The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), ELH Mgmt. LLC, the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Enterprise, today announced the completion of renovation work on the Imperial, an architecturally significant building protected by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) that provides thirty-four affordable rental apartments. Located in Crown Heights, the Imperial was rehabilitated by ELH Mgmt. LLC through HPD’s Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program (NEP). The rehabilitation is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace Plan to develop and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years.
The Imperial consists of thirty-four rental units, of which twenty-five percent will be affordable to households earning no more than 50% of the Area Median Income, which is equivalent to $35,450 for a family of four. Fifty percent will be affordable to low-income households earning no more than 60% of the Area Median Income, which is equivalent to $42,540 per year for a family of four. The remaining units will be affordable to moderate-income households. The Imperial is part of a cluster of fifteen Crown Heights buildings renovated together by ELH Mgmt. LLC through HPD’s NEP program. In total, the cluster of buildings will provide 126 affordable rental units and nine commercial spaces to the Crown Heights community. The Association of Brooklyn Clergy for Community Development, Inc., a not-for-profit developer, worked with ELH Mgmt. LLC to provide tenant support and training.
“By rehabilitating the Imperial through HPD’s NEP program and working with a local developer and not-for-profit, the City is helping to rebuild Crown Heights’ real estate capacity while providing affordable rentals for residents,” said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “The completion of the Imperial celebrates the revitalization of a stunning landmark and demonstrates the Bloomberg Administration’s continuing commitment to making design-excellence accessible to residents of affordable housing.”
Built as an apartment for upper middle-class families in 1892, the Imperial was designed by Montrose Morris and commissioned by developer Louis Seitz. The building was designated an individual landmark by the Landmarks Commission in 1986. Morris also designed the Alhambra and the Renaissance for Seitz, both individual landmarks that were later renovated for affordable housing through HPD’s Participation Loan Program (PLP).
"We are grateful that HPD and ELH Mgmt., LLC appreciated the historic importance of the Imperial, and made the extra effort that a building of its caliber demands," said Landmarks Preservation Chairman Robert B.Tierney, whose agency guided the restoration of the building. "This renovation demonstrates that affordable housing and preservation are not mutually exclusive, and we hope it will encourage other property owners across the City to consider a similar approach to development."
“We are very excited to have had the opportunity to renovate this architectural gem for affordable housing. We worked hard with HPD to bring back to life the beautiful copper panels and to restore the building’s elegant Corinthian terra cotta columns and arches. We hope that the Crown Heights community and residents enjoy the marvelous architecture and renewed use of this landmark building,” said President of ELH Mgmt. LLC Larry Hirschfield. “We have enjoyed working with HPD for over a decade in revitalizing buildings in Crown Heights. Renovating this extraordinary building for use for affordable housing has been especially meaningful.”
The total development cost for the Imperial is roughly $6,300,000. Construction financing is being provided by CPC, in addition to HPD Capital funds and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME funds. Permanent financing for the development is being provided by HPD Capital funds, federal HOME funds, and equity from the New York Equity Fund (NYEF), which raises equity proceeds through the sale of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and is a partnership between LISC and Enterprise.
“CPC has been working with HPD on the NEP program since its inception and we are proud to once again provide financing under this very important program,” said President and CEO of CPC Michael D. Lappin. “This is also one of eight projects we are financing or plan to finance with developer Larry Hirschfield. It’s a pleasure to work with a developer whose interests dovetail perfectly with CPC’s – creating and sustaining affordable housing in working communities.”
"LISC is very pleased to be part of the team that made the renovation of the Imperial possible. The Imperial project represents much of what LISC is about," said Managing Director of New York City LISC and Vice President of the New York Equity Fund Denise Scott. "It provides critically needed affordable housing to low-income families, and, through the partnership between ELH Mgmt. LLC and the Association of Brooklyn Clergy for Community Development, promotes sustainable community development by supporting local developers who can continue the rebuilding process in their own neighborhoods."
HPD’s NEP program enables neighborhood-based private property managers to own and manage clusters of occupied and vacant City-owned buildings. Buildings selected for NEP are sold to the Neighborhood Partnership Housing Development Fund Corporation (NPHDFC), a subsidiary of Enterprise, for $1 each. Following rehabilitation of the buildings, the entrepreneur enters into a limited partnership with NYEF to own and manage the buildings. The entrepreneurs, with the assistance of HPD and the NPHDFC, plan and oversee the rehabilitation and design of the buildings, screen and recommend general contractors, and obtain, with the assistance of the NPHDFC, a private construction loan for the rehabilitation work.
“Having a place to call home is the crucial first step for people to move up and out of poverty,” said Director of Enterprise New York Jim Himes. “Yet for many people in this city, an affordable home seems an unattainable dream. Enterprise’s involvement in the Imperial, part of our Billion Dollar promise to create and preserve 15,000 affordable homes for 45,000 people, reflects our commitment to make affordable housing accessible to all New Yorkers.”
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The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation’s largest municipal housing development agency and is implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history. HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards