EMP Capital Scores $110M for Brooklyn Development

The project is EMP's second currently underway in this neighborhood.

880 Atlantic Avenue
880 Atlantic Avenue will have 13,000 square feet of retail space. Image courtesy of EMP Capital

EMP Capital Group has obtained a $110 million construction loan for 880 Atlantic Avenue, a 247-unit multifamily project in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. QuadReal Property Group is the lender.

The development will include studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, with both market-rate and affordable rents. According to Brooklyn Paper, when the project was approved by the New York City Council in 2022, plans called for 35 percent of the units to be affordable, which is more than the city typically requires (25 percent) under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. The developer hasn’t announced a completion date.

The project is one of two multifamily properties under development in Prospect Heights by EMP Capital. The company is also at work on the 247-unit 1034-1042 Atlantic Avenue, for which it obtained $109 million in financing in March. Walker & Dunlop advised EMP Capital on obtaining both loans.

“The most challenging aspect of sourcing development finance in the current capital market is balancing the strength of the borrower and transaction viability with the fluctuating rate environment,” Keith Kurland, senior managing director and co-head of Walker & Dunlop’s New York Capital Markets team, told MHN.

READ ALSO: Multifamily Retains Appeal Despite Some Bumpiness

The 880 Atlantic property will also include about 13,000 square feet of commercial space fronting Atlantic Avenue, which is a retail corridor that includes the 850,000-square-foot Atlantic Terminal Mall.

Access to retail is one of the property’s main amenities, according to Walker & Dunlop. Another is its location near the Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn’s largest train station, where the Long Island Railroad and 13 subway lines meet.

Brooklyn: a top tight apartment market

In early 2024, Brooklyn, unlike most markets nationwide, still saw rental growth, up 5 percent in March compared with a year ago, according to Yardi Matrix data. Multifamily occupancy in the borough came in at 98.7 percent in February, which is one of the highest rates in the country, and has been so for roughly a decade.

Developers are responding to strong demand with new product. In Q1 2024, developers completed five properties encompassing 1,078 units in Brooklyn, a rise from the single 745-unit property that came online during the same period last year, Yardi Matrix notes. Other projects, such as 111 Willoughby Street, will be completed in 2025.

New York will continue to support apartment growth, if local employment trends are any indication. The city’s unemployment stood at 5.1% in February, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, down 20 basis points year-over-year. New York’s labor pool expanded by 1.9% in 2023, or a net gain of 61,300 jobs.

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