New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Rafael Cestero, together with Comunilife Inc. President & CEO Dr. Rosa M. Gil and Blue Sea Development Company principals Les Bluestone and Avery Seavey today announced the start of construction of the Prospect Macy Development.
The development will consist of a 63-unit affordable cooperative building and a 61-unit supportive housing building, the “Comunilife Prospect Supportive Residence.” Designated through HPD’s Cornerstone Program – a multifamily new construction initiative designed to facilitate the creation of mixed income housing on City-owned land – the buildings will be located on adjoining lots at Prospect Avenue and Macy Place in the Longwood section of theSouth Bronx. The creation of affordable housing in neighborhoods across New York City is part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods. Commissioner Cestero, Mr. Bluestone and Dr. Gil were joined by NYS Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr; Department for the Aging Commissioner Liliam Barrios-Paoli; Council Member Carmen E. Arroyo; Enterprise Vice President Abby Jo Sigal and Bronx Community Board 2 Chairman Roberto Garcia.
“Under Mayor Bloomberg’s Campaign to End Chronic Homelessness, HPD – together with our sister agency the Human Resource Administration – has been developing innovative ways to prevent homelessness. The Comunilife Prospect Supportive Residence is one such solution and one that we are particularly proud to be a part of,” said HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero. “And what makes today’s announcement even more special is that we are also celebrating the construction of one of a handful of new co-op and condo buildings currently being built in the South Bronx, the first newly built elevator buildings in the South Bronx in approximately 40 years. Together, these two buildings will serve as an example of our continuing efforts to provide the diversity of housing opportunities needed by the people and the communities of the South Bronx.”
Designed as a permanent supportive congregate residence for seniors and chronically homeless older adults living with HIV/AIDS, Comunilife Prospect Supportive Residence will offer 25 studios for low-income seniors who earn 60 percent or less of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Income Limits ($32,300 for a single person) and 35 studios for low-income residents referred by the NYC Human Resource Administration’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA). The remaining unit is set aside for a building superintendent. All the studios will include kitchenettes and private bathrooms while the rest of the building will contain a lobby, a 24 hour/7 days a week security desk, staff offices, a cafeteria, a solarium, an outdoor sitting area and a planting garden. The building’s design will incorporate Enterprise Green Communities sustainable design criteria for energy efficiency.
“This building will be both a home and a safe haven for older New Yorkers in need of permanent housing. We are proud of this environmentally friendly, neighborhood Residence that will benefit senior citizens and older persons living with HIV/AIDS, and through them, the communities of the Bronx, for many years to come,” stated Dr. Rosa Gil, President and CEO of Comunilife. “For twenty years, Comunilife has done more than just help to revitalize trouble neighborhoods. We promote self-sufficiency, improve the quality of life and build a healthier tomorrow for underserved diverse communities in New York City.”
“I want to thank HPD Commissioner Rafael Cestero and Comunilife President and CEO Dr. Rosa M. Gil for their ongoing dedication and commitment to older New Yorkers,” Commissioner Barrios-Paoli said. “The Prospect Supportive Residence model assists all its residents, including 25 low income seniors, by providing the necessary tools for people to live independently in their community. I know that future residents will be proud to call Prospect Macy home.”
“Green building is important not only for low-income residents, who suffer disproportionately from environment-related health problems, but also for the environment as a whole,” said Abby Jo Sigal, Enterprise Vice President and Director of the New York office. “Enterprise provided a $25,000 Green Communities Grant to Communilife for this project as part of the Enterprise-NYSERDA Collaborative Grant Program, which encourages housing developers to incorporate cost-effective, energy efficient measures into affordable housing developments. This grant will provide all future residents of this building with an environmentally responsible, energy efficient and healthy place to call home.”
The Prospect Macy Co-Op will be a new construction, eight-story cooperative housing development comprised of 6 one-bedroom units, 47 two-bedroom units and 10 three-bedroom units. Fourteen units will be sold to families earning 80 percent or below of the HUD IL ($61,450 for a family of four or $43,000 for an individual), while 48 units will be sold to families earning up to 110 percent of the HUD IL ($84,500 for a family of four or $59,200 for an individual). One unit will be reserved for a superintendent. Like Comunilife Prospect Supportive Residence, Prospect Macy Co-Op will also be built using Enterprise Green Communities sustainable design criteria, and is registered in the NYSERDA Multi-family Performance program and the US Green Building Council’s LEED program. Residents will have access to a fitness room, outdoor recreation space and 16 parking spaces.
“Blue Sea Development is thrilled to once again be working with what we feel are the best affordable housing development and financing agencies in the country,” said Les Bluestone. “If it were not for the commitments of the Mayor and Governor to affordable housing, and the great people at HPD, HDC and AHC who make it happen, it would be near impossible for us to build green and sustainable affordable housing in the City of New York, for the people who need it most. We are grateful to our local elected officials for their support of the development and would especially like to thank Bronx Community Board #2, whose guidance and support helped to make this a reality.”
Priscilla Almodovar, President and CEO of the NYS Affordable Housing Corporation, said, “We are proud to work the City of New York and the Bronx Borough President’s office to help finance the Prospect Macy Co-Op. This development will bring much needed affordable housing to the South Bronx and will also incorporate sustainable designs aimed at promoting energy efficiency. It is projects such as these, and its sister project, the Comunilife Prospect Supportive Residence, that reinforce Governor Paterson’s goal of financing housing to help revitalize our economy.”
Comunilife Prospect Supportive Residence is being built at a total development cost of $12.5 million with HPD supplying just over $7.6 million through the Supportive Housing Loan Program and The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) providing $4.9 million in 9 percent Tax Credit equity. Prospect Macy Co-Op is being built at a total development cost of almost $18.2 million, with over $12.5 million in funding from The NYC Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) Affordable Cooperative Housing Program, over $2 million from the Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC), $641,000 in RESO A Capital Funds from the Bronx Borough President and $165,000 from the HPD Multi-Family New Construction Homeownership Loan Program.
“I am pleased to welcome Comunilife’s 60 new units of affordable and supportive housing for seniors into the Longwood Community,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “This project will not only benefit seniors with special needs and those with low-incomes, but the community as a whole will benefit from the building’s green design, which will incorporate sustainable design criteria and energy efficiency features. I also want to extend my congratulations to Les Bluestone for developing the adjacent 63-unit cooperative, one of the first to be developed in the Bronx in decades and for which my office has provided subsidies. Together these two buildings will serve the needs of a broad spectrum of Bronx residents, those who require support in their golden years and our emerging new generations of Bronxites.”
NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
HPD’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. It is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing. HPD also actively promotes the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd.
NYC Department of Housing Development Corporation (HDC)
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) provides a variety of financing programs for the creation and preservation of multi-family affordable housing throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Our programs are designed to meet the wide-range of affordable housing needs of the City’s economically diverse population.
New York City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
The Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city’s economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth.