Atlanta landmark Darlington Apartments gets $70M for overhaul

A sweeping overhaul of the Darlington Apartments, a more than 70-year-old landmark in Buckhead known best for its Atlanta Population sign, just got a nearly $70 million boost.
Boston-based MF1 Capital will provide $68.5 million in financing for the project, according to Fulton County property records. The security deed was filed last month.
The new financing comes almost a year after the project’s owner, Varden Capital Properties, said it was starting the redesign and redevelopment of the 16-story Darlington Apartments into condominiums. The building’s 612 apartments would have been converted into 276 condos ranging from $300,000 to just over $500,000.
However, those plans have changed, said Joe Hercenberg, a managing director with the firm Walker & Dunlop, who brokered the new transaction on behalf of Varden Capital. The building will instead by converted to class A apartments. The nearly $70 million loan will provide capital for that renovation.
Varden Capital did not immediately respond today to an inquiry from Atlanta Business Chronicle.
It’s unclear how the current outbreak of the coronavirus and shuttering of the U.S. economy will impact the timetable for the project.
Varden Capital paid $30 million for Darlington apartments in 2017. The purchase was financed by a $44 million loan from Arbor Realty, according to Atlanta property research firm Databank Inc.
The interior of the building has been gutted. It will now be outfitted with new units and luxury finishes, Hercenberg said. The nearly $70 million loan from MF1 Capital matures in 2023, according to the security deed.
For decades, Darlington Apartments overlooked Peachtree Road near Piedmont Hospital and served as one of the few low-income housing options for people living in Buckhead.
By Douglas Sams – Commercial Real Estate Editor, Atlanta Business Chronicle

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