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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eric Bederman (HPD), 212-863-5176
Christina Sanchez (HDC), csanchez@nychdc.com


HDC PRESIDENT JAHR, HPD COMMISSIONER WAMBUA & THE ARKER COMPANIES CELEBRATE GROUNDBREAKING OF NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN RICHMOND HILL, QUEENS

Richmond Place Will Provide 117 New Affordable Units for Low-Income Families 

NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Marc Jahr; NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua;  Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner of New York State Homes & Community Renewal (DHCR); The Arker Companies; State Senator Shirley Huntley; Councilmember Karen Koslowitz; Regional Director of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Venetia Lannon; and Todd Gomez of Bank of America  celebrated the groundbreaking today for Richmond Place, a new affordable housing development in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens. Financed under HDC’s Low-Income Affordable Marketplace Program (LAMP), the project is estimated to cost $33.3 million and will result in 117 new affordable homes for low-income New Yorkers, including 24 units that will be set aside for formerly homeless individuals. 

Richmond Place will be developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), an $8.4 billion initiative to finance the preservation of creation of 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of 112,178 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs. 

“The creation and preservation of affordable housing is about much more than numbers of units and families housed,” said HDC President Jahr. “Along with our partners, we are actively investing our resources to preserve and strengthen neighborhoods, create a more sustainable and livable city and help to promote economic and ethnic diversity; a result that enriches us all. I thank the Arker Companies, HPD, DEC, HCR, Bank of America and all of the rest of our development community for making this new building possible. We at HDC are proud to do our part.” 

“Richmond Place is emblematic of the City’s mission to create strong, sustainable neighborhoods through a continued investment in affordable housing,” said HPD Commissioner Wambua. “The affordable housing we are creating here will provide a place for families to grow roots and connect to the community, and it will provide a critical sense of stability to those formerly homeless households who need a fresh start. I thank HDC for their outstanding work in providing financing for this wonderful development, and the Arker Companies for their continued partnership and dedication.” 

Located in the Richmond Hill section of Queens, Richmond Place is planned as a seven-story building with 117 units that will include 13 studios, 28 one-bedrooms, 68 two-bedrooms, and seven three-bedrooms with one two-bedroom set aside for a superintendent. In addition, there will be 58 parking spaces for tenant use and a 4,800-square-foot cellar. The development site is designated as a ‘brownfield’ location and will go through extensive remediation in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). 

The apartments will be marketed to households earning no more than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), which is currently $47,520 for a family of four.  In addition, 20% of the units will be set aside for formerly homeless households to be referred by the Department of Homeless Services. 

“Affordable housing is always scarce in New York City. The Richmond Place and Richmond Hill Senior Living Residences will help remedy this issue and provide low-income residents and seniors in Southeast Queens an affordable place to live, said Senator Shirley L. Huntley (D-Jamaica). “It is especially important to increase the availability of affordable housing to underserved populations such as seniors, who often live on a fixed income.  Maintaining and creating more affordable housing in Queens, and throughout the other four boroughs, will ensure families are not priced out of their homes and neighborhoods.” 

 “It is wonderful that Arkers chose East Richmond Hill to build affordable housing, which is much needed in the this community.  I look forward to working with them in the years to come,” said Councilmember Karen Koslowitz. 

“Affordable housing is one of the largest challenges facing New York City today, and this project is an example of Mayor Bloomberg’s singular vision to strengthen the City’s neighborhoods through the production of affordable housing,” said Daniel Mortiz of The Arker Companies. “We are pleased to be able to contribute to the development of clean, safe affordable housing for New York City’s working families.” 

“Richmond Place is a perfect example of the type of project that Bank of America Merrill Lynch is committed to as one of the nation’s top affordable housing lenders,” said Todd Gomez, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Community Development Executive for the Northeast region. “We are proud to collaborate with The Arker Companies, the Housing Development Corporation and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development in this effort, which will provide much-needed affordable housing for low-income families.” 

"DEC is working cooperatively with the developer to remediate this property to restricted residential use, which will allow commercial uses as well," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.  "All soils which are known to exceed the state's Restricted Residential Soil Cleanup Objectives will be removed from the property and any soils encountered during the redevelopment work which exhibit visual or olfactory signs of contamination will also be removed for off-site disposal.  We applaud the developer’s intention to implement green building and sustainable land use practices." 

HDC will issue $17.5 million in tax-exempt bonds for the construction financing of Richmond Place. HDC is also providing $7.6 million in direct subsidy.  HPD provided $4.7 million in LIRP subsidy and $2.29 million in HOME funds. Bank of America will provide $12.7 million through Tax Credit Equity. The total development cost for Richmond Place will be approximately $33.9 million and will be creating 157 direct job pportunities. 

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About the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) 
The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) provides a variety of financing programs for the creation and preservation of multi-family affordable housing throughout New York City. 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 finance the creation or preservation of 165,000 affordable housing units by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. Since the plan launched in 2003, HDC financed nearly 47,521 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.

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 of 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014.
For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd. 

About The Arker Companies 
The Arker Companies has been building projects in New York City for more than 30 years. Located in Floral Park on Long Island, the development company contracts, owns, and manages multi-family and single-family housing, and retail and office projects. It is one of the leading developers of affordable housing in New York in its building of more than 4,000 units, for rent and for sale. Arker also develops market-rate, commercial and mixed-used projects. Company principals are Sol, Allan and Alex Arker and Daniel Moritz. 

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. Since the plan’s inception, more than 124,400 affordable homes have been created or preserved.

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 Bank of America:

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 58 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,700 retail banking offices and approximately 17,800 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.




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