McCormack Baron Salazar closes on $21.9 million of financing for 2nd phase of North Sarah Apartments in St. Louis

January 28, 2013 | McCormack Baron Salazar

McCormack Baron Salazar closed on the financing for the second phase of the North Sarah development in St. Louis in January, adding ten additional mixed-use and residential buildings to the first phase of the project. North Sarah is a new mixed-use, mixed-income development located just north of Gaslight Square and east of the Central West End neighborhoods.

Opening in 2014, North Sarah Apartments Phase II will consist of 103 mixed-income rental housing units geared towards families. Amenities include a playground, computer center, fitness room, and community clubhouse, among others. The $30 million first phase of development, which opened this fall, includes 120 housing units and nearly 12,000 square feet of commercial, management and community space, which will ultimately contain a small, locally-owned, fresh food grocery store.

U.S. Bank provided a financing package of more than $25 million to support phase one development and has now closed on nearly $22 million in additional funding, including a $11.5 million construction loan, a $1.6 million first mortgage, more than $7 million of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity investment through its St. Louis-based subsidiary, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), and a $1.8 million Affordable Housing Assistance Program (AHAP) donation for the benefit of the project.  In addition, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Saint Louis Housing Authority provided $18.27 million through a $7.86 million HOPE VI grant and other programs.

“We are proud to be a partner in bringing this project to fruition, as the development is helping to reestablish the neighborhood as a center of activity,” said Beth Stohr, director of Affordable Housing Tax Credit Investments with U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, referring to the area’s historic Sarah-Finney business district, which once included businesses and a theater. “The addition of new commercial space, added goods and services, and high quality housing, as prioritized by residents, is helping form a holistic community. It’s exciting to witness the transformation.”

On October 22, 2012, representatives from USBCDC and McCormack Baron Salazar joined local and state partners and community residents to celebrate the grand opening of the first phase of the North Sarah community. Already more than 90 percent leased, the development is helping revitalize an underserved area and bring new retail to the neighborhood. Residents will also have access to health, financial, recreational, educational, employment and entrepreneurial resources and services.

“In this very difficult economic environment, public-private partnerships are critical to finance affordable and long lasting housing for families and children as part of comprehensive neighborhood transformations, like North Sarah,” said Vince Bennett, chief operating officer of McCormack Baron Salazar.  “We are thankful that we could combine U.S. Bank’s funding with public support from the City of St Louis, the St. Louis Housing Authority, Missouri Housing Development Commission, and HUD to help realize this neighborhood's vision.”

Cheryl Lovell, executive director of the Saint Louis Housing Authority, the project sponsor, added, “We are extremely proud to partner with U.S. Bank and McCormack Baron Salazar in furthering the creation of mixed-finance communities in the region.”

To date, USBCDC has invested more than $318 million of equity in support of $892 million of revitalization efforts spearheaded by McCormack Baron Salazar.

Read coverage of this story here and here.