CPC Closes $12M Freddie Mac Mortgage on Merchants Commons Building in Syracuse

The Central New York Business Journal
May 28, 2014

The Community Preservation Corp., Inc. (CPC) today announced the closing of a more than $12 million Freddie Mac mortgage to support the Merchants Commons building at 220 S. Warren St. in Syracuse.

Merchants Commons, a combination of the former Snow Building and Merchants Bank Building, includes 66 residential units and more than 34,000 square feet of commercial space, CPC said in a news release.

The loan will help maintain the structure’s residential units and commercial space, the organization added.

The CPC is a New York City–based nonprofit mortgage lender providing capital to “underserved” neighborhoods throughout New York state since 1974, according to its news release.  Its Central & Western region office is located at 315 N. Clinton St. in Syracuse.

Freddie Mac is the commonly known name of the McLean, Va.–based Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, an enterprise that Congress chartered in 1970, according to the Freddie Mac website.

The Freddie Mac loan on the Merchants Commons building has a seven-year term with a 30-year amortization schedule at an estimated fixed interest rate of 5.38 percent.

The borrower is Merchants Commons, LLC, a newly formed limited-liability company that Joseph Hucko spearheaded, the CPC said.

Hucko is a local developer who also owns Washington St. Partners (WSP), which was responsible for the Jefferson Clinton Commons, a mixed-use construction project in Armory Square.  WSP also owns the former train station from which the Business Journal News Network operates.

Merchants Commons provides individuals and families with housing in a “vibrant” neighborhood and “significant” commercial space to help more local businesses grow, Nicholas Petragnani, Jr., senior vice president and Central and Western New York regional director at CPC, said in the news release.

“Freddie Mac shares our vision and passion for downtown revitalization, and we are happy to continue this critical partnership,” said Petragnani.

Crews recently renovated Merchants Commons’ 48 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom rental apartments with concrete floors, granite countertops, and appliances, CPC said.

The property is “fully leased,” the organization added. Its rental rates for the residential units range from $1,000 per month for one-bedroom units to $1,945 per month for two-bedrooms, it said.

Since 1995, CPC has leveraged $146.6 million in total funding to help support more than 3,100 units of housing and 141 commercial spaces in Syracuse, the CPC said.

To date, CPC has invested a total of more than $8.4 billion in over 157,000 units of housing, the nonprofit said.