The City Announces Plans to Bring Affordable Apartments in the Bronx

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Once complete the mixed-use development of St. Ann’s Avenue and East 142nd Street will create new housing affordable to low-income households with supportive services, alongside commercial and community space.

BRONX, N.Y. – January 15, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been, and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Gary Rodney today announced the selection of a team to develop a site located at St. Ann’s Avenue and East 142nd Street in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx. The designated team, led by The Community Builders, Inc., was selected through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The development plan includes the creation of 105 apartments with rents that will be affordable to households earning a range of incomes up to $62,000 annually for a family of three. The project will also include permanent housing for formerly homeless individuals and families, who will have access to onsite supportive services and a workforce development program provided by BronxWorks. It will bring a much-needed commercial use to the site, a grocery store, which will provide access to fresh foods for the neighborhood and invigorate pedestrian activity on this portion of St. Ann’s Avenue. The building has been designed to achieve LEED Silver certification and includes unique indoor and outdoor amenities for tenants.

“The City is leaving no stone unturned in providing affordable housing for our communities. Housing New York committed to a new approach to interagency coordination to help press even more City-owned land into service for our communities,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “This dynamic proposal encompasses affordable housing, supportive housing, and services for the community as a whole. I congratulate the development team on their designation and their vision for what will soon be a vibrant addition to the Mott Haven community. I look forward to seeing this development take shape and will be thrilled to welcome future residents to their new homes.”

“The City is committed to expanding its pool of development partners as we work to deliver affordable housing across the five boroughs,” said HDC President Gary Rodney.  “This mixed-use project reflects HDC’s focus on projects that wed affordability with sustainability and foster healthier, more diverse neighborhoods.   HDC congratulates Community Builders Inc., Bronx Works, and Marvin Meltzer Housing Studio on this innovative, green design for St. Ann’s Avenue that will bring much-needed affordable housing and retail space to the community.”

The development will be financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to help address New York City’s affordability crisis by reaching more than half a million New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes to those in the middle class, all of whom face ever-rising rents.

The development will be constructed on land owned by the City of New York located at the southwest corner of St. Ann’s Avenue and East 142nd Street, and consists of nine contiguous tax lots — approximately 24,146 square feet – that are currently vacant and used for parking. The land will be conveyed to the development team for a nominal price of $1 per tax lot in exchange for the construction of affordable housing. This site, along with most of the blocks surrounding it, is currently zoned for medium density residential development under a ‘R6’ zoning designation, without any current commercial overlay. HPD intends to seek rezoning to a ‘R7A’ designation, with commercial overlay, to allow for this new development.

“The Community Builders is honored to be selected and partner with the City and BronxWorks to bring well-designed, mixed-income apartments to the Bronx,” said Bart Mitchell, president and CEO of The Community Builders. “This development will include a grocery store offering fresh foods, green space and apartments that are affordable to a wide range of the City’s working families.”

The proposed apartment mix at this development will include studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Using HPD’s Extremely-low and Low-Income Affordability Program (ELLA) term sheet, the development proposes to include 105 apartments with rents affordable to low-income households earning no more than $62,000 annually for a family of three. Of the total 105 apartments, 32 will be dedicated to formerly homeless households. One apartment will be reserved for an onsite superintendent.

“The selection of this innovative new housing project is wonderful news for the neighborhood, and will replace a long-blighted site on St. Ann’s Avenue with new amenities and much-needed low-income housing units for families. The selection of a development proposal and team after so long is wonderful news. It is my hope that the development team will reach out to its neighbors to ascertain if even a greater project can be realized for the community. The surrounding community would benefit from commercial, community services, and collaboration with long-term institutional stakeholders. I look forward to working with the community as the project goes through the public review process,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Highlights of the project include:

•COMMERCIAL MIX: The development will feature a 6,000 square foot grocery store to provide the neighborhood with access to fresh food and much needed street-level activity.

•COMMUNITY FACILITY: BronxWorks will occupy a 4,500 square foot community facility space to offer supportive services for residents occupying the supportive housing onsite, and operate several of its programs that will serve the surrounding community, including: The Jobs-Plus Program, Strong Fathers Strong Families Program, Young Adult Internship Program, and Family Self-Sufficiency Program.

•QUALITY DESIGN: The design opens the development up to the surrounding community with a breezeway that leads from St. Ann’s Avenue to the rear-yard of the building. The lobby, at the corner of St. Ann’s Avenue and East 142nd Street, features an active stair that is completely visible through a fully glazed exterior. The rear-yard can be opened up to the adjacent public park during certain hours or for events, and the rooftop design includes a jogging/walking path, maximizing the principles of Active Design.

•SUSTAINABLE DESIGN: The proposal scored very high on HPD’s Enterprise Green Communities Criteria due to the project’s efficient use of space, rooftop solar panels, and green wall on the rear façade. As mentioned, the building is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.

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About New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):

HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/nychpdand www.twitter.com/nychousing.

About the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC):

HDC is the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency and is charged with helping to finance the creation or preservation of affordable housing under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan. Since 2003, HDC has financed more than 120,000 housing units using over $13.7 billion in bonds, and provided in excess of $1.6 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves. HDC has been the #1 issuer in the nation of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing in each of the last three years. In Affordable Housing Finance Magazine’s most recently published annual listing of the nation’s top ten funders of multi-family housing, HDC is the only municipal entity on the list.  HDC is also the third largest affordable housing lender in the U.S. after Citi and Wells Fargo, ranking ahead of such industry leaders as Bank of America and Capital One. For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com.

About The Community Builders Inc.:

The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) is one of America’s leading nonprofit real estate developers and owners. Their mission is to build and sustain strong communities where people of all incomes can achieve their full potential. They realize their mission by developing, financing and operating high-quality housing and implementing neighborhood-based models that drive economic opportunity for residents. Since 1964, TCB has constructed or preserved hundreds of affordable and mixed-income housing developments and secured billions of dollars in project financing from public and private sources. Today, they own or manage 11,000 apartments in 14 states.

About BronxWorks:

BronxWorks is a multi-service organization and settlement house that opened its first office in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx in 1972, under the name Citizens Advice Bureau. Their mission is to “help individuals and families improve their economic and social well-being and it provides an array of services to address the needs of all age groups from infants to senior citizens, as well as selected special needs populations.” Under The Community Builders’ development proposal for St. Ann’s, BronxWorks will be providing supportive services for residents and house a number of additional programs related to workforce development and education.

About Marvin Meltzer Housing Studio:

Marvin Meltzer Housing Studio is led by architect Marvin H. Meltzer and Studio Director David Stuart, both formerly of Meltzer/ Mandl Architects. Marvin Meltzer has over 40 years of experience and has designed over 11,000 units of housing throughout NYC.

CONTACT: Juliet Pierre-Antoine (HPD), morrisj@hpd.nyc.gov

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