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NEW YORK CITY-The Dermot Co. and Archstone-Smith have started a joint venture partnership to develop the Mosaic, a 627-unit mixed-use development along a stretch of 10th Avenue between 51st and 53rd streets. The anticipated investment is $323.5 million.

Two years ago, the locally based Dermot was chosen by the city to redevelop the site. The plan calls for the 24-story project with two towers that also incorporates theaters, parks and retail. The Mosaic is scheduled for completion in fall of 2007. The partnership will finance its investment through $268.5 million of floating rate tax-exempt bond financing provided by the New York State Housing Finance Agency with an estimated all-in interest rate of 3.4%. Bank of America is the lead construction lender.

Stephen N. Benjamin, principal of the Dermot Co. says the project’s green design, use of open spaces and cultural elements will be “an anchor and a catalyst for future growth and further enhancement of this area.” The building, designed by Fox & Fowle Architects, integrates with the adjacent Oasis Community Garden and the Clinton neighborhood. New commercial performance spaces for the 20-year plus neighborhood institutions, the Intar and Ensemble Studio Theaters, will be incorporated with the addition of two theaters.

While mostly a rental community, the Mosaic will have two additional residential options. Condominium lofts three levels above the theater spaces will be offered for sale and 20% of the rental units will be low-income studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Amenities include a health club, tenant lounge, media room, underground tenant parking and library. Both towers will also have a full service café, operated by the building. Over the past two years, Dermot worked with various government and community groups to construct the design.

Dermot currently has over 750 existing residences and 1,300 residences, commercial and artistic spaces in various stages of development. As of March 31, Archstone-Smith owned or had an ownership position in 231 communities, representing 79,023 units, including units under construction.

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