St. Charles Town Company Breaks Ground on Zephyr Line Apartments in Lakewood’s West Rail Corridor

Denver (October 15, 2014) — St. Charles Town Company, LLC, is excited to announce the groundbreaking of Zephyr Line Apartments, a 95-unit multifamily complex which will provide critically needed workforce housing in Lakewood, Colorado. Financing for the project closed in August and construction is underway.

After acquiring land at 14th Avenue and Zephyr Street in March 2013 with help from the Mile High Community Loan Fund, St. Charles recently closed on a complicated financing structure which will fund construction of the project, including an “equity bridge” loan from Colorado-based Mercy Loan Fund that will cover construction costs in advance of the tax credit equity.

“The project fits perfectly into the urban expertise of St. Charles Town Company” said Charlie Woolley, CEO. “St. Charles thrives in the world of complicated financing and Zephyr is yet another example of our boutique approach to real estate development, and we are very excited to get construction underway.” The $16 million project includes construction and permanent financing from Wells Fargo, Citi, Mercy Loan Fund, the State of Colorado, and Jefferson County. Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity was provided by City Real Estate Advisors, Inc. in partnership with the Colorado Housing Finance Authority, which allocates the federal credit on the basis of state priorities.

Zephyr Line Apartments was one of the first large projects to go through the City of Lakewood’s new form-based zoning process designed to retain the historic sense of place of the various urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods of the Denver region. At over 52 units per acre, the site is extraordinarily dense for the Lakewood submarket, where large scale multifamily construction has not occurred in nearly forty years. The project is expected to begin rejuvenation efforts in the Wadsworth Station Area, an approximately five block zone around the west rail line’s station platform. The project is expected to be complete in the fall of 2015.

“Equity bridge loans, which can be the last capital source necessary to enable an entire deal to come to fruition, are uncommon in the marketplace,” said Julie Gould, President of Mercy Loan Fund. “MLF pushed to make this deal possible because of the importance of ensuring transit access for low and moderate income workers as the Denver region develops. St. Charles Town Company and Mile High Community Loan Fund were exemplary partners.”

The architect, OZ Architecture, Inc. of Denver, drew inspiration from the California Zephyr, a passenger rail service which has run between Chicago and San Francisco a few miles north of the site since 1949. The long, sleek lines of each building are intended to evoke the look of a California Zephyr locomotive and its shiny passenger cars. The modern amenities of the Zephyr Line Apartments, such as in-unit washers and dryers, are sure to stand out. Residents will be able to take advantage of extensive community social space, including a club kitchen and lounge area, fitness center, and barbeque patio with all season ping pong table.

“Being an urban pioneer out in Lakewood, we tried to incorporate exterior design influences from the front section of Amtrak’s Zephyr locomotive to tie the project into its transit-oriented location on Zephyr Street,” said Darrin Grommeck, CFO, St. Charles Town Company.

About St. Charles Town Company
Founded in 1993, St. Charles is a Denver based real estate development company founded in 1993 to invest in, develop, renovate, market and manage urban real estate. We are committed to providing highly profitable solutions for extraordinary buildings and properties, while preserving historic structures and developing new uses that create a dynamic urban environment. Our projects include lofts, townhomes, condominiums, single family homes, office condominiums, workforce housing, mixed-use retail, office and commercial. We develop communities with the goal of creating a vital urban lifescape.

About Mercy Loan Fund
Mercy Loan Fund, a subsidiary of the national affordable housing organization Mercy Housing, provides financing to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations, enabling them to build or preserve affordable housing in their communities. Since 1985, the organization has made 454 loans in 38 states totaling $245 million, resulting in 19,400 affordable homes for over 52,200 residents. These loans have leveraged more than $1.7 billion in total development funding. Mercy Loan Fund is certified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Mercy Loan Fund was formed with the goal of supporting the mission of Mercy Housing by making loans for affordable housing developments when conventional financing is not possible or affordable. For information about Mercy Loan Fund, please visit www.mercyloanfund.org

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