The project required the successful collaboration among eight
entities, including the City of Mountain View, Santa Clara County,
U.S. Bancorp, the California Department of Housing and
Community Development, the California Veterans Housing and
Homelessness Prevention Program, the state Department of Veterans
Affairs, the California Housing Finance Agency and Google.
Over the past couple of years, the apartment project had to
overcome a number of obstacles to secure land, grants and tax
credits. The project was nearly derailed earlier this year as corpo-
rate investors backed away from buying the project’s $20 million
in government-issued tax credits when the Trump administra-
tion’s tax reform plan made the tax credits less valuable.
The partners designed a housing community that is efficient,
sustainable, close to public transportation, with ample bike parking, and an exterior building design to enhance the street presence
of El Camino Real. Most importantly, residents have an independent living environment that promotes economic independence
with resources to support veterans and preserve their dignity.
Palo Alto Housing won an award of competitive nine% tax credits
through the low income housing tax credit program administered
by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee in 2016. These
highly coveted tax credits were offered to various investors including
U.S. Bancorp, which had partnered with PAH on a previous deal.
U.S. Bancorp’s commitment to investing in the communities it
serves, along with the unique opportunity this project provided to
serve low-income households and special needs veterans, made
this project attractive. Palo Alto Housing is strategic in its
approach to bringing affordable housing projects to a neighborhood by engaging with the community.
The development team included Candice Gonzalez, CEO; Rob
Wilkins, development director; Jennifer Wong, development associ-ate/associate project manager, all from PAH; from architect Van
Meter Williams Pollack, Fred Pollack, partner; Pamela Goode, architect. From civil engineer Luk and Associates, Jackie Luk, PE. From
construction manager Pinion Properties, Dan Mountsier, principal.
From general contractor Branagh Inc., John Branagh, principal.
From property manager PAHC Management & Services, Candice
Gonzalez, CEO; structural engineer Murphy Burr Curry, Steven
Curry, principal. From MEP engineer Fard Engineers, Max Saeednia,
president. From landscape
architect Hill Associates,
Bruce Hill, president, and
Sunshine Design CEO
BIG APPLE, BIG FUNDS
The law firm of Fried Frank
played a pivotal role in
securing the funds that
allowed for the development of two major Big
Apple projects. In May, the
firm advised the Children’s
Investment Fund and Talos
Capital Ltd. in a $1.25-bil-
lion construction loan to
HFZ Capital Group for
The Eleventh, a 950,000-sf
luxury mixed-use project.
The Fried Frank team
consisted of partners
Michael Barker and Robert
Sorin, special counsel
Suzanne deVries Decker, and
Samantha Adler, Amanda
Barner and Melanie Taylor.
HFZ principal and CIO John
Shannon negotiated the
financing for the borrower.
Located on a full block
along the High Line in
District, the Bjarke Ingels
is slated for delivery in 2019. It
will feature 240 luxury condos, retail space and the first
North American Six Senses
Hotel and Spa, with 137
rooms, in two asymmetrical,
twisting towers of 25 and 34 stories connected by a skybridge.
At the very end of the year, Barker, this time with partners
Jonathan Mechanic and Michael Vines, led another Fried Frank
team on the loan that helped bring Extell Development Co.’s
Central Park Tower to full funding. The legal team—which also
included deVries Decker, Barner, Nathaniel Lifschitz, Krisia
Ildefonso, Matthew McElroy and Jeremy Kozin—counseled lead
lender J.P. Morgan in the origination and syndication of a $900-mil-
lion construction loan that reportedly took months to negotiate.
Those funds, along with $235 million in preferred equity from an
unidentified hedge fund, allowed Extell and partner SMI USA, the
US subsidiary of Shanghai Municipal Investment, to move ahead
with the ultra-luxury project. Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon
Gill Architecture, the 95-story asset will feature a flagship Nordstrom
department store on seven levels, topped by 197 luxury condos. At
1,550 feet, it’s expected to be the tallest residential building in the
world and the second-tallest tower overall in New York City.
FUNDING A REDEVELOPMENT’S TURNING POINT
Bell Works, the adaptive reuse of the two-million-sf former Bell
Laboratories campus in the Monmouth County suburbs, is gathering steam as it signs up major tenants for space in the iconic Eero
Bell Works’ signature is its open-atrium floor plan, which spans
a full quarter-mile. The building served as an innovation headquarters for more than 6,000 Bell Labs employees from 1962 to 2007,
employing no fewer than 5,000 engineers and researchers at its
peak. By 2006, however, the modernist building had been all but
Central Park Tower