pr_09-22-2016

NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER MELISSA MARK-VIVERITO AND MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT GALE BREWER JOIN NYC HPD AND HDC, ACACIA NETWORK, INC., CAPITAL ONE AND THEIR PROJECT PARTNERS TO BREAK GROUND ON ACACIA GARDENS

Acacia Gardens will be a new affordable housing mixed-use development designed to house extremely low- and low-income residents in East Harlem, NY.

 

East Harlem, NY - New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), and Capital One join Acacia Network, Inc. and their partners to celebrate the start of construction on Acacia Gardens. The new development will create 179 new affordable homes for extremely low- and low-income residents.

Acacia Gardens will be a new 12-story brick building on the corner of East 120th Street and First Avenue in East Harlem, NY. The formerly City-owned site, once primarily used for parking, will now provide for 179 affordable housing apartments divided across over 183,000 square feet of residential space for low-income families and formerly homeless households. The building will also include space for commercial and retail uses.

“As the City of New York is called to respond to the ever rising need for more and more affordable housing opportunities, we must take every feasible opportunity for development within our own inventory,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “This land will be used at its full potential as it is transformed into a vibrant mixed-use development with deeply affordable housing. I want to thank HDC, Acacia Network, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Borough President Brewer, and all of our development partners. Your vision and dedication to the residents of New York City will create 179 homes for those in need.”

“Today we celebrate the visionary transformation of a once-underutilized space into a mixed-use building that will not only bring much needed affordable housing to East Harlem, but will enhance neighborhood revitalization efforts with the development of retail and community space,” said HDC President Gary Rodney. “We are proud to bring 179 apartments on line to serve the housing needs of very low income and formerly homeless individuals.  I would like to express my deep appreciation to all of our partners whose creativity, commitment, and vision helped get this project off the ground, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and Borough President Gale Brewer, our development partners at Acacia Network, Capital One, Hudson Housing Capital, and Magnusson Architecture and Planning, and the dedicated staff at HPD and HDC."

“The New York City Council has always been dedicated to addressing the issues that matter most to everyday New Yorkers—including affordable housing and economic opportunities,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I am proud to have voted to approve this project and invest 2 million dollars in capital funding to the Acacia Gardens development, and look forward to continued collaboration with the Acacia Network and the Department of Housing Preservation & Development.”

“Too often people see our affordability and homelessness crises tragedies with no solution. That’s not true: the solution is providing affordable homes for homeless individuals and families, building more affordable housing in general, and preserving the affordable housing we have,” said Manhattan Borough Gale A. Brewer. “It’s tough, and it requires investment and political will, but it’s worth it. I congratulate the Speaker, Acacia Network, HPD, and HDC on this happy milestone.”

HPD and HDC have collaborated with Acacia Network, Inc. as the nonprofit developer for the project.  Acacia, a 69-year-old network of Latino based agencies that provide a compendium of programs and services to address the housing, healthcare, educational and cultural needs of their communities and residents, have extensive experience in developing affordable housing.

“We are extremely proud to be a part of this important project serving low-income residents here in East Harlem as it relates to our vision of building healthy neighborhoods and integrating our health care services with our affordable housing developments for all our residents.”, remarked Raul Russi, Chief Executive Officer, Acacia Network, Inc.  “Working in partnership with HPD, HDC, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito, Capital One, Hudson Housing Capital, as well as our other development partners and our affiliate, East Harlem Council for Community Improvement (EHCCI), to develop this important project has been a been a great achievement for our organization and for the East Harlem community.  We look forward to the completion of this project where we will create new opportunities for the lives of low-income New York individuals and families. This building is part of our healthy neighborhood and integrated health care services.”  All the residents of Acacia Gardens will have access to Acacia Network’s programs and services through their network of providers.

The project was funded under HPD's Extremely Low and Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) Program.  The ELLA Program funds the new construction of low-income multi-family rental projects affordable to households earning up to $48,960 for a household of three. It is also one of the first projects to receive financing from the City’s Our Space Initiative. HPD’s Our Space Initiative funds the new construction of rental units affordable to formerly homeless households whose incomes are at or below $27,200 for a household of three.

Acacia Gardens will be counted under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan. The plan aims to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to help address New York City’s affordability crisis by reaching more than half a million New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes to those in the middle class, all of whom face ever-rising rents.

In addition to the community and retail space, the project will also include a roof deck with lounging area and activity space for the residents, as well as 29 surface level parking spaces. Magnusson Architecture and Planning will be responsible for the design of the building, drawing upon their extensive experience in designing affordable projects. 

“Capital One Bank is proud to have partnered with Acacia Network and all the other funders to help make Acacia Gardens a reality.  We look forward to welcoming all the residents to their new home upon completion of this great development.”, said Fabian Ramirez, Senior Vice President, Capital One Bank.

“Creating affordable housing for the most vulnerable requires teamwork, partnership and collaboration”, stated Sam Ganeshan, Managing Director and Member of Hudson Housing Capital.  “Hudson Housing Capital is proud to partner with the Acacia Network in furthering the Mayor’s affordable housing plan through the development of Acacia Gardens.  We commend the Acacia Network for their perseverance in getting such a large project off the ground.” 

"We congratulate Acacia Network and the Acacia Gardens project team on reaching this significant milestone," said Sam Marks, Executive Director of LISC NYC. "A project at the scale and complexity of Acacia Gardens takes enormous time and effort to pull together.  LISC is pleased to be able to provide our technical assistance for structuring the financing for this important project to ensure its long-term sustainability. This project is a big win for East Harlem and for Acacia as an organization."

The total development cost for Acacia Gardens is $73 million. HDC is providing $37 million in tax-exempt bond financing and an additional $11.6 million as a low-interest loan for construction and permanent financing. HPD is providing $19.2 million in low-interest loans through their ELLA and Our Space capital programs. Additionally, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Borough President Gale Brewer are providing gap financing for the project through RESO A funds. Capital One is servicing the loans made by HDC and HPD and Hudson Housing Capital is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit syndicator for the project.

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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.

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 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 four consecutive years, HDC’s annual bond issuance has surpassed $1 billion. For additional information, visit: http://www.nychdc.com

About Acacia Network, Inc.

Acacia Network’s Mission: Since opening our doors in 1969, the Latino based agencies that make up our network have matured into a dynamic and unified community based organization offering a unique constellation of services in the area of health, housing, and economic development.  We honor the Latino pioneers that struggled to create these entities by continuing to expand their vision.                                        

Our mission is to partner with our communities, lead change, and promote healthy and prosperous individuals and families who guide and inspire us to stay grounded, while pursuing our goals. Acacia’s vision of healthy communities is deeply connected to quality housing.  Our goal is to provide a safe and healthy environment for every individual combined with opportunities for ownership.  All tenants are part of the larger Acacia Network’s family and are linked to our healthcare, social services, and economic development projects.

East Harlem Council on Community Improvement (EHCCI), an affiliate of Acacia Network, Inc. was created in 1979 and incorporated in 1981 by a group of East Harlem community leaders to provide social services for their residents in the community.

About Capital One:

Capital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities – good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families – benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives. Capital One recognizes that housing plays a crucial part in neighborhood revitalization and economic recovery and, in 2015 alone, provided almost $1.5 billion in affordable housing loans. To learn more, visit www.capitaloneinvestingforgood.com.