How to secure a low-interest loan for historic buildings


The non-profit Monument protection was founded in 1973 to provide technical and financial assistance to owners of historic buildings. In 1982 the Historical Real Estate Fund became part of the nature reserve after the federal government sold the massif Archive building in Greenwich Village. Since then the fund has more than $ 29 million with low-interest loans to 260 properties in the five districts.

When your cooperative board wants to apply for a loan, keep one thing in mind: size matters. The nature reserve grants loans to small cooperatives, single- to four-family houses, rental buildings, religious organizations and non-profit organizations. “In general, most of the co-operatives we lend out have between 5 and 20 units,” says James Mahoney, Project and accounting manager for the nature reserve. “We usually lend to co-operatives in low- and middle-income neighborhoods, and our loans amount to approx. $ 400,000. The term is usually 10 years. “

To begin the loan application process, call the Landmarks Conservancy at 212-995-5260. An employee will determine if the building meets the approval requirements – it must be in a designated New York City Historic district or in a neighborhood deemed suitable for inclusion on the list National Register of Historic Places. These buildings make up about 5 percent of the city’s building stock.

If the building is eligible, the fund staff will organize a visit to review the scope of work and estimate a budget. With the support of the fund staff, the cooperative’s board of directors fills out a loan application, which is then submitted to the treasury commission board of directors. If the loan is approved, the fund issues a letter of commitment.

Once the loan is completed, the staff recommend the fund Architects which the board can question and receive Suggestions for services. The chosen architect creates plans and specifications; if the building is in a historic district, the architect will get a permit from the Monument Preservation Commission. If necessary, the architect will also obtain a permit from the Building authority. The architect and fund staff draw up a list of potential contractors. As soon as the cooperative council hires a contractor and all permits have been obtained, work begins and the contractor makes requests for payment. They are certified for payment by the project architect and verified by the fund staff.

“Our involvement is kind of unusual,” says Mahoney. “Most banks just hand over the money.”


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