Calvin Cafritz Lands $61M in Financing for 263-Unit Apartment Project in DC

With the assistance of commercial real estate services firm Cassidy Turley, Calvin Cafritz Enterprises has secured $61 million in financing for the development of 5333 Connecticut Ave., a 263-unit luxury apartment community in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

5333 ConnecticutWith the assistance of commercial real estate services firm Cassidy Turley, Calvin Cafritz Enterprises has secured $60.5 million in financing for the development of 5333 Connecticut Ave., a 263-unit luxury apartment community in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. came through with the long-term, fixed-rate financing. “It was a construction permanent loan, which makes it a bit unique; the financing is now in place for 10 years,” Philip Mudd, executive managing director with Cassidy Turley, told Commercial Property Executive.

Designed by Eric Colbert & Associates PC, the nine-story structure will sprout up on a 16,230-square-foot site that Calvin Cafritz amassed roughly two decades ago.

There was strong competition among both banks and insurance companies to provide the financing, as 5333 Connecticut is a project with the characteristics that lenders find hard to resist. First off, the property is in the right spot; there aren’t many brand new apartment buildings in the immediate area. “I’m not aware of any other sites on Connecticut Avenue that are available for development,” Mudd added. “It’s a unique site.”

And on a larger scale, Washington, D.C., itself, is the right location. The vacancy rate in the District was just 5.1 percent in the first quarter, according to a Cassidy Turley report. Additionally metropolitan D.C.’s strong population growth, enviable unemployment rate of just 4.9 percent, along with pent-up demand from Millennials who are joining the workforce and establishing their own residences, are expected to help maintain the nice balance between supply and demand as more inventory hits the market.

Lenders vying for the opportunity to finance 5333 Connecticut were also attracted to the developer. “The Cafritz family goes back to the 1920s in this town,” Mudd noted. “It’s just a very, very strong sponsorship. It’s a great asset; it’s a beautiful design in a spectacular location. It’s just a unique asset.”

Grunley Construction Co., Inc. is spearheading construction of 5333 Connecticut under a $50.7 million contract, and the company is on track to complete building activity in 2015.