Tallest Harlem Building Lands $148M Refi

Lam Group and Exact Capital are developing the mixed-use property.

Property at 230 W. 126th St., Manhattan, N.Y.
The Victoria’s multifamily component includes 103 affordable units. Image courtesy of Walker & Dunlop

The joint venture between Lam Group and Exact Capital has secured a $148 million refinancing note for The Victoria, a mixed-use property in Manhattan’s Harlem. The Victoria Theater redevelopment comprises 191 luxury multifamily units, out of which 103 are affordable, together with 211 hotel keys and more than 23,000 square feet of retail space.

Aareal Capital issued the loan in a deal arranged by Walker & Dunlop. Proceeds will go toward supporting further enhancements and ongoing operations inside the redevelopment.

Slate Property Group provided the previous $167.5 million construction loan in 2022, which also refinanced a prior $132 million Goldman Sachs note.

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Developers completed The Victoria in 2023, wrapping up a redevelopment process that began nearly two decades ago. Back then, Empire State Development Corp. and Harlem Community Development Corp. issued a request for proposals targeting new construction and improvements at the 1917-built The Victoria Theater.

In 2012, the first project plans emerged. However, despite the historic significance of the redevelopment, it did not benefit from historic tax credits. Lam and Exact officially broke ground on the Aufgang Architects-designed project in 2017.

Alongside the theater refurbishment, the redevelopment involved the construction of two new towers, with one rising 30 stories—the tallest building in Harlem.

A Walker & Dunlop team including Senior Managing Directors Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz and Adam Schwartz secured the financing on behalf of Lam Group and Exact Capital.

Inside the partially affordable tower

The Victoria Tower Residences houses the property’s apartments. The redevelopment’s affordable component caters to residents earning between 50 and 130 percent of the area median income. The tower comprises studio, one- and two-bedroom floorplans ranging from 401 to 917 square feet, according to Yardi Matrix information.

Units feature central air conditioning and heating, open-floor concepts for the kitchen and living room, as well as granite countertops, among others. Community amenities include a gym, a lounge, doorman service and 52 below-grade parking spaces, to name a few.  

Located at 230 W. 126th St., The Victoria Tower Residences is roughly 1 mile from Central Park and some 11 miles northeast of Downtown Manhattan. Besides Apollo Stages at the Victoria Theater—which is part of the redevelopment—but also several parks, such as Marcus Garvey and St. Nicholas, are within walking distance.

Bringing affordable housing to Manhattan

According to a 2023 report by the office of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, the borough’s inventory had grown by roughly 6,000 new units yearly since 2017. However, only 21 percent were affordable.  

To help alleviate affordable housing concerns, the report identified 171 Manhattan locations with a capacity to hold more than 73,000 units with more than 40 percent being affordable. These proposals would involve public and private partnerships, including city and state agencies, as well as the City Council and Planning Commission.

The report also pinpointed several sites that moved forward with development. One such site is in Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood, where the joint venture of LMXD, MSquared and Taconic Partners broke ground on a $416 million mixed-income project last year.

The development is part of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s $25 billion housing plan, which awarded more than $390 million in bonds and subsidies for constructing and preserving more than 1,600 affordable units.

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