FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Contact: Tracy Paurowski (212) 227-9496
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Economic and Residential Renewal Continues in East New York
--102 Newly Constructed Affordable Apartments Created through Public and Private Partnership--
East New York, Brooklyn - The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), elected officials, and Fleet Bank celebrated today the opening of The Fountains at Spring Creek. The development, located in East New York at 922 and 1101 Forbell Street, consists of two newly constructed three-story buildings containing a total of 102 affordable apartments.
Located near the new Gateway Plaza Shopping Center, the Fountains at Spring Creek, is part of the quality of life initiatives and economic revitalization efforts underway in East New York. A partnership between the public and private sectors enabled the development, which cost $15.5 million to construct, to be financed as an affordable housing for low-income residents. Monthly rents range from $586 - $753 for the studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments.
HDC provided a $7.8 million construction loan through its Low-Income Affordable Housing Marketplace Program (LAMP). Through this program tax-exempt bonds are issued to make a low-cost loan and qualify a development to receive Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. WNC and Associates acted as the tax credit investor and Fleet Bank provided the Letter of Credit necessary to secure the bond financing. This combination reduces development costs and allows the rents to be more affordable.
"For over 30 years HDC has created innovative financing strategies in order to leverage the private dollars available to fund affordable housing," stated Lisa Gomez, Senior Vice President of Development, HDC. "The Fountains at Spring Creek demonstrates our commitment to providing affordable housing to New Yorkers."
"We are delighted we could play a pivotal role in supporting development of this attractive affordable housing," said Philip Grossman, Executive Vice President and Market Manager, Community Real Estate Finance at Fleet. "These kinds of creative partnerships are providing decent housing for low-income families while continuing to restore neighborhoods and communities across the city." Since 1998, Fleet has provided nearly $50 million in financing for the creation of affordable housing in East New York resulting in over 703 residential units.
In addition to the low cost financing the Arker Companies received funding through the sale of HPD's 421-a Negotiable Certificates. Developers of low-income housing receive these certificates from HPD and, in turn, sell them to developers of market-rate housing in mid-Manhattan. The proceeds from the sale of these certificates enable the low-income developers to pay off the debt on their projects. With no permanent debt left on the property, the developers are able to charge less for rents, making the apartments more affordable. This development will provide 421-a partial tax exemption benefits for 520 eligible units in the Manhattan geographic exclusion area.
HPD commissioner Jerilyn Perine said, "This development demonstrates the effectiveness of public private partnerships in financing affordable housing. Mayor Bloomberg's housing plan, The New Housing Marketplace: Creating Housing for the Next Generation, will rely on such partnerships to increase housing investment in neighborhoods with the greatest need like East New York."
The developers for e Fountains at Spring Creek, the Arker Companies, fully owned by Sol, Allan and Alex Arker, have developed and built over 3,000 apartment units throughout New York City over the last 25 years. With HDC financing, the Arkers have completed fifteen developments with a total of 783 apartments.
"Throughout the years of our involvement in affordable housing we continue to develop projects that contain building and tenant amenities which maximize the use of government assistance and private equity providing a quality product with maximum curb appeal - something which goes far beyond the stereotypic 'subsidized housing' - something we are all proud of," said Sol Arker, Principal of The Arker Companies.
Anyone interested in renting an apartment in the Fountains should contact the Arker Companies at (516) 374-3336 x 23.
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is a public benefit corporation established in 1971 to facilitate the creation of affordable housing throughout New York City by providing below market rate financing. HDC finances most of its activities through the issuance of bonds and notes as well as provides mortgages directly from its Corporate reserves. In its 30-year history, HDC has financed more than 76,000 units of housing throughout the city of New York.
HPD's mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for all 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 212,000 units of affordable housing. To request a Homeownership Kit or for more information about affordable rental housing, call 311 or log on to nyc.gov/hpd
FleetBoston Financial (NYSE & BSE: FBF), a diversified financial services company with assets of $196 billion, offers a comprehensive array of financial solutions to over 18 million individual, corporate, and institutional customers. Products and services are available through a variety of channels including 1,460 stores and more than 3,400 ATMs from Maine to Pennsylvania, HomeLinkSM online banking, and telephone banking. Fleet is the leading small business and commercial banking provider in the Northeast and a premier provider of financial services to selected industries nationwide. Information about FleetBoston Financial is available online at www.fleet.com.