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Taconic, Clarion Form $400M NYC Affordable Housing JV

Exterior of Eastchester Heights apartments Taconic Investment Partners and Clarion Partners acquired the 1,416-unit Eastchester Heights apartment complex in the Bronx in 2007 for $136 million.

NEW YORK CITY—Taconic Investment Partners and Clarion Partners, LLC have launched a $400-million joint venture that will be focused on acquiring and renovating affordable housing properties here.

The partnership called Quality Communities has closed on its first purchase—the $71-million acquisition of a five-property portfolio consisting of 368 rent-stabilized apartments in the Fordham, Belmont and Concourse sections of the Bronx from Related Cos. and New York City pension funds.

In conjunction with the formation of the Quality Communities venture, Taconic has hired Ty Barnes as the VP of acquisitions to lead the venture. Barnes comes to Taconic from Related Companies where he most recently served as acquisitions senior manager. Barnes was part of Related’s acquisitions and development teams that purchased more than 2,000 luxury development units in New York City and approximately 16,000 units nationally.

“We’re very optimistic about this new venture with Clarion, as it’s an area that should produce positive outcomes and improve the quality of affordable housing developments,” says Charles Bendit, Co-CEO of Taconic. “We strive to acquire properties that when improved, can impact an entire neighborhood the way that Eastchester Heights has. Ty brings a great depth of experience to Taconic; offering a tremendous opportunity for us to identify these types of projects, enhance value and transform them for the community.”

Taconic officials note the real estate development firm has a long history of acquiring, redeveloping and repositioning multi-family, office, mixed-use and retail assets. One example being its 2007 purchase of the Eastchester Heights complex in the Bronx with partner Clarion. The joint venture paid $136 million for the 1,416-unit apartment complex. Since the deal, Taconic’s in-house asset management team completed capital improvements to provide environment efficiency and sustainability, security, upgrades to landscaping, building common areas, while also remedying hundreds of building code violations.

Barnes previously held senior portfolio and asset management positions with Winn Residential and Manhattan Maintenance Co., respectively. Barnes earned a BA in history from Colgate University and his Masters in Real Estate Finance and Investment from NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

“What attracted me to Taconic is their strategic and long-term thinking—I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work with Clarion on our Quality Communities initiative,” Barnes says. “This venture will vastly improve the quality and supply of affordable housing in the city, and I believe my experience with local affordable and rent stabilized assets will help us hit the ground running.”

New York City-based Taconic Investment Partners has acquired, redeveloped and repositioned more than 12 million square feet of commercial office and mixed-use space, as well as in excess of 3,000 units of luxury and workforce housing in the New York metropolitan area, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.

In New York City, Taconic’s latest developments include: 837 Washington in the Meatpacking District, The Sterling Mason in TriBeCa, Essex Crossing on the Lower East Side, 525 W. 52nd St. and 619 W. 54th St. in Hell’s Kitchen. Taconic has also assembled significant land holdings in Coney Island for residential development.

Clarion, headquartered in New York City, also has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, London, Los Angeles, São Paulo, Seattle and Washington, DC. The real estate investment management firm has $43 billion in total assets under management.

Last month, Clarion and partner GHC Development announced they were converting the original home of the American Stock Exchange at 123 Greenwich St. to retail and commercial space that will also include a hotel tower.

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