SAN FRANCISCO-Locally based New Urban Properties has secured $59.5 million in financing for an $80-million conversion of 74 New Montgomery into 107 residential condominiums. The seven-story former Call newspaper headquarters was built in 1914 and is listed on the city’s historical register. It is located adjacent to the Palace Hotel in the Financial District.

New Urban Properties acquired the building in 2001. The conversion lender was the National Electrical Benefit Fund, a pension fund created by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association. The NEBF Real Estate financing included $49.5 million of construction debt and a $10-million mezzanine loan.

“A building like this, with so much character and history behind it, deserves renewed use,” says New Urban chief executive Tom Owens. “There hasn’t been residential living in this area since the 1906 earthquake and fire destroyed much of the city.”

The financing was arranged by Buchanan Street Partners. “Converting a class ‘B’ historic building to residential condos in such a great location is a very smart move,” says Buchanan Street VP John Manning. “Securing the funding had its challenges given the complexity of the deal and the changing construction costs, but NEBF came through in the end.”

The project will reportedly include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, a roof garden and four penthouse units. Architect Dan Huntsman is designing the conversion. Neither Owens nor Manning could be reached Friday afternoon for further comment.

Owens is reportedly converting the property in partnership with Bay Area developers Mike Kelly and Dave Skyhawk. The group started construction this month. The conversion is expected to take just over a year to complete. New Urban Properties also recently acquired an office building at 323 Pine St.

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