New York City Department of Housing Preservation (HPD) and Development Commissioner, Shaun Donovan, joined Michael D. Lappin, President and CEO of The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), Emily Youssouf , President of the New York City Housing Development Corporation, elected officials, community groups and local residents at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of Triangle III, the third and final phase of Triangle Court, Central Harlem's most successful housing complex designed to encourage a mixed-income community.
"Triangle Court has been pivotal to the rebirth of Central Harlem, providing quality housing for a range of incomes and opening the door for others to further improve the community," said Mr. Lappin. "Triangle Court was created by an extraordinary coalition of community organizations, city and state agencies. It is a testament to the positive impact that public/private partnerships can have on our neighborhoods and their residents."
The three phases of Triangle Court represent the success of five years of efforts led by CPC, HPD, HDC, Community Board 10, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, Councilmember Bill Perkins, and other elected officials and community activists. After watching the area's housing stock decline over the years, community leaders and local officials became tireless advocates for the preservation and creation of safe, quality living options that would serve the diverse economic needs of the community.
As a result of those efforts the first phase of Triangle Court, Triangle I, was built in 1998 with financing from the HDC and CPC. Triangle I created 50 apartments and two retail stores. Triangle II, which was completed in 2002, added another 40 residential units and one retail location. The final phase, Triangle III, has transformed eight vacant, city-owned lots into 97 affordable apartments, for a total of 187 new and rehabilitated units in the Triangle Court development. "The Triangle complex represents a major milestone in the revitalization of the Frederick Douglass corridor, the gateway to Harlem," said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. "This development demonstrates Mayor Bloomberg's commitment to create safe quality housing affordable to New Yorkers with a broad range of incomes."
Of Triangle III's 97 units, 77 are for middle-income residents, 16 for low-income tenants and four for very low-income tenants. Middle-income rents are $1,024 per month for a studio, $1,375 for a one-bedroom, $1,775 for a two-bedroom, and $2,075 for a three-bedroom apartment. Studios, one- and two-bedroom units range from $450 to $653 per month for low income tenants and from $399 to $512 per month for very low income tenants.
The apartments at Triangle III feature hardwood floors, video intercoms and colonial kitchens with state-of-the-art GE appliances. Each building within the complex offers tenants either a community garden or roof terrace.
"The final phase of the Triangle Court developments symbolizes a major achievement in the revitalization of Central Harlem and the establishment of affordable housing that creates an economically integrated community," stated HDC President Emily Youssouf. "Through a unique combination of our programs, HDC provided the financing to make this housing a reality for so many families. We are continuously looking for new ways to utilize our resources so that we can best serve the affordable housing needs of our community."
HDC provided over $14 million of tax-exempt bond financing for the construction of Triangle III through a combination of the Corporation's middle-income, New Housing Opportunities Program (New HOP), and its low-income, 80/20 Program. HDC additionally provided a $3.1 million low interest loan from its corporate reserve. CPC guaranteed a letter of credit through HSBC, for the full amount of the bond. The land was donated by HPD and Signature Bank supplied the personal letter of credit for Artimus Construction.
"This is the first New HOP construction project in Central Harlem, proving that the New HOP program works for new construction, as well as rehabs. It's a boilerplate for the future," said Robert Ezrapour, President, Artimus Construction. "I'm very proud to be part of a partnership that includes HPD, CPC and HDC that pioneered the creation of affordable rental housing in Central Harlem."
The Community Preservation Corporation has created over 110,000 housing units with a record investment of over $4.2 billion during the last 30 years. CPC partners with leaders in banking, government and the communities it serves to find affordable housing solutions. Its "one-stop-shop" provides private financing, expertise in construction and assistance for borrowers in finding public subsidies. CPC has nine locations and is committed to financing affordable housing throughout New York State and New Jersey.
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is the nation's number one issuer of bonds for multi-family affordable housing. Established in 1971 as a public benefit corporation, HDC facilitates the creation of affordable housing throughout the five boroughs by providing below- market financing. Most of HDC's loans are financed through the issuance of tax-exempt or taxable bonds, as well as through mortgages made directly from its Corporate reserves.
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 1987, the agency has completed the construction or rehabilitation of over 223,000 units of affordable housing. To request a Homeownership Kit or for information about affordable rental housing, call 311 or log on to www.nyc.gov/hpd.
Artimus Construction has had close to 17 years of experience in developing affordable housing in Harlem, Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, the Lower East Side and Manhattan Valley. Their projects include low- and moderate-income, as well as luxury condominium developments. Artimus has developed over 1000 units with a total development cost of more than $100 million.