Historic A. Philip Randolph Houses Renovations Completed
36 tenement buildings restored on one of the last fully distressed blocks in Harlem
283 newly renovated public and affordable housing units
NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, joined Trinity Financial, Inc., West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. (WHGA), Red Stone Equity Partners, Bank of New York Mellon, and residents today to celebrate the completed renovations of the historic A. Philip Randolph Houses in Central Harlem.
The historic Randolph Houses project, located on the north and south sides of West 114th Street between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglass Boulevards, was once one of the last fully distressed blocks in Central Harlem. After suffering from decades of disrepair, the buildings have been historically preserved and completely renovated into 283 public and affordable housing units, revitalizing the neighborhood.
“Randolph Houses represents the best of what we can accomplish when the City’s housing agencies come together with our partners across the public and private sector to tackle the affordable housing crisis,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I would like to commend our partners for their excellent work restoring these 36 historic buildings and successfully resurrecting vital affordable housing, strengthening the fabric of this great neighborhood.”
“It is a proud day for the City of New York as we come through on our promises to rehabilitate Randolph Houses for generations of West Harlem residents,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “This project represents a successful multi-agency collaboration, and a true partnership with the community and local elected officials, to breathe new life into this historic block with updated affordable housing that blends seamlessly into the surrounding neighborhood.”
“We are thrilled to celebrate the restoration and revitalization of the historic A. Philip Randolph Houses, helping the City get closer to its affordable housing goals,” said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Stanley Brezenoff. “The completion of the Randolph Houses final stage to renovate public housing and build new affordable options for low-income families is important as we strive to ensure the City stays diverse and affordable for future generations. We are grateful to all our partners who have made this transformation possible, including HPD, HDC, Trinity Financial, Inc., West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. (WHGA), Red Stone Equity Partners, Bank of New York Mellon, and of course, the residents and community members.”
"Randolph Houses is a model for affordable housing redevelopment I hope we can replicate in neighborhoods across Manhattan," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I'm pleased to see this wonderful development brighten this once-blighted block, building a vibrant community just down the street from the Wadleigh school."
Randolph Houses was renovated in two phases. The first phase was completed in 2016 and consisted of the gut rehabilitation of 22 previously vacant buildings located on the south side, resulting in a combined total of 168 apartments—147 units of public housing, 20 units of affordable housing, and one superintendent’s unit. The second phase was recently completed and consisted of a gut renovation of the 14 buildings on the north side, resulting in an additional 114 units of affordable housing and one superintendent’s unit.
Originally constructed in the 1890’s and acquired by NYCHA in the 1970’s, the Randolph Houses renovations were extensive. The 36 five-story tenement buildings were reconfigured into three, wheelchair-accessible and energy efficient buildings while maintaining the historic character of the buildings. Given the status of a National Historic District, along with an adjacent high school, by the National Parks Service in 2014, historic features such as the masonry facades, cornices, exterior walls, and interior circulation patterns were preserved. The interiors were gut renovated and hazards such as asbestos were abated, with the new apartments featuring modern layouts, brand new kitchens and baths, and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.
Additionally, approximately 5,500 square feet of indoor community space, as well as 9,000 square feet of outdoor space, was created among all the buildings, including a library, computer rooms, additional community spaces, laundry rooms on every floor, play areas with equipment for young children, game and ping pong tables, tenant gardening areas and barbecues. The West Harlem Group Assistance Social Services Department at the Randolph Houses provides a range of services for residents including case management, tenant advocacy, home visits for seniors, and referrals for education and vocational services for young adults, as well as in-house services such as health & wellness, computer technology, financial literacy, afterschool services, creative arts. All buildings satisfied the Enterprise Green Communities and NYSERDA criteria.
Of the 282 apartments, 168 serve low-income families earning at or below $75,120 annually for a household of three. All 114 apartments in the second phase serve very low- and low-income households earning up to $46,950 and $56,340 for households of three.
“Today marks a significant milestone at A. Philip Randolph Houses,” said Kenan Bigby, Managing Director, Trinity Financial, Inc. “After decades of distress, the buildings are finally fully restored and living up to the legacy of their namesake, providing residents with quality, affordable housing while preserving the character of this historic Harlem community.”
“West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc., is thrilled about the success of the Randolph Houses, and the revitalization of an historic Harlem community. It serves as a model for affordable housing, which provides social services and an array of programs for all families. It has been great working with all of the many partners, residents, and the Resident Task Force involved in the re-development of the Randolph Houses…The journey continues!” noted Donald C. Notice, Executive Director, West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc.
“After many years, today we finally celebrate a new and improved Randolph Houses. The completed renovation signals a rebirth for long-time residents like myself who have long dreamed of this day, for new residents who now call this home, for the Randolph Houses community, and for Harlem,” said Robertus Coleman, President, Randolph Houses Resident Task Force. “We are incredibly grateful to Trinity Financial, West Harlem Group Assistance, Wavecrest Management, NYCHA, and all the other organizations that help make this dream a reality and look forward to the next chapter at Randolph Houses.”
The complete total development cost of Randolph Houses is approximately $159.3 million. The total development cost of phase two is approximately $63.8 million. HDC provided $80.5 million in construction financing through tax exempt bonds, in addition to $4.7 million in capital. HPD provided just over $11 million in city capital funding. NYCHA provided an additional $41 million in permanent financing. Across both phases, the project benefits from more than $44 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and Historic Tax Credit equity. Bank of New York Mellon is tax credit investor and Red Stone Equities is the tax credit syndicator. Bank of New York Mellon also provided credit enhancement.
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “Congratulations to all the partners who worked together with creativity and vision to preserve this authentic slice of Harlem. The result has been one of the most transformative historic revitalization projects in the state and a great example of how New York City’s distinguishing 19th century tenement buildings can serve modern housing needs.”
“BNY Mellon is committed to providing financing for affordable housing developments in high-cost markets like New York City and appreciates the partnership with the team responsible for Randolph Houses,” added Clarence L. Burleigh II, Managing Director, BNY Mellon.
“We want to thank our partners at Trinity Financial, West Harlem Group Assistance and BNY Mellon for the opportunity to participate in the continued revitalization of Randolph Houses. We have invested over $4 billion in tax credit equity in affordable housing projects throughout the country, but none is more important than the over $44 million invested at Randolph Houses. The property is a key part of both NYCHA’s strategy to improve housing for its residents and New York City’s unprecedented housing plan. We are honored to assist in these important efforts,” said Richard Roberts, Principal, Managing Director and Co-Head of Acquisitions, Red Stone Equity Partners.
The Randolph Houses are named after A. (Asa) Philip Randolph. Born in 1889, he was the principal organizer of a number of key organizations during the civil rights movement including the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), the League for Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation, and the March on Washington Movement. Randolph led efforts to end segregation in the Armed Forces and in schools. The BSCP was the first African-American union in the United States and it came to be viewed as a symbol of the African-American's claim to dignity, respect and a decent livelihood. Randolph received the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. A. Philip Randolph died in 1979 at the age of 90.
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 Plan which was recently expanded and accelerated through Housing New York 2.0 to complete the initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule—by 2022, and achieve an additional 100,000 homes over the following four years, for a total of 300,000 homes by 2026. For full details visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Almost 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 325 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (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 150,000 housing units using over $21.2 billion in bonds and other debt obligations, and provided in excess of $1.9 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves. HDC ranks among the nation’s top issuers of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing on Thomson Reuter’s annual list of multi-family bond issuers. In each of the last five consecutive years, HDC’s annual bond issuance has surpassed $1 billion. For additional information, visit: http://www.nychdc.com
About Trinity Financial, Inc.
Trinity Financial has a long and stellar record for developing successful public housing authority mixed-finance projects. Founded in 1987, Trinity Financial has completed or is currently developing over $3 billion in real estate, including over 9,100 residential units, more than 3,000 of which have been developed as part of large scale public housing redevelopment initiatives. This includes more public housing redevelopment work in the Northeast than any other developer in the country. Trinity’s vision is to revitalize neighborhoods, strengthen commerce and foster opportunities through a collaborative urban spirit.
About West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc., (WHGA)
WHGA’s mission is to revitalize its community through housing and economic development. In addition to housing, WHGA operates programs to provide small business opportunities, address homelessness, support anti-drug initiatives, address early childhood disabilities and development issues, adult employability, community medical access and access to technology. WHGA has developed over 1,600 units of affordable rental housing, 800 of which they directly manage; 125 of those units function as emergency homeless housing and 167 units provide housing for seniors. It owns 43,767 square feet of commercial space. Under city and state contracts, WHGA assists hundreds of tenants and landlords each year with building code repairs, housing court counseling and eviction prevention.