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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room


July 14, 1999

Carol Abrams
(212) 863-5176

Justin Blake, NYC Partnership
(212) 493-7504


Largest Mixed-Use Development in Harlem

NEW YORK, NY - NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Richard T. Roberts and NYC Partnership President Robert R. Kiley today announced the rebirth of West 116th Street and recognized three major projects funded by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and its public and private partners that will revitalize the street:

    • The ground-breaking for the $60 million Renaissance Plaza project, the largest of the ANCHOR (Alliance for Neighborhood Commerce, Homeownership and Revitalization) / Partnership Plaza program developments;
    • The ongoing construction of affordable new homes called Shabazz Gardens Partnership New Homes; and
    • The opening of a village marketplace called the Malcolm Shabazz Vendors Market.

West 116th Street is one of the commercial corridors that HPD and the NYC Housing Partnership selected for the ANCHOR/Partnership Plaza Program. ANCHOR seeks to redevelop blighted vacant city properties in order to bring jobs and much-needed services to distressed communities where HPD and the private sector are making a significant residential investment. 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.


Rudolph W. Giuliani noted, "ANCHOR is designed to revitalize communities by attracting new businesses, sustaining existing businesses, and building new homes. This partnership draws on the strengths of each participant - lenders, developers, retailers, and community organizations, and government. With the infusion of more than $100 million in public and private funds, West 116th Street is poised to become Harlem's next great thoroughfare."

"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.

"Homeownership, affordable housing, and economic development - these are the cornerstones of neighborhood vitality," said Veronica M. White, President and CEO of the New York City Housing Partnership.

1. Renaissance Plaza / ANCHOR Partnership Plaza

The project is an 11-story building with 241, one, two and three bedroom apartments in a limited equity cooperative and approximately 60,000 square feet of retail space. Major retail tenants are Rite Aid, Met Foods Supermarket, Petland Discounts, Ashley Stewart women's clothing and a 200-car parking lot managed by Imperial Parking. The total development cost is $60 million being financed through bond financing and a mix of public and private investments. The Renaissance is expected to create up to 117 permanent jobs for local residents.

Developed by: Suna/Levine Inc.

Community Sponsor: Masjid Malcolm Shabazz Mosque

Contractor: Levine Builders

Architect: Greenberg Farrow Architects

Financed by: NYC Housing Development Corporation; NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development Capital Budget; the Empire State Development Corporation through New York State Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund; the NYC Retirement System; the NYC Investment Fund; the US Department of Housing and Urban Development; and a syndicate led by Chase Manhattan Bank which includes Deutsche Bank, Dime Savings Bank, European American Bank, Fleet Bank, and North Fork Savings Bank. Loan guarantees are being provided by the State of New York Mortgage Agency and the federal Section 108 Guarantee Program

2. Shabazz Gardens Partnership New Homes

Construction has begun on 41 three family homes located on West 117th Street west of Malcolm X Boulevard, the first phase of the Shabazz Gardens Partnership New Homes. The New Homes Program builds homes and condominiums for sale to moderate and middle-income owner-occupants. The second phase proposes to develop two six-story condominium buildings which will flank the western corners of West 117th Street at Malcolm X Boulevard, totaling 55 two and three bedroom apartments and up to 11,000 square feet of neighborhood retail. These homes are in the federally sponsored Mt. Morris Homeownership Zone which will add 537 new units of housing to Central Harlem, built rowhouse-style, in order to mesh with the historical character of the neighborhood

Sponsored by: Malcolm Shabazz Local Development Corporation

Developed by: Bluestone Organzation

Contractor: Bluestone Organzation

Architect: Danois Architects

Financed by: NYC Housing Preservation and Development, New York State Affordable Housing Corporation, US Department of Housing and Urban Renewal, Chase Manhattan Bank, Republic National Bank

3. Malcolm Shabazz Vendors Market

The Malcolm Shabazz Development Corporation, in cooperation with HPD and the NYC Partnership, opened this new 25,000 square foot village marketplace on West 116th Street east of Malcolm X Boulevard. The new vendors market provides space for 115 vendors selling food, arts, crafts, sculpture, and ethnic apparel.

Sponsored by: Malcolm Shabazz Development Corporation

Developed by: Malcolm Shabazz Development Corporation

Contractor: A. Aleem Construction

Architect: Rabboni Muhammad and Associates and Danois Architects

Financed by: Goldman Sachs and Company; NYC Housing Partnership; NYC Housing Development Corporation; the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; Chase Community Development Corporation

Also on hand for today's event were HPD's partners.

Russell A. Harding, President of the New York City Housing Development Corporationadded, "This is another successful project under the New Housing Opportunities Program which continues to meet the growing demand for middle-income housing throughout New York City."

Stuart Match Suna, partner of Suna/Levine Inc., said, "We are pleased that work on the Renaissance Plaza is underway. It is the type of project that will have a lasting effect on Central Harlem, and will transfer a long-vacant site into a thriving cornerstone of the neighborhood."

Jeffrey E. Levine, President of Levine Builders, added, "It is this kind of development that stimulates the local economy and improves the quality of life for the community. We are excited to begin construction and look forward to bringing this wonderful project to fruition."

Chase Manhattan Bank led a group of banks on the project financing of Renaissance Plaza including EAB, Dime, Deutsche Bank, Fleet and North Fork, totaling over $39 million. "As the lead lender, Chase continues to be a major force in the economic revitalization of Harlem," said Mark Willis, ChaseSenior Vice President in charge of community development. "In addition to financing housing projects, retail strips and small businesses in Harlem, Chase has more branches than any other bank in the area, including our newest Pathmark branch on 125th Street."

Imam Izak 'el Mu'heed Pasha of the Masjid Malcolm Shabazz, the community sponsor, said,"We are very appreciative to the members of our community and its leadership, to the developer and to the government agencies to be a part of a great project in restoring affordable and decent housing to this noble community."

Empire State Development

(ESD) Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "ESD's $1.9 million Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund (MERF) loan helped this Partnership Plaza project become a reality. Other projects such as East River Plaza and Pathmark, both of which received MERF loans, represent Governor Pataki's and ESD's continuing commitment to the revitalization of Harlem."

"I am confident that the ANCHOR Partnership Plaza, which combines job creation with needed and affordable housing, will serve as a model for the rest of the nation," said Bill DeBlasio, the US Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentSecretary's Representative for NY/NJ.

More than 5,000 affordable owner-occupied homes and rental units 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. Four additional ANCHOR sites are being developed in Harlem.

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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