HDC-financed Randolph Houses North was recently awarded NALHFA’s Award for Redevelopment Excellence. Winners were announced this April during this year’s annual conference held at the Hilton Midtown. This prestigious award recognizes the critical work taking place throughout the local affordable housing finance community. Randolph Houses North originally closed in June of 2016 under HDC’s and HPD’s ELLA program and was the second phase of a two-phase redevelopment effort consisting of Randolph Houses South and Randolph Houses North.
Initially constructed in the 1890s, these brick and masonry buildings were designed in the Renaissance Revival style, with strong cohesive character. Over the years, they became largely vacant due to several exchanges of ownership and ongoing neglect.
In the late 1970s, the site was acquired by NYCHA and rehabilitated into public housing. Years later, while reviewing plans in 2007 to demolish the buildings, it came to light that they were eligible for landmark status through the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places. The plan then shifted from a demolition to a redevelopment involving a full gut renovation, while maintaining as much of the historic interior and exterior structures as possible.
Randolph Houses North provides 115 units of affordable housing to households earning up to 60% AMI, with 8 units reserved for tenants eligible for Section 8 and another 4 units reserved for individuals earning less than 45% of AMI. Combined, the North and South buildings include a total of 283 units and expansive indoor community and recreation space, outdoor space and various amenities for tenant use. The West Harlem Group Assistance Social Services Department at the Randolph Houses provides a range of supportive services for residents.
Through this transaction, the buildings were ultimately acquired by the development team of Trinity Financial and West Harlem Group Assistance. Wavecrest Management manages the day-to-day operations of both sites.
HDC provided tax-exempt and recycled bond construction loan financing in an amount of $33.5 million, with additional HDC Corporate Reserve funding totaling more than $4.6 million. HPD City Capital financing totaled more than $7.5 million. Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity totaled more than $23.8 million with Historic Tax Credit equity coming in at more than $20.3 million.
This project stands as a model of adaptive reuse of historic buildings and a successful public-private sector collaboration resulting in the preservation of critical affordable housing and public housing in the increasingly high-cost neighborhood of Central Harlem.