Multifamily Housing

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CHICAGO – The Chicago office of mortgage banking company Merchants Capital recently secured a Merchants Bank of Indiana (MBI) construction loan for the development of 53 Colton Street, an affordable housing complex currently under construction in downtown San Francisco. Located in Mid-Market one of San Francisco’s fastest growing neighborhoods, 53 Colton Street will provide 96 affordable and supportive efficiency studio apartments to formerly homeless adults. All units will be reserved for residents referred through the Coordinated Entry System (CES).  The project will create much needed deeply affordable housing at the center of the city. “Closing the first MBI construction loan in downtown San Francisco is a tremendous success for Merchants Capital,” said Lee Oller, executive vice president of Merchants Capital’s Chicago office. “This development is especially noteworthy as it takes an overlooked area and transforms it into a new hub of activity for both residents and workers.  This is truly taking a net-negative and turning it into a net-positive for the neighborhood and the city. We at Merchants are proud to have partnered on such a meaningful project for San Francisco and the Bay Area.” With groundbreaking expected this winter, the structure and design of 53 Colton Street will focus on meeting the everyday needs of a supportive housing community, while simultaneously creating a residence that is beautiful, sustainable and cost-efficient. Each of the 96 studio units will be equipped with a private bathroom and kitchenette. Building amenities include common areas, a community room with dining area and kitchen, a bike room, common laundry facilities and a private landscaped courtyard.  The building is designed by David Baker Architects, one of San Francisco’s leading architecture firms. “53 Colton is a wonderful example of what’s possible with a partnership that includes for-profit and non-profit developers, the City of San Francisco, State of California, organized labor, and financial institutions like Merchants, Enterprise, and the AFL-CIO. We are excited to see this project come to fruition,” said Michael Cohen, a Founding Principal of Strada Investment Group. Additionally, the property management group, Community Housing Partnership (CHP) will provide on-site case managers and counselors to support residents in an effort to improve their overall quality of life and stimulate them to become self-reliant. "Our organization's mission is to create a permanent home for people who have experienced homelessness. The challenge is large and requires all of us to work together; we have forged partnerships with lenders, state and local government and philanthropy to achieve the goal. Our partnership with MBI was instrumental in our success,” said Community Housing Partnership CEO Rick Aubry. In addition to the MBI construction loan, Merchants Capital also provided the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity bridge loan. “Transforming this area into a beautiful, welcoming development while providing affordable housing to many San Francisco residents is truly a remarkable project,” said Susan Schnoll, senior vice president, originations of Merchants Capital’s Chicago office. “Merchants is proud to have partnered with Strada Investment Group and CHP to bring 53 Colton Street to life. It will provide necessary housing to those who need it most.” The development at 53 Colton Street is expected to be completed by the spring or summer of 2022. To learn more about Merchants Capital and its services, visit or find Merchants Capital on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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Merchants Capital Secures Financing for Affordable Housing in Downtown San Francisco to Serve the Formerly Homeless
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CARMEL, Ind. (April 18, 2019) – Leading mortgage banking company Merchants Capital today announces the opening of a production office in Chicago, located at 131 S. Dearborn St. in The Loop – the company’s fourth office nationwide. Lee Oller has been hired as executive vice president to lead the Chicago team. Oller brings 26 years of experience as a Chief and LEAN Underwriter and has produced more than 350 closed transactions involving the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loan platforms. She brings a deep understanding of FHA, multifamily and affordable housing that will allow Merchants Capital to grow its local presence in Chicago and regionally across the Midwest. “Merchants Capital is well known in the industry for its passion for multifamily and affordable housing,” Oller said. “The biggest draw to joining Merchants was the ability to diversify our lending products especially Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The additional tools at our disposal, along with Merchants commitment to growth and innovation with the support from its banking operation, Merchants Bank, made the decision easy because of the direct benefit to clients.” Joining Oller in the new Chicago office are four senior vice presidents: Susan Schnoll, Alan Cravitz, Brian Black and Emmett Donovan. Schnoll is recognized in the Wisconsin market for her HUD lending knowledge. Cravitz, Black and Donovan bring more than 80 years of combined multifamily lending experience to the team. “This veteran team complements each other and has worked together for many years,” said Oller of the employees joining her in the new Chicago office. “Our expansion to Chicago with this talented group is a very meaningful step in increasing our national lending footprint,” said Michael Dury, president of Merchants Capital. “Lee’s ability to lead is remarkable. We are very excited to introduce her team to our diverse lending products that will allow them to offer a wide variety of solutions.” This expansion follows Merchants Capital’s announcement that it is now servicing more than $10 billion in loans and was named No. 10 on the Top 25 Affordable Lenders of 2018 list by Affordable Housing Finance. The company continues to seek driven employees for a number of positions in all four offices, including New York City and Saint Paul, Minnesota. For career opportunities, visit our careers page.
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Merchants Capital Expands to Chicago, Hires 9 New Employees

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