Schafer Richardson Secures $77M for Saint Paul Affordable Project

Soul is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2024.

Soul rendering. Image courtesy of Merchants Capital

Schafer Richardson has secured $77 million in financing for Soul, a 178-unit affordable housing development in Saint Paul, Minn.

Merchants Capital provided the financing, which includes:

  • a $33 million construction loan with Merchants Bank of Indiana
  • a $27.5 million Freddie Mac Tax-Exempt Loan
  • a $16.6 million MBI equity bridge loan

The equity provider for the development is RBC Capital Markets. Weis Builders is the general contractor and Kaas Wilson Architects is the project’s architect. The community is currently underway, with an expected delivery in the second quarter of 2024.

The City of Saint Paul allocated American Rescue Plan Act funds to support gap financing. Schafer’s other partners in the project include AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and Ramsey County.

A green redevelopment project

The building was designed to earn an Enterprise Green Communities Certification and will meet the City of Saint Paul’s sustainable building policy standards. Soul will also feature indoor and outdoor amenity spaces, underground parking and approximately 9,250 square feet of commercial space.

Soul will be constructed on a redevelopment site of a city infill location, purchased by Schafer from the American Red Cross. The site is located at the intersection of Robert Street and Plato Boulevard, in the West Side neighborhood. There are several dining options, retail centers and entertainment venues in the area. Saint Paul Downtown Airport is within one mile from the site.

The property will encompass one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments. A total of 143 units are designated for residents earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, while 35 are restricted to residents earning 30 percent of AMI. These 35 units will maintain their 30 percent affordability for 30 years, while all units within the property will remain at 60 percent or lower for 40 years.

Merchants Capital also provided a $15.5 million HUD loan for an affordable senior housing community in East Chicago, Ind. DTM Real Estate is developing the 206-unit project, which is designated for seniors over the age of 60 and earning 60 percent of the area median income.

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