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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room


June 9, 2000

Press Contacts:
Lisa Bellucci, NYC Partnership: (212) 493-7589
John Yiannacopoulos, Fleet Bank: (212) 703-1969
Carol Abrams, HPD (212): 863-5176
aire Simier Karsevar, HPD: (212) 863-5042


Sponsored by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, the
NYC Housing Partnership and Fleet

(New York, NY) Officials hailed the continued renaissance of Harlem at a groundbreaking for the Lafayette Theatre Townhouses, a development of 27 new two- and three-family homes (73 units) located in Central Harlem.

"This development represents the City's ongoing commitment to foster the rebirth of Harlem," said New York City Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) Commissioner Richard T. Roberts. "Homeownership stabilizes and preserves neighborhoods. Lafayette Theatre is another example of the efforts HPD is making in all five boroughs to revitalize communities," he added.

The Lafayette Theatre Townhouses development, located on West 129th, West 130th and West 134th Streets between Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and Fifth Avenue, is part of New York City Housing Partnership's Neighborhood Builders Program, which is jointly administered with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. These four-story homes were designed to replicate the architectural details of 19th Century brownstones in Harlem. Subsidies from the City and State governments, in addition to a commitment from the Manhattan Borough President, allow for affordable housing for families with incomes up to $70,950.

"Helping to create and preserve affordable, attractive housing throughout Manhattan continues to be one of the major goals of my administration. The $300,000 in capital funds I allocated for the Lafayette Theatre Townhouses project will be used to restore cornices and stoops, thereby helping to return these structures to their former grace and beauty," said Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields.

The lender on the development is Fleet, with a commitment of $8 million. "As a leading provider of affordable housing in the Harlem community, Fleet is proud to support this important initiative that will help revitalize a neighborhood in need," said Philip Grossman, Senior Vice President, Community Finance Group, Fleet. "Our alliance with the NYC Housing Preservation and Development, the NYC Housing Partnership, the State of New York Mortgage Agency and the Affordable Housing Corporation has been a successful formula for providing homeownership to low- to moderate-income families," he added.

Lafayette Theatre Townhouses are being developed by Novalex-MDG Joint Venture, an organization that has been assisting in the rebuilding of Harlem and whose development team includes a long-time Harlem resident. The Community Sponsor is the Black United Fund of New York and the total development cost is $10.9 million.

"State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) and Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) are proud to insure and provide grant funds to Lafayette Theatre Townhouses development. The over $1 million in grants will allow even more New Yorkers to become homeowners by making these two- and three-family homes more affordable. These grants are just one example of how the agencies are carrying out Governor Pataki's commitment to create and preserve affordable housing in New York State," said Stephen J. Hunt, SONYMA and AHC President and CEO. "Decent, affordable housing is the cornerstone of a strong community. The grants are investments in the future of New York State and will have positive social and economic benefits today and tomorrow."

"This development will add another 73 units of affordable housing for residents of Harlem," said Charles A. Brass, President and CEO of the New York City Housing Partnership. "I am pleased to be here to mark this occasion with our private and public sector partners who help the dream of homeownership become a reality for many New Yorkers."

"As Chair of Community Board #10, I am very happy to see this project undertaken because it really adds to the revitalization of the Harlem community," said Stanley Gleaton. "It assists Harlem's residents in achieving homeownership."

Neighborhood resident and new homebuyer Ruby Sprott said, "I am thrilled to be able to afford this beautiful, new home As a long-time resident of Harlem, it is wonderful to be able to stay in my neighborhood and live in such a nice house."

The New York City Housing Partnership works to promote development of affordable housing, revitalization of neighborhoods and expanded participation by local residents and entrepreneurs in the economic benefits of community development. The Housing Partnership was established in 1982 by the City's business and civic organization, the New York City Partnership.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development'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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