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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

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


HPD Commissioner Cestero, HDC President Jahr, L+M Development Partners Inc., Dunn Development Corp., and Pratt Area Community Council Break Ground on Navy Green Development

Three-Quarters of the 458 Residential Units Will Be Affordable at Former “Brig” Site in Wallabout, Brooklyn

Partnership with Developers, City Organizations and Investors Transforms Underutilized Land to Address Affordable Housing Needs and Offer Supportive Services 

New York, September 22, 2010 – NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero, NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Marc Jahr, L+M Development Partners Inc., Dunn Development Corp. and Pratt Area Community Council (PACC) broke ground today on the Navy Green development in Brooklyn, NY.  A former Naval prison known as the “Brig,” Navy Green represents a successful collaborative effort, guided by the local community’s vision for the site, by developers, city agencies and investors such as Enterprise Community Partners and JP Morgan Chase to transform a formerly underutilized, industrial block into a thriving, mixed-income, mixed-use development that helps meet the demand for affordable housing in Brooklyn and offer supportive housing that brings critical services to the community.

Navy Green is being developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), an $8.4 billion initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by 2014. Since the Plan’s launch in 2003, New York City has already invested more than $4.5 billion and HDC has issued more than $5 billion in bonds to finance more than 108,000 homes. To date, the Plan has funded the creation or preservation of nearly 108,600 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs. Under the NHMP 2,707 affordable homes have been financed in Brooklyn Community Board 2.

The redevelopment of the former Brig site—nearly the full square block bounded by Flushing, Vanderbilt, Park and Clermont Avenues—offers an exciting opportunity to create a dynamic new urban environment.  The programming of the site builds off of neighborhood assets—a thriving mixed income population—while responding to the community’s need for affordable housing, open space, retail services, and homeownership opportunities.

When completed, the project will consist of approximately 458 residential units in 4 multifamily buildings and 23 townhomes. In addition, Navy Green features over 8,000 square feet of commercial and/or community facility space.  Navy Green also has approximately 32,000 square feet of common green space running north to south in the center of the development including a play area located on the southern portion of the site. By combining supportive housing and affordable rental and homeownership units with market rate coops/condos and townhouses, the redevelopment will result in an unprecedented mixed-income community.  Approximately 77 percent of the residential units will be affordable to families earning between 30 percent and 130 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), which is equivalent to a salary range of $23,760 to $102,960 for a household of four or $16,650 to $72,150 for single-person households.

“Today we break ground on the site of a former naval prison to begin its transformation from a dormant, underutilized swath of land, into a vibrant, mixed-use and mixed-income community,” said HPD Commissioner Cestero. “Navy Green embodies the overarching mission of the Mayor’s housing plan to create strong and stable neighborhoods through combining smart investments in affordable and supportive housing, infrastructure, retail and public space. Working in concert with L+M Development Partners, Dunn Development and Pratt Area Community Council we are casting off the shackles of the past, and charting a bright new future for the tenants who will call Navy Green home and the entire Wallabout community.”

“There are few other investments that HDC could make that bring more to a community than this project,"   said Marc Jahr,  President of HDC. “In all of New York City, Brooklyn has the highest percentage of overcrowded households and thus has a demonstrable need for more affordable housing. Transforming this large, vacant tract of land into a neighborhood for families to put down roots  is the best outcome imaginable for this site. The redemptive reuse, as opposed to one that is merely adaptive, is a panacea given this block's history as a Navy Brig and later as a post-9/11 holding facility for people of interest to the U.S. Government. This is truly a new day – working alongside our partners – the vision of Navy Green Apartments will soon become a reality, not only for those involved in the project’s development, but for the community and future tenants.”

“Our role in developing Navy Green speaks to the kind of work L+M does to positively impact neighborhoods and address the needs of residents whose lives benefit immensely from inclusive environments,” said Ron Moelis, co-founder of L+M Development Partners Inc.  “We are excited to see the different ways our work will bring new life to the neighborhood.”

Today’s groundbreaking marks the start of construction on the first two phases of Navy Green—an 8-story, 101-unit affordable rental building on Clermont Avenue near Park Avenue and an 8-story, 98-unit supportive housing building on Vanderbilt Avenue near Park Avenue. The Supportive Housing building will provide housing and social services, such as access to medical care, recreation and vocational training, to chronically homeless single adults and low-income single adults through a partnership with Brooklyn Community Housing and Services, Inc. as part of the City and State's New York/New York III initiative - an agreement signed by City and State officials in 2005 to create 9,000 units of supportive housing for the neediest New Yorkers.

"Navy Green is a culmination of many community-driven planning sessions with local stakeholders and government agencies to arrive at a plan that incorporates best practices of urban planning and housing development," said Deb Howard, Executive Director of Pratt Area Community Council. "We are particularly proud to be the developer of the Supportive Housing facility as we, along with other nonprofits around the city, strive to reduce the homeless population by providing safe and affordable housing."

Navy Green will serve as an example of high-quality, sustainable design and construction.  The entire Navy Green project is participating in the LEED for Neighborhood Development Program, with the first building that is currently under construction also participating in the LEED for New Construction Program.  In addition, both buildings in the first two phases are participating in NYSERDA's Multifamily Building Performance Program. 

“The name of the project - Navy Green - integrates the ‘Navy blue’ associated with the history of the site with the sustainable green future of the project,” said Martin Dunn, president of Dunn Development Corp. “We’re excited to convert this property from an obsolete use into a vibrant new community using the best practices of sustainable design and green construction.”

“As someone who has advocated for affordable housing since my earliest days in public life, and who believed this was a perfect location to build housing for working Brooklynites, I was proud to support Navy Green, which will provide hundreds of affordable units and eventually commercial, retail and outdoor space,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “So, bravo to Dunn Development Corporation, L+M Development Partners and the Pratt Area Community Council for working toward a Brooklyn future that is affordable for everyone.”

"Over the past several years we have all seen a lot of development occur across the borough of Brooklyn and all too often it is done in a way that is irresponsible, greedy and that completely disregards the surrounding neighborhood,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-North Brooklyn).  “So when an area is developed in a way that respects the community, works with the community, environment and people to fulfill their needs, be they housing, economic or open space it is really something special. My heartfelt congratulations and thanks go out to everyone involved."

“Looking back on the planning and development stages of the Navy Green development, I now feel a sense of pride and fulfillment in having been involved with the project as we announce that construction will begin on two buildings located at the former Navy Brig site,” said Council Member Letitia James.  “I have high expectations for this transformation; and most importantly, I know this project will provide services and housing to a part of Fort Greene that is in need of it.  The timing is right, the project is right, and the joint developers - Dunn Development Corp., L+M Development Partners Inc. and Pratt Area Community Council are right on time.”

The total cost of the supportive housing development is $21,940,424.  Funding sources include $12,222,000 of HPD HOME funds, $718,000 of City Capital, $200,000 of Reso A from the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, $132,190 from NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program, and $8,668,234 of tax credit equity provided by Enterprise Community Investment.

The total cost of Navy Green R3, the building currently under construction on Clermont Avenue, is $27 million.  Funding sources include approximately $1.9 million of HPD HOME funds, $2.1 million of City Capital, $200,000 of Reso A from the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, tax exempt bond financing from HDC ($13.7 million during construction and $2.5 million during permanent period) backed by letter of credit provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, $6.5 million in HDC subsidy, and $13.4 million in equity provided by JPMorgan Capital Corporation generated through federal low income housing tax credits awarded by HPD and State low income housing tax credits awarded by DHCR. 

“JPMorgan Chase is honored and thrilled to be part of the development of the Navy Green site. The larger project offers the best of what affordable housing development can incorporate, including for-profit and not-for-profit developers committed to a top-quality product, substantial investment of resources and vision from the public sector and private investment equity,” said Mark McCann, Executive Director Direct Housing Investments, JPMorgan Capital Corporation. “We are proud to contribute over $13.4 million in equity to purchase low income housing tax credits and provide a $13.8 million letter of credit to support the sale of tax exempt bonds for this transaction.”

“Navy Green is a great example of what is possible when public and private sectors collaborate,” said Abby Jo Sigal, Vice President and New York Director, Enterprise Community Partners. “Enterprise is committed to making homes affordable for all New Yorkers through public-private partnerships that share our vision, and we are proud to partner with Pratt Area Community Council and invest over $8.6 million in tax credit equity in Navy Green to help bring new life to the community."

The development team for Navy Green is L+M Development Partners Inc. and Dunn Development Corp., who are co-developers.  In addition, Pratt Area Community Council is the sole developer of the 98-unit Supportive Housing building, as well as the community consultant on the overall Navy Green development.  The design team includes FX Fowle Architects who is master planner and architect, Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP who is architect, Architecture in Formation who is design architect of supportive housing building and Todd Rader and Amy Crews Landscape Architecture LLC who is the landscape architect.

HPD hosted an International Design Workshop in December 2003 to create a vision for the redevelopment of the site.  Community residents, local business and community-based organization leaders, elected officials, and staff from HPD and other City agencies participated.  The three-day workshop resulted in a set of planning principles, a tentative development program, and a conceptual site plan.  Following the workshop, HPD established a 14-member community task force to help the City refine the site plan, and its members approved the Request for Proposals (RFP). The task force played a critical role in the selection of the development team.

The 103,000 square foot site formerly known as the Brig was built in the early 1940s and served as a naval prison. After the closing of the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1966, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service used the Brig as a detention center until 1984 when, faced with severe overcrowding in its prisons, New York City sought ownership of the prison for its lower risk prisoners. The Brig served as a minimum-security prison until it was closed in December 1994. The last occupants of the Brig were volunteer workers involved in the post-September 11th cleanup effort. 

The development is promoting alternative modes of transportation by including bike storage in all of the multifamily buildings and receiving a Mayoral zoning override to eliminate off-street car parking requirements.  The elimination of off-street car parking, which was deemed appropriate given low parking demand generated by the project which can be absorbed by existing parking options in the neighborhood, allowed for more land to be used for affordable housing and a common green.

The common green, which serves as a central organizing element for the development’s design, will be extensively landscaped and include children's play areas, seating areas, and an open lawn.  Because the space will be directly accessible to all residents of the market rate and affordable housing apartments, as well as the supportive housing units and townhouses, it will serve as a unifying element for the development. 

About L+M Development Partners

Since 1984, L+M Development Partners has been an innovator in developing quality affordable, mixed-income and market rate housing, while improving the neighborhoods in which we work.  A full-service firm, L+M works from conception to completion, handling development, construction and management with creativity that leads our industry.  We are responsible for more than $2 billion in development and construction and have created more than 10,000 high-quality units in the tri-state area alone. Community leaders, government officials and investment organizations turn to L+M because of our consistent track record of excellence.

L+M is a double bottom line company, where our success is measured not only in financial returns but also by the positive impact we make. We take pride in our long-standing dedication to the communities we serve, demonstrated through an annual scholarship fund, job training programs and substantial support for local nonprofits. L+M brings a superior level of commitment to our investments in developments, and equally important, to our investment in people. Please visit www.lmdevpartners.com for additional information.

About Dunn Development Corp.

Dunn Development Corp. is a socially-conscious, award-winning real estate developer with expertise in affordable and supportive housing.  The company's mission is to build the highest quality housing for low and middle-income New Yorkers.  Using only the most experienced architects and general contractors, the firm has set new standards of excellence in affordable housing design and construction.  To learn more about Dunn Development Corp. and all of our projects, please visit our website at www.dunndev.com.

About Pratt Area Community Council

Pratt Area Community Council (PACC) is one of NYC’s leading community development corporations, with 46 years of experience in affordable housing advocacy and promoting economic and cultural diversity throughout central Brooklyn. Over the years, PACC has developed over 800 units of housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and families, and has an area of expertise in providing housing for the formerly homeless. The Navy Green Supportive Housing project is part of PACC’s larger effort to create affordable housing in the neighborhoods we serve, where rents have escalated beyond the average people’s reach. We are proud to be a part of the team to develop the Navy Green site which will benefit so many in our community.  For more information on PACC, visit http://www.prattarea.org.

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 is the most ambitious and productive in the nation—creating housing as well as jobs for New Yorkers. To date, City financed more than 108,000 units —representing an investment that tops $4.5 billion, not including roughly $5 billion in bonds issued by HDC. In order to fulfill the NHMP goal of 165,000 units, HPD and 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.shtml 

About the NYC 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 more than 45,000 homes for low- , moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers. HDC is rated AA by S&P and Aa2 by Moody’s.

About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase is committed to supporting affordable housing projects that have a positive, sustainable impact on the communities where we do business. Through Chase Community Development Banking and JPMorgan Capital Corporation, we provide extensive lending and investing expertise in tax credit projects. By partnering with both public and private stakeholders, we can help make the dream of affordable housing a reality for many lower-income families.

About Enterprise Community Partners

Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For more than 25 years, Enterprise has introduced neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested more than $10 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve more than 250,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Enterprise is currently investing in communities at a rate of $1 billion a year. Visit www.enterprisecommunity.org and www.enterprisecommunity.com to learn more about Enterprise's efforts to build communities and opportunity.




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