MARTA affordable-housing partnership finances acquisition of GE Towers

by John Yellig

Courtesy of GE Towers.

MARTA recently completed the first transaction through its affordable-housing preservation fund, providing $24.7 million in financing to preserve 201 units in GE Towers in Mechanicsville.

The loan will be used by an affiliate of Lincoln Avenue Capital to acquire the historic loft property, which is located at the former General Electric plant at 490 Glenn St. west of downtown and near the transit system’s West End station, according to a press release. Lincoln Avenue, a “mission-driven acquirer and developer of affordable housing,” plans to rehabilitate the property through a tax-credit execution this year.

In January 2021, MARTA, Morgan Stanley and the National Equity Fund (NEF), launched the Greater Atlanta Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Preservation Fund, which provided the financing for Lincoln’s acquisition of GE Tower. The fund seeks the long-term preservation of affordable housing near MARTA rail stations by incentivizing and providing gap funding for owners of affordable housing.

Morgan Stanley’s community development arm committed $100 million through NEF to help regional partners preserve transit-oriented, affordable, multifamily housing at risk of market-rate conversion, financial or physical distress or expiring federal low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC).

A LIHTC currently subjects 169 of GE Towers’ units to income restrictions of 60% of area median income, and 100% of the units are subject to a HomeFlex Payment Assistance Agreement with the Atlanta Housing Authority.

“National Equity Fund’s mission is to create and deliver innovative, collaborative financial solutions to expand the creation and preservation of affordable housing,” President and CEO Matt Reilein said. “Partners like Morgan Stanley are helping to bring that mission to life, allowing the residents of the 201 housing units in GE Towers to keep their safe, stable and affordable housing for the long-term.”

Courtesy of GE Towers.


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