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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 9, 2010

Eric Bederman (HPD): 212-863-5176
Christina Sanchez (HDC): 212-227-2644




CITY OFFICIALS CELEBRATE THE COMPLETION OF BEACON TOWERS AND BEACON MEWS IN RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY

New Residential Developments in Harlem Reflect Success of Affordable Housing

New York, NY – July 7, 2010 – In a ribbon cutting ceremony today in Harlem, city officials gathered together to celebrate the completion of Beacon Towers and Beacon Mews, two residential developments that reflect the need and success of affordable housing developments in New York City. Developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), Beacon Towers and Beacon Mews offer both rental and homeownership opportunities to New Yorkers with a range of incomes.

At the ribbon cutting, Frank Anelante, CEO of Lemle & Wolff, Inc., John J. Frezza, President, Strategic Development & Construction Group and Marc Jahr, President of NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) were joined by Beth Berns, CFO of Housing Partnership Development Corp, Alison Badgett, Executive Director of The New York State Association for Affordable Housing, and Marian Zucker, Executive Vice President of State of New York Mortgage Agency.

Under the NHMP, launched by the Bloomberg Administration in 2003, New York City has already invested $4.5 billion and HDC has issued $5 billion in bonds to finance more than 100,000 homes on the way to the Plan’s target of 165,000 units. Of the more than 100,000 units financed to date, 33 percent were in Manhattan, the vast majority of which were in East and Central Harlem; 32 percent were in the Bronx, 23 percent were in Brooklyn, 11 percent were in Queens and a little more than one percent was on Staten Island. Of the total, 68 percent were rental units and 32 percent were homeownership units. A total of 9,084 affordable homes have been financed in Manhattan’s community board 10 where the two new buildings are located.

“The affordable housing financed by HDC and developed by our partners is designed to meet the needs of New Yorkers with a wide range of incomes,” said Marc Jahr, President of NYC Housing Development Corporation.  “Built at a total cost of $68.5 million, Beacon Towers and Beacon Mews offer a mix of rental and homeownership opportunities for a broad cross section of New Yorkers.  These newly constructed buildings will provide quality living and community space that will foster economic diversity and strengthen the surrounding neighborhood.”

Located at 29 West 138th Street, Beacon Towers (www.beaconaffordable.com) is an eight-story newly constructed cooperative development in Central Harlem. Average prices are $260,000 for a one bedroom home and $350,000 for a two bedroom home. Next door at 34 West 139th Street, Beacon Mews (www.beaconmews.com) is a 125-unit rental building that caters to the low and middle income residents.  Rents for low-income residents for one bedroom homes start at $782 and two bedrooms start at $943 per month.  Construction of both projects is complete and occupancy is immediate. Sales and marketing are handled by Halstead Property Development Marketing.

Beacon Towers and Beacon Mews provide much needed affordable housing to the community and, in addition, contain 19,000-square-feet of space that has been set aside for community facility use as well as underground parking for the residents and community.

The site was formerly vacant land owned by New York City which, through a “Request for Proposals” process was awarded to a joint-venture development team, Strategic Construction & Development Corp. and Lemle & Wolff, Inc., and the sites were developed utilizing programs of the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). 

“HPD, along with sister agency HDC, has financed the development of a variety of affordable housing under Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan. Beacon Mews and Beacon Towers are great examples of mixed-income projects that offer both homeownership opportunities alongside lower income rental apartments,” said HPD Deputy Commissioner for Development Holly Leicht. “HPD designated the development team of Strategic Development & Construction Group and Lemle & Wolff in Late 2003, at the very beginning of the NHMP. I am proud of the role we have played in rebuilding this neighborhood: both by putting our resources to good use in creating new affordable homes for New Yorkers and preserving our precious affordable housing stock.”

A joint venture between Strategic Development & Construction Group and Lemle & Wolff, Inc., Beacon Towers and Beacon Mews have been developed by two companies that have been at the forefront of creating mixed use affordable housing developments in New York for more than 25 years.  The sponsors developed this project to put home ownership within reach to middle class and working New Yorkers.

“We are proud to offer this project for low and middle income families presenting them with the option to rent or buy at an affordable price,” said John Frezza, President of Strategic Development & Construction Group. “In the conversion of this vacant lot into two buildings, we are able to offer affordable homes to our NYPD, FDNY, teachers, nurses, and all others essential to a great community.”

Beacon Towers recently announced that they will offer a “tax credit” to buyers.  The Beacon Towers Tax Credit will give buyers $8,000 cash upon closing, and will function even better than the Federal program did since every purchaser will qualify and there are no restrictions.  The cash can be used to cover the costs of general living expenses, can be applied towards the building’s monthly mortgage or maintenance charges, or for the buyer’s personal savings. The credit will be available on new contracts signed between now and July 31, 2010. 

Beacon Towers is an affordable coop project under the HDC Affordable Cooperative Program and HPD Cornerstone Program and consists of 73-units of which only four units are market-rate.  The project was financed with a $24,387,463 construction loan financed thru Citibank, with permanent financing thru HDC. HDC provided two separate mortgages of permanent debt.  The first mortgage was $2,485,000 and the second mortgage is $4,485,000 which combined into one permanent mortgage in the aggregate amount of $6,970,000.

Beacon Mews is an affordable rental project under the HDC New HOP Program and HPD Cornerstone Program and consists of 70% NHOP units (87 units) and 30% LIHTC units (38 units).  The project was financed through NYC Housing Development Corporation Multi-Family Mortgage Revenue Bonds (2006 Series A) in the amount of $23.5 million tax-exempt bond proceeds.  In addition, HDC issued a subordinate second mortgage to Beacon Mews LLC at an interest rate of one percent in the loan amount of $5,625,000 or $45,000 per dwelling unit ($45,000 x 125 units). First Sterling also participates in the financing of the property as a tax credit syndicator.

"The completion of Beacon Mews and Beacon Towers is a testament to Strategic Development's ability to build and operate quality affordable housing," said William Yates, a vice president with Citi Community Capital, Citi's community development lending and investing arm. "Affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities are a critical need in New York City. With Citi's commitment to responsible lending, we are proud to be a part of the completion of these residential communities."

For more information on Beacon Towers, please visit www.beaconaffordable.com or contact Megan Raphael at megan@mediashoppr.com or (212) 867-8778 x232.

About Strategic Development and Construction Group:
Strategic Development & Construction Group (SDCG) has been actively engaged in the acquisition, financing, development and marketing of residential and commercial projects since 1985. SDCG has built over three thousand residential units and earned numerous awards for its achievements from organizations such as the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York, Inc., the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, NYSAFAH and the New York State Senate. For more information, please visit: http://www.strategic-construction.com

About Lemle & Wolff, Inc.:

Lemle & Wolff, Inc. is a real estate management and development firm that was established in 1938 and is today one of the foremost providers of affordable housing in upper Manhattan and the Bronx.  A full service organization, the firm is committed to the preservation and upgrading of the housing stock in the areas it services.   L&W currently manages more than 300 buildings and, since 1974, L&W has completed the construction and/or rehabilitation of over one hundred buildings.  L&W is a past recipient of an award for national excellence for community development partnerships.  For more information, please visit http://www.lemlewolff.com/.

About Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan

New York City’s affordable housing program to build or preserve 165,000 units of housing — enough to house half a million New Yorkers — is the most ambitious and productive in the nation—creating housing as well as jobs for New Yorkers. In April, 2010 the City reached the critical benchmark of 100,000 units financed—representing an investment of $4.5 billion to date by the City, not including roughly $5 billion in bonds issued by HDC.

Led by HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero, the Plan has been recast to maintain production momentum while confronting head-on the economic challenges facing the City, the State, the housing industry, the financial sector and individual New Yorkers and their families. In order to fulfill the NHMP goal of 165,000 units, HPD and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) are responding to market realities and focusing on three primary goals: strengthening neighborhoods, expanding the supply of affordable and sustainable housing and stabilizing families by keeping them in their homes. To read more about the NHMP, please visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/about/plan.html.  

About the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the construction or preservation or 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 100,000 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd

About the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC)

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) provides a variety of financing programs for the creation and preservation of multi-family affordable housing throughout the five boroughs of New York City. HDC’s programs are designed to meet the wide range of affordable housing needs of the City's economically diverse population. In partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, HDC works to implement Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to create of preserve 165,000 affordable housing units by 2014. Since the plan launched in 2004, HDC financed nearly 44,200 homes for low- , moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers. The New York City Housing Development Corporation is rated AA by S&P and Aa2 by Moody’s.




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