BY: Miriam Hall
MaryAnne Gilmartin kicked off 2018 by leaving Forest City to found her own firm, backed by the owners of L&L Holding Co. To close it out, the company has announced its first project, a large apartment building in Chelsea, which it plans to start constructing next year.
The project will be a 460-unit rental building at 241 West 28th St. in Chelsea, L&L MAG announced Monday. The building will be developed under the Affordable New York program, with 30% of the apartments set aside for low- and middle-income renters. COOKFOX will design the building.
“We founded L&L MAG to pursue projects that provide value to the community we are building in, to enhance the fabric of our city architecturally and to deliver value to our partners, and I am thrilled that our first development delivers on all of those principles,” L&L MAG CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin said in a statement.
The site of the new building, a block-through parking lot, is owned by Edison Properties. L&L MAG has signed a 99-year ground lease with Edison and will build a public parking garage with the building as part of the arrangement.
Atalaya Capital Management and Qualitas, an Australian asset manager, are partnering with L&L MAG on the project. It is Qualitas’ first investment in the U.S.
“We brought together the perfect team for this project — Atalaya and Qualitas — and have shown we can advance the most complex deals in a very short period of time. We are going to pursue a diverse set of projects across sectors and expect this will be the first of many,” Gilmartin said.
Qualitas will use the deal to launch future investment in the U.S., establishing a New York office, co-founder Mark Fischer said. The firm sought gateway city investments in multifamily, and found it needed to partner with a local like Gilmartin to accomplish that goal.
An Edison executive told The Real Deal that L&L MAG’s offer on the site was not the highest the New Jersey-based team received, but they were convinced by the team Gilmartin had assembled and her reputation.
“You can get away with a lot in this town,” Gilmartin said at Bisnow’s New York State of the Market event last month. “You can build forgettable buildings that deliver tremendous returns, and you can make a shit ton of money. I don’t want to do that.”