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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room


July 7, 1999

Carol Abrams
(212) 863-5176

Cassandra Vernon
(212) 863-8076


Commercial Corridors for Under-Served Neighborhoods such as Bedford-Stuyvesant

With an infusion of more than $3.8 million in public and private funds, the Fulton Ralph Plaza ANCHOR site is open for business in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. HPD held a ribbon cutting today for the completion of the first ANCHOR retail project which is designed to bring jobs and much needed services to distressed communities where HPD and the private sector are making a significant residential investment.

Fulton Ralph / ANCHOR Partnership Plaza

The project consists of 19,084 square feet of retail space and parking. Rite-Aid Pharmacy, State Farm Insurance, a laundromat, and a full service sit-down restaurant are open for business. The restaurant, in particular, was a community priority as an alternative to fast food. Fulton Ralph Plaza is creating over 50 permanent jobs for local residents and 50 construction jobs. Fulton Ralph Plaza, at the intersection of Fulton Street and Ralph Avenue in Central Brooklyn, is located on one of the commercial corridors selected for the ANCHOR/Partnership Plaza Program, jointly sponsored by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Partnership. The ANCHOR initiative uses a new and innovative approach to community redevelopment by integrating the rebuilding of commercial corridors with the development of homeownership housing.

HPD Commissioner Richard T. Roberts and the NYC Housing Partnership President and CEO Veronica M. White hosted the event.

"We call it ANCHOR because each new owner-occupied home, new business, and new job acts as an anchor to stabilize and improve the City's neighborhoods," said HPDCommissioner Roberts.

Fulton Ralph Plaza provides shopping for the Saratoga Square area which has been the focus of significant investment in affordable housing by the City in recent years. Since 1990, more than 700 new two- and three- family homes have been completed for middle-income families. In addition, approximately 2,800 apartments in more than 300 buildings have been rehabilitated. Several hundred additional new and rehabilitated apartments will be completed in the area within the next three years. These investments have helped to increase the population in the area by almost 10% since 1990 with additional increases likely.

Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of the Empire State Development Corp. said, "Fulton Ralph Plaza is an example of how public/private partnerships rebuild communities, create jobs, and provide opportunities for local residents."

"Chase's $2.8 million construction loan for Brooklyn's Fulton Ralph Project demonstrates our commitment to the economic revitalization of Brooklyn," said Lewis Jones, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Lending for Chase Manhattan Bank. "Chase aims to strengthen diverse communities and is proud to help bring jobs and much-needed services to Brooklyn residents."

"We are committed to help in building a strong community at Saratoga Square, and we expect that Fulton Ralph Plaza will be a community asset," said developer Alan Bell from Hudson Fulton Associates.

"Retailers are waking up to the viability and vast potential of neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant, said Veronica M. White, President and CEO of the New York City Housing Partnership. "Through an infusion of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, these neighborhoods are already experiencing a revitalization, commercial development is the next step."

The commercial tenants are a local entrepreneur and two national businesses, State Farm Insurance and Rite Aid Pharmacy.

Robert Simmons is the local entrepreneuron the project. For over ten years, he had been a McDonald's franchisee in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The ANCHOR Partnership Plaza Program gave him independence. Simmons said, "I am the quintessence of satisfied to be able to conceptualize, design, self-finance, build and operate two businesses: a restaurant called Choices and a laundromat."

"Good customer service and insurance coverage are not the only benefits Brooklyn residents will enjoy from this office. State Farmalso serves as an active member of the community through the involvement of our agents, employees and company," says Terry Welsh, State Farm Regional Vice President.

Rite AidMarket Manager Chuck Ambler said, "Our new drugstore in Partnership Plaza is a demonstration of Rite Aid's long standing commitment to investing in traditionally under-served communities, and we look forward to providing area residents with the first class products and services they deserve."

Four additional sites in Saratoga Square are slated for development through the ANCHOR/Partnership Plaza Program. These sites are located between Ralph Avenue and Saratoga Avenue and will support the development of up to 50,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

More than 12,000 affordable owner occupied homes and rental apartments have been constructed and sold as part of the residential component of the ANCHOR initiative since it was launched by Mayor Giuliani in 1994. Thousands more are planned over the next few years.


Developer: Hudson Fulton Associates (William Fowler, Alan Bell, Nicholas Lembo)

Community Partners: Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corp. and Oceanhill Brownsville Tenants Association

Architect: Roy I. Rosenbaum

Builder: Monadnock Construction (Nicholas Lembo)


Construction Financing

Chase Manhattan Bank $2,873,000

State of New York (Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund) $342,000

Developer Equity $273,000

New York City Investment Fund $265,000

Community Partnership Development Corporation $60,000

Permanent Financing

New York City Employees Retirement System $2,377,000

New York City Housing Preservation and Development $495,000

State of New York (Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund) $342,000

Developer Equity $273,000

HUD (Economic Development Initiative) $265,000

Community Partnership Development Corporation $60,000

HPD's mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation's largest municipal housing development agency. Since Fiscal Year 1994, the agency has completed the construction or rehabilitation of nearly 58,000 units of affordable housing.

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