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October 17, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Westchester IDA helps Citibank sell affordable housing loans

The Westchester Industrial Development Agency agreed today to amend five loan deals with Citibank in the hope, with no guarantee, that the bank will finance more affordable housing in the county.

The changes are minor, Citi’s attorney, Barry Carrigan of Nixon Peabody, stated at a previous IDA meeting, but they will enable the bank to cash out of the funds by selling them on the secondary market.

The proceeds will then be put in a pool of money to be invested in more affordable housing.

IDA officials sought assurances that Citi would use some of the new funds for affordable housing in Westchester. But Carrigan explained that the money will be used nationally and cannot be designated specifically for one place.

35 Valley Ave. in Elmsford. Image courtesy Robert Martin Co.

He pointed out at today’s meeting that Citi has financed two affordable housing projects in Westchester, following the five previous projects from 2013 to 2016, and the bank expects to continue doing so.

By selling the funds, he said, Citi will create greater liquidity and can reduce costs for developers and thereby be able to finance even more affordable housing.

IDA chairwoman Joan McDonald said she was satisfied that Citi has demonstrated a commitment to affordable housing in Westchester. Five resolutions approving the changes passed unanimously.

The loans totaled $101 million, according to IDA documents, and financed 640 apartments, including Mamaroneck Towers in the Village of Mamaroneck; Petrillo Apartments, Mount Vernon; Rye Manor; Standard Snowden in Ossining; and Washington House in New Rochelle.

The IDA also approved a new mortgage recording tax exemption for the Elm, a 95-unit apartment building on Valley Avenue in Elmsford, built in 2017 by Robert Martin Co.

The IDA resolution does not state the total value of the tax exemption, but bases the subsidy on a mortgage loan up to $22 million.

Robert Martin Co. previously mortgaged the property for $22 million, and now it is refinancing for the same amount but at a lower interest rate, attorney Eon Nichols, of Cuddy & Feder, told the board.

He said all of the apartments have been leased and construction will begin soon on a 9,500-square-foot day care facility.