Colliers Lines Up Financing for Multifamily Conversion in Philadelphia

Colliers International secured a $24 million loan for Heights Advisors’ first adaptive reuse project in Philadelphia.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

PhiladelphiaColliers International Capital Markets has arranged $24 million in financing for the acquisition and redevelopment of the shuttered West Philadelphia High School, which spreads across an entire block at 4700 Walnut St., near University City.

West Philadelphia High School

West Philadelphia High School

The historic 442,200-square-foot, four-story building, which dates back to 1911, will be converted into a 298-unit multifamily community. The property once hosted Philadelphia’s first secondary school and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Kristopher Wood and John Banas, both senior vice presidents/directors in CICM’s Philadelphia office, arranged the loan on behalf of the developer, Brooklyn-based Heights Advisors.

“The borrower wanted to purchase and reposition the former school located in West Philadelphia near University City,” Wood said in prepared remarks. “Getting a construction loan was challenging because this was the first development the New York developer had done in Philadelphia, and many thought the location was not ready for 298 new apartments. CICM sourced a loan from a national real estate lender who took the time to understand what was happening in University City and what a great opportunity such a large building afforded the developer to build,” Wood added.

John Banas added that many apartment operators are capitalizing on quality assets that present opportunities for adaptive reuse of older assets into great apartment buildings.

Closed as a Section 47 Historic Tax Credit deal, the three-year adjustable loan is interest only at LIBOR plus 3.75 percent.

Image courtesy of Heights Advisors

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