Harlem Developer Gets Creative to Pull Off Financing

The Jonathan Rose Companies had to worry a little in 2008, when a 10-parcel site it planned to develop as a rental with the City of New York in East Harlem sat idle because it couldn't find investors. Now, the site is busy with construction -- and looking like a solid performer in a neighborhood full of failed condos.

All it took was a little patience, and a willingness by the developer to find a way to finance it themselves.

The 12-story, 185-unit project in upper Manhattan, called Tapestry, is now coming together two blocks from a major subway and rail station with an airport link, a strategically useful site. And government money to serve a mix of market-rate and moderate-to-low-income working households would seem a surer premise than, say, a spec subdivision in Arizona. But sub-prime lending had scalded the economy so badly in 2008 that the Jonathan Rose Companies used its investment arm to raise $10 million of owner's equity -- roughly 15 percent of the $66 million project -- to move forward.