Philly Affordable Housing Property Wins Refi

Meridian Capital Group has closed on a $10.5 million loan to refinance Cricket Court Commons, a 228-unit Low-Income Housing Tax Credit apartment community in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia—Meridian Capital Group LLC has closed on a $10.5 million loan to refinance Cricket Court Commons, a 228-unit Low-Income Housing Tax Credit apartment community in Philadelphia. David Cohen and Ben Brown originated the transaction for Meridian Capital, which was financed by Beech Street Capital LLC as part of its correspondent relationship with Meridian.

The borrower is a specialist in affordable housing/LIHTC development in the Philadelphia MSA and the northeastern U.S., and was referred to Meridian and Beech Street through an existing client. The fixed-rate Fannie Mae conventional loan has a 10-year term and 75 percent LTV.

Cricket Court Commons was originally built in stages in the 1930s and ’40s and underwent major renovations in the late 1990s, receiving an allocation of LIHTC in addition to tax-exempt bond financing, which coincided with the current owner purchasing the property. The property is located in the Germantown neighborhood, which is about six miles north of Philadelphia’s CBD, adjacent to the Germantown Cricket Club.

The demand for affordable housing is high in greater Philly, especially as the development of apartments isn’t remotely catching up with overall demand. According to investment specialist Marcus & Millichap, no market-rate apartment assets were built in the market last year, and only 1,000 units are now under way, along with a scattering of affordable housing projects.

Refinancing activity, however, has been fairly brisk for affordable and other multifamily properties. Another recent transaction saw the refinancing of the 117-unit Oxford Portfolio in the Frankford neighborhood of Philly, part of which houses Section 8 voucher residents. The deal involved a $4.4 million Fannie Mae Tier 2 loan overseen by Centerline Capital Group.