$160 Million Refinancing & Rehabilitation Of Michelangelo Apartments Complete

Posted on May 30, 2019, 8:30 am
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the rehabilitation of Michelangelo Apartments, a 494-apartment Mitchell-Lama affordable housing development in the Melrose section of the Bronx built in 1975. The 44-year-old development underwent a $160 million refinancing and rehabilitation, preserving the affordability of the apartments for an additional 40 years.

“Affordable housing is more than a roof overhead, it is key to building strong and thriving neighborhoods and communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “The preservation of Michelangelo Apartments will ensure quality, affordable housing for hard-working New Yorkers and will create more opportunity and growth in the Bronx community for generations to come.”

“The renovated Michelangelo Apartments are part of our continued efforts to invest in affordable housing and ensure all New Yorkers have a great place to call home,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who attended today’s event. “This major project will improve quality of life and make sure Bronx residents have access to affordable units for decades to come. This is incredibly important for families working every day to make ends meet. Across the state, we are working around the clock to strengthen communities by investing in the future of our neighborhoods.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “Preserving the affordability of our housing stock is key to ensuring that residents in our lowest income brackets can continue to thrive in the communities where they’ve chosen to raise their families. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and to New York State Homes and Community Renewal for your efforts to renovate and rebuild the Michelangelo Apartments and your commitment to maintaining our affordable housing stock.”

The investment is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s House NY initiative to preserve the State’s stock of aging Mitchell-Lama housing through commitments to long-term affordability and building improvements. The initiative complements the State’s overarching commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing through its unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multi-family and single-family housing and community development initiatives to make housing accessible and combat homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 homes with supportive services.

Michelangelo Apartments was originally built in 1975 and contains four towers with 80 studios, 126 one-bedroom, 191 two-bedroom, 77 three-bedroom and 20 four-bedroom apartments with 50,000 square feet of retail space and underground parking. The rehabilitation includes full kitchen and bathroom renovations, conversion to an energy efficient boiler system, elevator upgrades, facade repairs, upgrades to the lobby and public halls, conversion to energy efficient LED lighting and landscaping improvements.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided nearly $83 million in new tax-exempt bond financing and refinanced and subordinated approximately $34 million in existing debt. HCR’s Federal Low-Income Housing Tax credit allocation will generate $44 million in additional equity for the project. The State’s investment will preserve the project’s affordability, with approximately 397 apartments set aside for households who earn 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income, and approximately 85 apartments set aside for households who earn 80 percent or less of the Area Median Income. The development team included MDG Design + Construction, BSR Management, Cary Fields, Raymond James, and Citi Community Capital.

Through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program, Michelangelo Apartments will receive Project-Based Section 8 Rental Assistance (PBRA) for 406 units, which guarantees affordability to residents, as eligible households will pay no more than 30 percent of their income in rent.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Governor Cuomo recognizes the importance of preserving New York’s historic investment in Mitchell-Lama housing. The rehabilitation of Michelangelo Apartments improves the quality of life for approximately 975 current residents and ensures that the development will remain affordable for another four decades. I thank all of our partners for their work and commitment to keeping New York’s housing resources habitable, safe and affordable for decades to come.”

Senator Jose Serrano said, “Preserving existing affordable housing is a smart, cost-effective way to tackle the affordability crisis and protect low and middle income New Yorkers from displacement. The renovation of this 494-unit complex ensures that the residents of Michelangelo can live in safe, affordable housing for decades to come, while ensuring the continued revitalization of the South Bronx. I commend Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Hochul for their strong commitment to housing affordability in New York.”

Assembly Member Carmen E. Arroyo said, “New York State is facing an unprecedented housing crisis. I thank Governor Cuomo for his strong commitment to building and preserving thousands of housing units across our state, including in the Bronx and specifically in my South Bronx district where the need is especially great. I am glad that the newly renovated Michelangelo Apartments will continue to provide affordable housing for another 40 years. I look forward to working with the Governor to ensure that we use all of the resources at our disposal so that we can provide the safe and affordable housing that is so critically needed in our communities.”

Council Member Rafael Salamanca said, “With help from our partners in government, we are celebrating the preservation of almost 500 units of affordable housing at the Michelangelo Apartments. In addition to extending the regulatory agreement maintaining affordability for another 40 years, the Michelangelo Apartments underwent an extensive multi-million dollar renovation. Without displacing residents, building overhauls included kitchen and bathroom renovations within each unit, boiler replacements, lobby, hallway and elevator rehabilitation, as well as site-wide security and building façade improvements. By securing significant financial investment and preserving hundreds of units of affordable housing, we have ensured the long-term stability of residents who will be able to call the Michelangelo Apartments home for decades to come. I applaud MDG Design + Construction, the New York State Housing Finance Authority and other project partners for their unwavering support and commitment to the Melrose community.”

Michael LeConte, President of BSR Management Corp. said, “We are thrilled that we could help provide enhancements to Michelangelo Apartments that everyone can be proud of. We look forward to the future in ensuring that Michelangelo will continue to be one of the premiere Mitchell Lama apartment complexes in all of New York City.”

Michael T. Rooney, Jr., of MDG Design + Construction said, “We are thrilled to be back at Michelangelo Apartments and see the incredible physical transformation of the property, as well as celebrate the collaboration that has achieved extended affordability for the residents who call this building home. RAD enabled this Mitchell-Lama to both remain affordable and receive the necessary repairs to ensure a quality home for low-income New Yorkers. We are grateful to our partners, and proud to be a part of preserving vital affordable housing stock in New York City.”

Darryl Seavey, VP Director of Acquisitions for Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc. said, “Raymond James is thrilled to participate as the equity partner in the rehabilitation of Michelangelo Apartments in the Bronx. For decades, The Michelangelo Apartments have served the Melrose community by providing quality affordable housing for deserving residents. The recent renovations and upgrades to the building systems and individual apartments will provide modern, safe and affordable housing for future generations of Melrose residents. The modernization of the building will significantly enhance the homes of the 494 families that call Michelangelo Apartments home. Raymond James would like to congratulate our partners on this exciting collaboration as well as all of the participants who made this project a reality.”

Timothy Henzy, Principal and Owner of Smith & Henzy Advisory Group said, “Smith & Henzy Advisory Group appreciates the opportunity to have worked together with amazing partners on the restructuring of the Michelangelo Apartments. We commend BSR Management and MDG on the wonderful job they did delivering a beautiful project on time and on budget. We are eternally grateful to our financial partners, Raymond James, Citi Community Capital and most importantly New York State HCR for their dedication to preserving affordable housing.”

Matt Bissonette, Director, Citi Community Capital said, “Just over 2 years ago, Citi along with Fannie Mae and the New York State Housing Finance Agency collaborated with MDG, BSR Management and Cary Fields to close on an innovative lending program, and Citi with our partners at Raymond James invested in Low Income Housing Tax Credits which together brought the capital necessary to provide a thorough and much needed rehabilitation of Michelangelo. Today is proof that with the right financial resources, the right financial partners and the right development team, the quality of life can be greatly improved for the nearly 1,000 residents living at Michelangelo.”

Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym of the publisher, managing the content and operations of The Bronx Times.™ / Bronx.com - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "The" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.