Developers have secured $317 million in financing to complete phase one of The Crossings at Brick Church Station in East Orange, New Jersey. Anchored at 533 Main Street, the two-phase development is referred to simply as The Crossings and will comprise around 200,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, 820 mixed-income apartments, public outdoor space, a parking garage for 1,200 vehicles, and additional surface-level parking spaces.
The developers leading the project include Triangle Equities and Incline Capital, along with primary investment partners Goldman Sachs and Basis Investment Group. According to the team, The Crossings is scheduled to commence construction this November, with completion anticipated by the end of 2024. When complete, the complex will be the largest-ever development to debut in East Orange.
“Since acquiring the first site in the assemblage, our vision for this project has been to create a development that will not only provide quality fresh foods, restaurants, retail amenities, and mixed-income housing to the City of Easts Orange, but also create a transformative economic and community development project,” said Triangle Equities director of capital markets Josh Weingarten. “Upon completion, The Crossings will provide a new focal point for the City of East Orange and catalyze additional investment and economic growth in the City by ensuring that social equity goals are interwoven with the development plan.”
The complex financial package includes funding from nearly a dozen public and private supporters.
Completion of the retail component and necessary infrastructure to support the sprawling development will be financed with a $17 million loan from the Reinvestment Fund in partnership with the Low-Income Investment Fund and BlueHub Capital, $15 million of New Markets Tax Credit equity invested by PNC Bank, $10.5 million of financing from the NJ Infrastructure Bank, and $1.65 million Series 2022A Redevelopment Area Bond. An additional $24.6 million in direct equity will be provided by the Urban Investment Group within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Basis Investment Group, Triangle Equities, and Incline Capital.
To date, more than 85 percent of available retail space is pre-leased, including a new ShopRite supermarket that will anchor the complex.
Funding for the residential portion of the project will largely be provided by PNC Bank. This includes a $63.8 million construction, a $24.35 million bridge loan, a $14.6 million LIHTC bridge loan, and $17.6 million of LIHTC invested equity all provided by the institution. Support from the City of East Orange includes a $2 million loan and $24.35 million in Redevelopment Area Bonds.
Goldman Sachs, Basis Investment Group, Triangle Equities, and Incline Capital have committed $46 million in direct equity for the residential component. The latter also benefits from $20 million in Low Income Tax Credits awarded by the NJ Housing & Finance Agency. Fannie Mae, through PNC as DUS Lender, committed to provide $88.2 million of mortgage-backed securities at the end of the construction through lease-up.
The project also received $52 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation from eight community development enterprises including PNC Bank, DV Community Investment, Urban Action Community Development, Enterprise Community Partners, New Jersey Community Capital, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Mid-City Community CDE, and the Reinvestment Fund, one of the largest new markets tax credit closings in the program history.
“The Crossings at Brick Church Station is a terrific example of the progress that can be achieved when public and private resources come together to strengthen the economic vitality of our communities,” said Enrico Della Corna, PNC regional president of New Jersey. “PNC, as a national main street bank, is committed to delivering our expertise and capabilities—from real estate finance to public finance to tax credit solutions—that help advance economic equality and enable all to move forward financially.”