pr_11-20-2015

City And State Housing Officials Join The Bluestone Organization And Partners To Celebrate The Start Of Construction On The Largest Passive House
Multifamily Building In The Country  

Beach Green North will be designed to meet stringent energy standards set by the Passive House Institute of America (PHIUS), the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and more

The development will also include resilient features to weather the heavy storm conditions in
Far Rockaway, Queens

 

Front View Rendering                                                                                    Courtesy of The Bluestone Organization

 

Rear View Rendering                                                                                      Courtesy of The Bluestone Organization

Edgemere, Queens, NY –New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) joined The Bluestone Organization, Triangle Equities Development Company, and partners to celebrate the start of construction on Beach Green North, an energy-efficient and resilient, affordable housing development in the Edgemere section of Far Rockaway, Queens. Once constructed, Beach Green North is designed to be the single largest Passive House multi-family building in the country certified by the Passive House Institute of the United States (PHIUS).  The high performance apartment building will be affordable to very low-, low-, and moderate-income households with smart resilient features to ensure the safety of residents during storm events in the Far Rockaway community.

Commissioner and CEO James S. Rubin said, “This is new-age housing for our new-age climate and superstorm reality. With hi-tech, environmentally congruent features this building is sustainable and will mitigate storm damage in a flood prone area for what Governor Cuomo has called ‘the new normal’ of superstorm forces. Those 100-year storms our grandparents talked about, today are our children’s climate reality with annual and even semiannual reminders of how our climate has degraded.  We are proud to be here with our partners to usher in this exemplar of environmentally-conscious affordable housing for more than 100 vulnerable New Yorkers. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, HCR has been at the forefront, promoting sustainable practices including incentivizing Passive House construction in our competitive awards.”

“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the City committed to not just build it back, but to build it better, helping neighborhoods like the Edgemere area in the Rockaways plan for a more resilient future,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “With its sustainable passive house features, a cogeneration system, green roofs and terraces, and smart, energy-efficient construction methods, Beach Green North exemplifies our efforts to ensure the affordable housing we finance is stronger, more sustainable, and better prepared for future severe weather events.  I would like to thank my colleagues and staff at HDC and HPD, our partners at the State, Bluestone and all of the project’s partners for their commitment to creating a more sustainable, affordable future for the residents of this community.”

“Resiliency is imperative to creating sustainable, affordable housing and communities,” said Gary Rodney, President of HDC.  “The Edgemere community in particular has been a testament to the power of resiliency in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and the project we break ground on today continues that revitalization.  When complete, Beach Green North will be the largest Passive House multi-family building in the country, signaling our commitment to financing state-of-the-art affordable housing.  The development’s high-performance, energy-efficient, and resilient features not only promote the safety and health of residents, but the sustainability of our neighborhoods.  I would like to thank the teams at HDC, HPD, HCR, The Bluestone Organization, Bank of America, and all our partners for their efforts to ensure future residents have a safe, sustainable, and affordable place to live.”

“Beach Green North is designed to be at the forefront of sustainability and resiliency. Built to the Passive House standard and in excess of current FEMA and building code requirements, residents will be able to live more comfortably and safely in the event of future storms and potential sea level rise,” said Steve Bluestone, Partner at The Bluestone Organization.

State Senator James Sanders Jr. said: “Having access to affordable housing is critical and in no location is it more necessary than in Far Rockaway. We have lost so much after Hurricane Sandy and it has become our motto to build it back and build it better and that it what we are doing with Beach Green North. I applaud the Bluestone Organization and its partners along with Mayor de Blasio for helping this important project come to fruition.”

“This development is a huge step in the right direction of improving the quality of life for working families as well as ensuring that Rockaway residents can afford to stay in the community where they have created a life for themselves and their family,” said Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Far Rockaway), chair of the Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises. “Our seniors, our blue collar workers, and our youth coming out of college are struggling to not only stay in their own communities, but the city as a whole. We must not push them out by denying them the opportunity to live and work here.  We must give them the opportunity to succeed and Beach Green North is the first step in ensuring that here in the Rockaways. The local hiring commitment and the sustainability and conservation elements of this project are equally important to why this project is going to benefit the great people of this peninsula. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been, HDC President Gary Rodney, and Eric and Steve Bluestone for ensuring that this project came to fruition.”

The Beach Green North development is financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing for very low- and middle income families to help address New York City’s  affordability crisis. Beach Green North includes planning measures that answers the City’s call for thoughtful development of vacant city-owned land that is designed to meet the needs of its community.

2015 marks the third year of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion statewide House NY program, whose goal is to create or preserve 14,300 affordable units by 2018. As the largest investment in New York State’s affordable housing stock in at least 15 years, House NY will keep thousands of low- and moderate-income Mitchell-Lama units affordable for another 40 years. The House NY initiative works in tandem with HCR’s vigorous efforts to protect more than two million rent-regulated tenants thanks to the greatest strengthening of the state’s rent laws in 30 years, and the creation of HCR’s Tenant Protection Unit which proactively audits and investigates landlord wrongdoing and has returned more than 45,000 units to rent regulation.

Beach Green North will be a seven-story building with a range of amenities, including at-grade and terrace green spaces, on-site laundry facilities, recreational space, bike storage, and on-site at grade parking.

In addition to Passive House certification, the project will participate in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Multifamily Performance Program (MPP), and will achieve an Energy Star rating. Energy-efficient and resilient features include the use of energy-efficient windows, individual Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) systems in each apartment, energy-efficient central air/heating, and energy-efficient water saving devices. All fixtures and appliances used in this development will be Energy Star approved. Low-energy consuming LED light fixtures will be used throughout the building. The construction will also feature a Combined Heat and Power System (CHP), also known as a cogeneration system. A CHP system will produce a significant quantity of the electricity used in the building through the use of a natural gas-fueled engine to generate electricity that will be distributed throughout the building. The ‘waste’ heat by-product of the electricity generation will be captured and reused to heat the building’s water heaters and boilers.

The building will feature a beautifully designed roof garden alongside a terrace on the 7th floor. The terrace and garden will provide unparalleled views of the beach and ocean. Special native species plantings and bio-swales will be introduced at the ground level and rear raised terrace areas to help the environment by retaining storm water run-off and providing a supply of on-site water for irrigation purposes. Insulated concrete form (ICF) construction will be used in all exterior walls. This will provide an extremely comfortable, resilient, air tight structure. This will also result in drastically lower heating and cooling costs for each tenant.

The new development will include 101 apartments in a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. These will be affordable to very low- and low-income households. Twenty-four (24) apartments will be affordable to households earning an annual income up to $28,435 for an individual and $38,850 for a household of three. Twenty-six (26) apartments will be affordable to households earning an annual income up to $34,485 for an individual and $46,620 for a household of three. Fifty (50) units will be affordable to households earning up to $41,450 for an individual and $62,150 for a household of three. An onsite superintendent will reside in one of the units. The above income bands are set according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2015 AMI calculations.

The total development cost for Beach Green North is approximately $32.5 million. HDC provided $14.4 million in tax exempt bonds towards construction financing and $7.6 million in subsidy towards permanent financing from their corporate reserves. HPD provided $7.6 million in City Capital in permanent financing. HPD also provided low-income housing tax credits. HCR is providing more than $900,000 in New York State low-income housing tax credit equity. Bank of America provided $2.0 million in subordinate loan funds and provides credit enhancement on this project.

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About New York State Homes and Community Renewal:

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) agencies include the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. In 2014, HCR boasted a record year, financing the creation or preservation of 9,407 affordable housing units, including affordable homeownership opportunities for more than one thousand families. 2015 marks the third year of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion statewide House NY program, whose goal is to create or preserve 14,300 affordable units by 2018. As the largest investment in New York State’s affordable housing stock in at least 15 years, House NY investments will keep thousands of low- and moderate-income Mitchell-Lama units affordable for another 40 years. The House NY initiative works in tandem with HCR’s vigorous efforts to protect more than two million rent-regulated tenants thanks to the greatest strengthening of the state’s rent laws in 30 years, and the creation of HCR’s Tenant Protection Unit which proactively audits and investigates landlord wrongdoing and has returned more than 44,000 units to rent regulation. For more information see www.nyshcr.org, and follow us at twitter.com/nyshcr.

 

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

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (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/nychpd and 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 Bluestone Organization:

The Bluestone Organization is a Queens-based third generation family-owned developer of over 5,000 units of housing in the New York City metropolitan area over the past 85 years, including work force rental and homeownership units in conjunction with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Housing Development Corporation and NYC Housing Partnership, and the NY State Housing Finance Agency, Affordable Housing Corporation and Homes and Community Renewal.  The firm has a proven track record of quality in design and construction, winning many local, state and national awards including most recently, the 2010 New York Housing Conference Private Developer of the Year Award, and The Andrew, recently completed in Rego Park Queens, was designated as “best performing building in a multifamily new construction four stories or greater” in New York State.