Aaron Yowell represents private, public and nonprofit real estate developers, owners and investors, with a particular focus on projects with affordable housing components and unconventional financing structures, including housing development fund companies, tax incentive programs such as Article XI and Affordable New York (a/k/a 421-a benefits) and inclusionary housing. He guides all aspects of project development, new construction, rehabilitation, and operation, including acquisitions, dispositions, regulatory matters, public and private financings, joint ventures and investments.
Constructing projects with affordable housing and repositioning and preserving existing housing requires marshaling diverse sets of government agencies and debt and equity partners. I guide developers and investors through these complexities, moving all parties toward a common goal. For example, I recently helped a joint venture between two private, for-profit developers acquire and finance the rehabilitation of a large New York City property built on a long-term ground lease from a governmental agency. The project was financed with the taxable bond proceeds and conventional private equity. Getting to closing required harmonizing the interests of the bond issuer and a private equity investor new to affordable housing with the interest of our client.
Up-to-the-minute deal awareness is essential to my work and I rely on strong project management to keep all the members of our team, including our clients, in the loop. Affordable housing transactions, which often involve upwards of five or six different sources of debt financing, tax credit equity, and state and local tax exemptions, present a unique opportunity to create value through efficiency. I am constantly piloting new ways we can reduce friction for our clients, creating more and better opportunities to leverage existing assets and unlock new lines of business. Our innovation initiatives, including the Code the Deal transactional law hackathon, which I spearheaded on behalf of the firm, are a big part of this.
I am a chair of the Affordable Housing Committee of the Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy, which conducts cutting-edge research on urban development and affordable housing. In addition to affordable housing, sustainability and green building are very important to me. I was a founding board member of GreenHomeNYC, a nonprofit offering offers resources for small- and medium-sized buildings in New York City.
Each of the New York City and State governments continue to try to outdo each other in housing production, increasingly insisting upon a substantial mix of incomes. At the same time, with the volume of public debt constrained, opportunities abound for less conventional structure and more creative players. The New York City Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program and its interplay with Affordable New York (a/k/a 421-a) is just one area where possibilities for both traditional affordable housing developers, market-rate developers and players new to the affordable market are expanding in both size and scope.
Law360 | November 28, 2017
New York City affordable housing partner Aaron Yowell counseled Park Management Inc. in its $53 million acquisition of a seven-floor apartment building in the Bronx serving lower-income renters.
Bisnow | September 12, 2016
New York City affordable housing partner Aaron Yowell is quoted in this article that looks at the increasing need for affordable housing in New York City and how it’s becoming harder to get this done—especially in light of the loss of the 421-a tax exemption program.
HousingOnline Weekly | February 03, 2016
This article from the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association highlights Affordable Housing partners Meghan Altidor and Aaron Yowell for their election to the partnership.
Los Angeles Business Journal | November 02, 2015
Aaron Yowell, lead NP organizer for the recently held “Code the Deal” event in Los Angeles, is quoted in this coverage. Aaron’s comments note how these hackathons are about being thoughtful about the practice of law and figuring out ways to improve practices and increase value for clients.
Affordable Housing Blog | 07.24.17
Affordable Housing Blog | 07.05.17
11.08.17 | New York, NY
03.02.16 | New York, NY
11.04.15 | New York, NY
New York University School of Law, J.D., Order of the Coif; Environmental Law Journal
Wesleyan University, B.A.
Aaron Yowell is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association and serves as board president of GreenHomeNYC, Inc. He is a non-resident fellow for the New York University Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy and is a graduate of the New York Center for Environmental Law and Leadership Institute.