Walker & Dunlop Structures $52 Million in Financing for Opportunity Zone Development
Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced today that it structured $51,923,400 in financing for ECLIPSE at CityCentre, a five-story, 278-unit, multifamily project located in Huntsville, Alabama. Co-developed by Spring Bay Property Company, the property will sit atop 18,000 square feet of upscale restaurants and retail and is part of the CityCentre at Big Spring master-planned project being developed by RCP Companies.
Located in Huntsville’s Downtown area, the property is within the bounds of a designated opportunity zone census tract. Established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, opportunity zones encourage long-term investments in designated low-income areas by offering incentives in the form of lower or deferred capital gains taxes.
Led by Keith Melton, David Strange, Livingston Hessam, and Jeremy Pino, Walker & Dunlop arranged the loan through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 221(d)(4) new construction program, which includes both construction and permanent financing in a single loan. The team worked to ensure the financing terms were consistent with opportunity zone guidance, securing a two-year construction term followed by a 40-year, fully amortizing, fixed-rate loan. The financing also features a declining prepayment schedule for the initial ten years post-construction and is open to prepayment at par for the remaining 30 years.
To fully capitalize on opportunity zone benefits, the developer is required to hold the asset for a minimum of ten years, making HUD’s long-term financing program an ideal fit. Said Mr. Melton, “We were extremely pleased with the success of this transaction. HUD has continued to prioritize projects located within opportunity zones, which allowed for this complex financing with a nuanced ground structure component to close within tight timeframes.”
“We are grateful to work with the Walker & Dunlop team and to have executed this HUD loan for the ECLIPSE with RCP Companies – partners that understand the vision for developing best-in-class properties to fill the fast-growing market in Huntsville,” stated Kevin Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of Spring Bay Property Company.
“ECLIPSE at CityCentre will serve the robust STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) workforce and the next generation that is entering the market. The project will provide built-in demand for the authentic blend of live, work, play, shop amenities we have planned for CityCentre, which is a critical piece in Huntsville's revitalization of downtown,” commented Max Grelier, Co-Founder of RCP Companies. “Its architecture will be locally inspired with pedestrian crossings, bike pathways, walkways, and a linear park connection to nearby urban developments.”
Once complete, ECLIPSE at CityCentre will include a mix of studios, one-, and two-bedroom units with open concept floor plans and nine-foot ceilings. The majority of the apartments also feature private balconies. Community amenities will include a resort-style heated pool, large fitness center, pet walking and grooming area, barbecue stations, outdoor fire pit, ample parking, and sweeping views of Big Spring Park.
Walker & Dunlop is one of the largest multifamily lenders in the country and is ranked as the third largest HUD lender based on MAP (Multifamily Accelerated Processing) initial endorsements in 2019. The company plays an active role in shaping the future of the multifamily industry and has a deep understanding of both opportunity zones and the affordable housing crisis in the United States. In collaboration with the City of Miami, the firm has published a proposal aimed at alleviating the current challenges of workforce housing. To learn more, read the Opportunity Zone White Paper.
About Walker & Dunlop
Walker & Dunlop (NYSE: WD), headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is one of the largest commercial real estate finance companies in the United States. The company provides a comprehensive range of capital solutions for all commercial real estate asset classes, as well as investment sales brokerage services to owners of multifamily properties. Walker & Dunlop is included on the S&P SmallCap 600 Index and was ranked as one of FORTUNE Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2014, 2017, and 2018. Walker & Dunlop’s 800+ professionals in 40 offices across the nation have an unyielding commitment to client satisfaction.
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