The oldest limited-equity cooperative in the country will undergo major improvements, including getting new balconies and slate tiles for its roof, thanks to a recently closed $30 million loan from National Cooperative Bank (NCB).
Amalgamated Houses are in solid financial shape 85 years after construction first started on the 1,482 apartments in Bronx, N.Y. Prices for apartments are held far below market rates—appreciation is set every year by the cooperative. Potential homebuyers are limited to moderate-income households, and it now takes more than seven years for potential homeowners to make it to the top of the waiting list for the property.
Founded in 1927, the development was originally sponsored by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union.
“Everyone is looking to new models to meet the needs of homeownership, and here is a model that is 85 years old that was important then and as important today,” says Charles Snyder, president and CEO of NCB. Because prices are held below market, limited-equity cooperatives are less vulnerable to falling home prices and other market shocks. In the last five years, none of the 3,000 cooperative properties in NCB’s portfolio have been foreclosed on.
The permanent loan will help Amalgamated refinance about $8.5 million in existing debt and will provide another $19.6 million to bolster reserves and undertake substantial capital improvements. NCB worked with Fannie Mae in securing the transaction.
A lot of work has already been done over the last decade. For example, the property has already taken out a loan from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for energy improvements, including a natural gas heating system to replace an oil-burning furnace.