New York – New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero joined White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, and Jonathan F.P. Rose, President of Jonathan Rose Companies today for a tour of the first multi-family housing unit to receive a Green Retrofit Program (GRP) loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).The West 135th Street Apartments located in Central Harlem, is a 198-unit, 10 building, Section 8 assisted property that will utilize the $3.6 million GRP loan to make renovations that will enhance quality of life for the residents, increase energy efficiency, reduce utility costs, and create jobs. HUD GRP for Multifamily Housing was authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for energy and green retrofit investment in properties, to ensure the maintenance and preservation of properties and the continued operation and maintenance of energy efficiency technologies.
The West 135th Street project is part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP) to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing. It is the largest municipal affordable housing initiative in the nation, which to date has financed nearly 100,000 affordable homes across the five boroughs. Under the NHMP, HPD and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) have financed the construction of more than 35,900 new homes and the preservation of more than 61,500 units of affordable housing in the five boroughs. Nearly 15,297 units have been financed in Harlem, with more than 8,592 represented in Community District 10 where the West135th Street apartments are located.
The $7.4 million renovation of ten identical six-story, elevator buildings is based on comprehensive analysis of capital investments needed to enhance quality of life for residents while increasing energy efficiency. The work entails: replacing existing inefficient boilers with high-efficiency models; installing ceiling fans to reduce dependence on air conditioners; installing rooftop photovoltaic panels to help support base-building electrical loads; replacing or repairing windows; installing energy efficient corridor lighting with motion sensors and renovating common areas with low toxicity paints, sealants and adhesives; replacing deteriorated common area flooring with high recycled content terra cotta tiles; upgrading elevator controls; and upgrading select unit finishes such as countertops, cabinets, and bathroom tile. Construction for West 135th Street Apartments will take up to eighteen months, though continued emphasis on greening the project will take place through ongoing operations and maintenance plans.
“With developments like the West 135th Street Apartments, the City continues to make the statement that green building and affordable housing are not mutually exclusive ideas. Energy efficiency is key to keeping costs down. When planned and executed through a neighborhood lens, the long-term sustainability and efficiency of a development can create a positive impact for both the residents and community,” said HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero. “Through this rehabilitation project we will able to keep these hardworking families in their homes while upgrading the units, maintaining affordability and making them eco-friendly. HUD’s Green Retrofit grant is an investment in the revitalization of the Harlem community that will pay dividends for years to come.”
“The Rose Smart Growth Investment Fund, an affiliate of Jonathan Rose Companies, is proud to be partnering with HDC and HPD to preserve this historic block of affordable housing and to guide this ambitious green retrofit effort,” said Jonathan F.P. Rose, President of Jonathan Rose Companies. “Our hope is that West 135th Street Apartments will become a model of positive, green preservation for the entire country.”
“HDC is pleased to have the financial strength to be able to support critical affordable housing projects that are key to the Mayor’s housing goals,” said Marc Jahr, President of the New York City Housing Development Corporation. “Block by block, Harlem is being revitalized and sustained by preservation efforts such as this one. We are proud to be part of this neighborhood’s revival.”
In total, there are eight studios, 55 one-bedrooms, 99 two-bedrooms and 36 three-bedroom units which will serve tenants at 50% AMI (currently $38,400 for a family of four) and 60% AMI (currently $46,080 for a family of four). Two to three units will be reserved for “hospitality suites” during construction for temporary relocations of tenants.
HDC provided approximately $24.1M in tax-exempt bonds to re-finance the project for the construction phase including $22.4M for the permanent financing of this project. This project will also receive approximately $5.9M from HPD HOME, $3.6M from HUD Green Retrofit Program, as well as $4.8M of tax credit equity from Enterprise. Bank of New York provided construction credit enhancement and the project anticipates receiving State and Federal grants to offset a portion of the cost of the solar panel installation.
The construction phase of West 135th Street Apartments will create quality job opportunities. To date, HDC has created and/or preserved 3,609 affordable housing units in Central Harlem under Mayor Bloomberg’s NHMP.
About the New York City 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. HDC’s programs are designed to meet the wide-range of affordable housing needs of the City's economically diverse population. In partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, HDC works to implement Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace plan to create of preserve 165,000 affordable housing units by 2014. Since the plan launched in 2004, HDC financed more than 43,000 homes for low- , moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers. The New York City Housing Development Corporation is rated AA by S&P and Aa2 by Moody’s.
About the NYC 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 viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 94,000 affordable homes have been created or preserved. 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.
About Jonathan Rose Companies / The Rose Smart Growth Fund:
Jonathan Rose Companies is an award-winning green real estate development, policy, planning, owner's representative and investment firm. A leading green urban solutions provider, the firm currently manages over $1.5 billion of work, much of it in close collaboration with not-for-profits, cities and towns. The Rose Smart Growth Fund is an affiliate of Jonathan Rose Companies. The Fund is the first of its kind in the country to focus exclusively on creating value for investors through the acquisition and green transformation of existing buildings in smart growth locations. The Fund has successfully leveraged Jonathan Rose Companies' longstanding experience with green building and skill in using complex community redevelopment financing to create a conservative portfolio of diverse green real estate assets in smart growth, mass transit accessible locations. www.rosecompanies.com
Christina Sanchez, HDC (212) 227-2644