Merchants Capital Secures Financing for Affordable Housing in San Francisco

San Francisco, AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, 53 Colton, Strada, CHP
Courtesy of Strada and CHP

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is also helping to finance the project through a $19.1 million contribution as part of its $1 billion “Bay Area Investment Initiative.” 53 Colton is HIT’s 12 project in San Francisco.)

CHICAGO – The Chicago office of mortgage banking company Merchants Capital recently secured a Merchants Bank of Indiana (MBI) construction loan for the development of 53 Colton Street, an affordable housing complex currently under construction in downtown San Francisco.

Located in Mid-Market one of San Francisco’s fastest growing neighborhoods, 53 Colton Street will provide 96 affordable and supportive efficiency studio apartments to formerly homeless adults. All units will be reserved for residents referred through the Coordinated Entry System (CES).  The project will create much needed deeply affordable housing at the center of the city.

With groundbreaking expected this winter, the structure and design of 53 Colton Street will focus on meeting the everyday needs of a supportive housing community, while simultaneously creating a residence that is beautiful, sustainable and cost-efficient. Each of the 96 studio units will be equipped with a private bathroom and kitchenette. Building amenities include common areas, a community room with dining area and kitchen, a bike room, common laundry facilities and a private landscaped courtyard.  The building is designed by David Baker Architects, one of San Francisco’s leading architecture firms.

“53 Colton is a wonderful example of what’s possible with a partnership that includes for-profit and non-profit developers, the City of San Francisco, State of California, organized labor, and financial institutions like Merchants, Enterprise, and the AFL-CIO. We are excited to see this project come to fruition,” said Michael Cohen, a Founding Principal of Strada Investment Group.

Additionally, the property management group, Community Housing Partnership (CHP) will provide on-site case managers and counselors to support residents in an effort to improve their overall quality of life and stimulate them to become self-reliant.

“Our organization’s mission is to create a permanent home for people who have experienced homelessness. The challenge is large and requires all of us to work together; we have forged partnerships with lenders, state and local government and philanthropy to achieve the goal. Our partnership with MBI was instrumental in our success,” said Community Housing Partnership CEO Rick Aubry.

In addition to the MBI construction loan, Merchants Capital also provided the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity bridge loan.

“Transforming this area into a beautiful, welcoming development while providing affordable housing to many San Francisco residents is truly a remarkable project,” said Susan Schnoll, senior vice president, originations of Merchants Capital’s Chicago office. “Merchants is proud to have partnered with Strada Investment Group and CHP to bring 53 Colton Street to life. It will provide necessary housing to those who need it most.”

The development at 53 Colton Street is expected to be completed by the spring or summer of 2022.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News