California. The property is the first in the state to be developed under recently passed legislation which allows for greater lot size density.
To finance the property, Merchants Capital secured a $31.6 million Merchants Bank of Indiana (MBI) construction loan and $24 million in permanent financing through a 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Fannie Mae Forward Commitment and Fannie Mae Permanent Loan. The financing deal included both a taxable and tax-exempt component.
Situated approximately 40 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, Maison’s Palmdale is comprised of 118 detached housing units featuring three-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The three-bedroom units include a two-car garage for residents, while the two-bedroom units have access to a designated off-street parking space.
“Serving as the financier for this project shows Merchants’ commitment to advancing affordable housing across the nation,” said Marsha Goff, Executive Vice President at Merchants Capital’s Saint Paul office. “By capitalizing on the new zoning laws, we were able to maximize the development, bringing even more affordable housing options to such a desirable living area. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work as a partner on this development, and we are excited to see continued growth in the affordable housing market across the state of California.”
In total, Maison’s Palmdale brings 118 new units to the area with 100% affordability – 36 units are restricted to residents earning no greater than 50% of the area median income (AMI) and 81 units are restricted to residents earning no greater than 60% AMI. One unit is reserved as the manager’s unit.
“Ravello is very excited to work with industry best in class partners Merchants Capital and WNC to provide affordable, single family dwellings to the local community,” said Phil Ram, CEO of Ravello Holdings, the developer of the project. “The California Dream was built on the ability of working families to live and thrive in comfortable homes. We are thankful our legislators and The City of Palmdale have enabled us to be the first to provide detached affordable homes to Californians in a generation!”
Additionally, all 118 units on the property are under a Land Use Restrictive Agreement (LURA) with no release provisions.
“WNC is thrilled to be partnering with Ravello Holdings in providing much-needed affordable housing in Los Angeles County,” said Jessica Captanis, Vice President – Originations at WNC & Associates, the LIHTC investor for the project. “The innovative design of these single family homes to create a garden style community living experience for residents is especially noteworthy to us. We look forward to replicating this model on future developments together.”
“The rate on the permanent loan was locked through an issuance of tax-exempt and taxable bonds offered by the California Public Finance Authority,” said Gary Brandt, Managing Director at Stifel, bond underwriters for the project. “When the project is completed, the proceeds from the permanent loan will refinance the construction loan. The securities were well received by the market due to the credit quality provided by the Fannie Mae backed permanent mortgage as well as the affordable housing attributes of the project which are important to our institutional investors that are regional banks.”
“We are very excited to be moving forward with the project and strongly believe in our mission to provide residents in the City of Palmdale with high quality affordable housing,” said Matt Avital, Principal at Ascenda Capital, developer partner for the project. “This development is unique because we will be providing each of our residents with a private backyard, a private entrance, and luxurious shared amenities at an affordable price. We strongly feel that our project will positively impact the Palmdale community and are looking forward to a successful development.”