The $223 million first phase will create 360 units of affordable housing, a school, a senior/youth community center, and public open spaces as part of what’s expected to be largest Passive House project in the country 


Rendering courtesy of Handel Architects

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) joined L+M Development Partners, Jonathan Rose Companies and Acacia Network today to announce finalized plans to develop the first phase of Sendero Verde, a 100 percent affordable, $223 million mixed-use development in East Harlem. In its entirety, the project will include approximately 700 units of affordable housing, community and social service space, a school, publicly accessible open space, community gardens and neighborhood retail. 

“With its cutting-edge sustainable features, deep affordability and array of offerings for the community, Sendero Verde will be a Passive House at the forefront of affordable housing development, and is exactly the type of project we strive to develop under Housing New York. We’re transforming one of our largest remaining sites in Manhattan into hundreds of new affordable homes for low-income families, along with open space, community space, a new school, and critical supportive services for vulnerable New Yorkers.” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I thank all of our partners in the community, our sister agencies, and the local elected officials who have each taken a hand in crafting this project, and I look forward to our continued work together throughout the development process.”

“Sendero Verde serves as a model of what we can achieve under the Housing New York plan for our lowest income New Yorkers, while also providing an important asset that will benefit the community for generations,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “HDC is proud to have contributed $120 million in bond financing and subsidy to the first phase of this dynamic project and we look forward to collaborating with all our valued partners to bring these 360 energy-efficient, affordable homes to the East Harlem neighborhood .”

“Sendero Verde will bring deeply affordable housing to East Harlem, along with much-needed open space, three new community gardens, community facilities, and a new school. This project is a prime example of how development can prioritize both affordability and sustainability,” said Council Member Diana Ayala. “I look forward to the project’s completion and thank HPD, HDC, Acacia Network, Community Board 11, and my predecessor, Melissa Mark-Viverito, for their work on this endeavor.”

Sendero Verde is anticipated to be the country’s largest development to meet rigorous Passive House energy efficiency standards. The project’s community offerings, architectural and landscape elements will provide a unique model for the creation of sustainable mixed-income communities through innovative public-private partnerships. This first phase of the project is expected to begin construction in the coming weeks and be completed in 2022. Sendero Verde was designed by Handel Architects. 

The $223 million first phase was financed with construction loans from HPD and HDC, with additional Resolution A funding from the New York City Council and grant funding from NYSERDA. The project is also funded through a letter of credit from Bank of America and a syndication by Bank of America of federal low-income housing tax credits and solar investment tax credits, as well as New York State Brownfield Tax Credits. 

“Sendero Verde really shows what can be accomplished when government and committed private sector partners collaborate to create not just critically needed affordable housing for a range of incomes including the formerly homeless, but also high-quality open space, social and healthcare services rooted in the community and construction that sets a new national standard for green building,” said CEO & Founding Partner, L+M Development Partners, Ron Moelis. “We hope this project will be a true asset for both current East Harlem residents and those who will soon call Sendero Verde home. Thanks to our  partners at HPD, HDC, Jonathan Rose Companies, Acacia Network, and Bank of  America for seeing the project through to this milestone."

“Sendero Verde was conceived as a complete community of opportunity, a model of the future of affordable housing,” said President of Jonathan Rose Companies, Jonathan F.P. Rose. “We hope that in the future, all affordable housing has these Green and community serving elements to support its residents’ well-being and opportunities.”

“Acacia Network is truly proud to be a part of this innovate and forward-thinking development team. As part owners and in partnering with L+M and Jonathan Rose Companies on Sendero Verde, Acacia can continue its long-standing success in providing integral and integrated health, educational, cultural and supportive services to that Latino community in East Harlem,” said Acacia Network President & CEO Raul Russi. “As a non-profit, Latino-based organization, our partners have impressively committed to continuing the rich, cultural tradition that our residents, trailblazers, musicians, artist and activists have created and nourished in East Harlem. Our organization’s valuable input throughout the design and community engagement process will make this project a success and a model to be replicated in communities throughout the city and state.”

“By creating affordable, sustainably designed housing, we can work to both break the cycle of poverty that disrupts so many people’s lives, and dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of large buildings,” said Partner at Handel Architects, Blake Middleton. “It matters what choices we make when we design buildings, especially choices that affect energy use and resiliency. Reducing the carbon footprint of buildings is no longer optional. We view each project we design as a catalyst for positive environmental and social change, and the Sendero Verde project exemplifies this approach.” 

Phase one of Sendero Verde will include 360 units of affordable housing and one superintendent’s unit spread across two buildings, space for a school with a full gymnasium, an area for the venerable community pillar Union Settlement Association, and an 18,000 square-foot publicly accessible courtyard featuring a children's play area, adult outdoor exercise equipment, seating areas and a stage for community events. Additionally, community garden groups that previously inhabited the vacant lot on which Sendero Verde is being constructed are being relocated within the development in coordination with NYC Parks’ GreenThumb program and local community garden groups. 

Financed using HPD and HDC’s ELLA program, phase one of Sendero Verde will create new homes for extremely low-, very low-, and low-income households, and will be affordable to New Yorkers earning a range of incomes. Units with additional supportive services will be set aside for formerly homeless families through the Mayor’s NYC 15/15 initiative.

Building off the project's commitment to serving the East Harlem community, the developers have partnered with Promesa, an affiliate of local nonprofit Acacia Network, in order to provide social services for the project’s formerly homeless population. Promesa will run a robust on-site social services program, including offering access to a resident social services director, occupational therapists, housing specialists, case managers, art and dance classes, and 24-hour security. In order to accommodate the social services program, Sendero Verde will include 2,700 square feet of dedicated space for Promesa, including eight private offices, a medical exam room and a conference room. 

Sendero Verde is expected to use 60-70 percent less energy than a similar building normally would thanks to its cutting-edge sustainable design.  The project cleverly integrates green space and gardens, as well as air-tight construction methods to reduce draft and energy loss, triple-glazed windows, mechanically ventilated spaces with energy recovery and individually heated and cooled units. integration of green spaces and gardens.

Phase two of Sendero Verde will include approximately 350 additional units of 100 percent affordable housing serving a variety of income tiers. 

Once both phases are completed, Sendero Verde is anticipated to offer a community center, school, healthcare and other community service uses and numerous green spaces and open spaces for East Harlem.