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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room


October 25, 2002

Press Contacts:
Development of Housing Preservation and Development: Carol Abrams (212) 863-5716
New York City Housing Partnership: Bud Perrone (212) 843-8068, Rubenstein Associates, Inc.


Housing Officials, Community Leaders and Neighborhood Residents Celebrate Completion of Sunflower Way -- a Development of 30 Energy Efficient, Three-Family Homes

BRONX, NY, October 25, 2002 - First-time homeowners, community leaders and a unique partnership of lenders, developers and public officials today celebrated completion of Sunflower Way, a "green" development of 30 three-family homes in the Melrose section of the South Bronx. Sunflower Way is the first affordable housing development in New York State to earn the "Energy Star® Homes" label from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The designation is awarded to homes that are at least 30 percent more energy efficient that the building code requires.

The $12 million development, which is bounded by 158th and 159th Streets, and Melrose and Elton Avenues, is the first completed project of the High Performance Building Program, a joint initiative of the New York City Housing Partnership and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The goal of the demonstration project was to utilize new building techniques in order to increase resource efficiency and enhance occupant health and safety in affordable housing.

The homes, all of which have been sold, include a variety of energy efficient features such as better insulation; additional air sealing; panelized concrete and brick building systems; high performance windows; high efficiency heat and hot water systems, with outdoor temperature sensors; Energy Star appliances and lighting; and recycled content flooring.

"Sunflower Way is an exciting project," HPD Commissioner Jerilyn Perine said. "It demonstrates that the public sector can incorporate the latest innovations in housing construction into its developments without sacrificing its most important mission: providing affordable and quality homeownership opportunities in New York City neighborhoods."

Added New York City Partnership President and CEO Kathryn Wylde, "Green building construction is rare in affordable housing due to the need for additional, up-front capital commitments. These financial obstacles were overcome thanks in part to generous financial support from Deutsche Bank, which provided a three-year, $300,000 grant and a $85,000 loan to offset upfront costs."

"Supporting more environmentally friendly affordable housing means making low- and moderate-income neighborhoods more sustainable in the long-run," says Gary Hattem, Managing Director of the Deutche Bank Community Development Group. "Melrose Commons illustrates how the right combination of know-how and diligence can make for better housing for all."

In addition to Deutsche Bank, subsidies were provided through NYSERDA and the U.S. Department of Energy's "Building America" Program. Benjamin Moore also provided environmentally friendly, low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint at a reduced cost.

"Governor Pataki and NYSERDA strongly support projects such as this because they reduce energy costs, improve the environment, and strengthen the economy," said NYSERDA President William M. Flynn. "These energy-efficient homes offer tremendous benefits to the homeowner through lower energy costs, increased comfort and improved air quality. NYSERDA is pleased to be a part of this initiative and looks forward to seeing more of these types of projects unfold throughout the State."

Sunflower Way was developed by MCII Associates, LLC, and built by Blue Sea Construction Corp. through the Housing Partnership and HPD's New Homes Program. As the nonprofit sponsor, the New York City Housing Partnership arranged financing for the project and coordinated the development process. JP Morgan Chase provided construction financing.

As the nonprofit sponsor for Sunflower Homes, the New York City Housing Partnership arranged financing and coordinated the development process. Funds from New York City, the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation and the Bronx Borough President helped reduce the cost of the homes, which sold for an average of $289,000. The homes were affordable to buyers earning between $41,258 and $75,000. The project was sponsored locally by Nos Quedamos, Inc.

"AHC is committed to providing the financial resources necessary to help hard working New Yorkers become homeowners," said Stephen J. Hunt, President and CEO of AHC. "This grant is just one example of how the agencies are fulfilling Governor Pataki's commitment to create affordable housing in New York State."

In addition to the owner's three-bedroom apartment, each home contains both a one and two-bedroom rental, which will help each owner defray mortgage costs. The owner's unit includes a dishwasher, parking space, an intercom system, programmable thermostats and wall-to-wall 100 percent recycled-content carpeting. All units employ energy-saving compact fluorescent lighting fixtures and are pre-wired for cable TV and high-speed Internet access and telephone service.

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 1987, the agency has completed the construction or rehabilitation of nearly 204,000 units of affordable housing. To request a Homeownership Kit, call HPD's Information Line at (212) 863-8000. For more information about affordable rental housing, call HPD's Affordable Housing Hotline at (212) 863-5610 or log on to

The New York City Housing Partnership promotes 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 New York City Partnership & Chamber of Commerce ( and has since sponsored the construction or rehabilitation of more than 20,000 units of housing.

NYSERDA financial assistance for Sunflower Way was made possible by the New York Energy $martSM program, which is funded by a Systems Benefits Charge (SBC) paid by electric distribution customers of participating utilities. NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation established by law in 1975, administers SBC funds and program under an agreement with the Public Service Commission. For more information on NYSERDA programs log on to or call 1-866-NYSERDA.

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