10 Newly Renovated, Six-Story Buildings Are First in Nation to Benefit from HUD’s Green Retrofit Program Using Stimulus Funds
New York NY, September 12, 2011 – Today Jonathan Rose Companies, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and Enterprise celebrated the completion of renovation of ten occupied buildings stretching from 107 to 145 West 135th Street in Harlem. The $50.9 million project to upgrade, green and preserve 198 affordable apartments for low-income families is touted as a national model for private-public investments in the preservation and greening of affordable housing. The project was also the first in the nation to benefit from HUD’s Green Retrofit Program (GRP) using stimulus funds.
The preservation of the West 135th Street Apartments was a collaborative effort between national real estate developer, Jonathan Rose Companies, and leading city and federal housing agencies. Jonathan Rose Companies’ goal in acquiring the 202,500 gross square foot property was to preserve 100% affordable Section 8 housing, while creating an apartment community that is more energy efficient and healthier for residents earning less than 60% of the area median income. The green preservation of these buildings created roughly 41 new jobs, 18 of which can be attributed to the HUD GRP funds.
“Funding for the development of new affordable rental housing is insufficient to meet America's needs. The preservation of our existing affordable housing stock is essential. Many of these buildings are also in need of renovation. The solution is to have responsible owners purchase the existing stock as it comes up for sale, extend the period of committed affordability, and make green capital and operating improvements. Carrying out these goals on a large scale requires committed, innovative, responsive financiers. The preservation and greening of the West 135th Street Apartments could not have been accomplished without our partners at HUD, HPD, HDC, Enterprise and the Bank of New York.”
“This project represents a successful collaboration between HUD and our closest partners to not only preserve affordable housing in New York City, but also to create jobs in the green economy. This project was the first in the nation to benefit from GRP funds and now that we see the final result we can all be proud that it will improve the quality of life for low-income families,” said Adolfo Carrion, Regional Administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The West 135th Street project is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan. Launched in 2003, the NHMP is an $8.4 billion plan to enable the creation or preservation 165,000 affordable units by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. To date, HPD and HDC have continued to leverage the public and private funding necessary to create and preserve nearly 125,000 affordable units since the program’s inception. In Manhattan alone, 42,412 affordable housing units have been financed under the Mayor’s NHMP; 10,300 of these in Community Board 10 where the West 135th Street Apartments are located. The preservation of affordable housing is a central goal of the NHMP. To date over 81,393 units have been preserved and 43,025 new constructions have been developed citywide. HPD’s guidelines include smart design and site practices, energy efficiency and environmentally preferable products to encourage sustainability in all developments.
“The renovation of the West 135th Street Apartments is a prime example of the City’s commitment to not only affordable housing, but also to making our communities eco-friendly and sustainable,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew Wambua. “Energy efficient renovations such as these maintain affordability of rents by reducing the cost of utilities, easing the burden on hardworking families. HUD’s Green Retrofit grant, along with substantial investment by our development partners, has made a big difference in this community that will benefit Harlem and its residents for years to come.”
“The Mayor’s housing plan focuses on the quality of the housing created and preserved, going beyond the concept of ‘roofs over heads’,” said Marc Jahr, President of the New York City Housing Development Corporation. “The housing we help to finance is a key component of the City’s PlaNYC goal of becoming more sustainable, green, transit-oriented, and affordable. The green upgrades and extended affordability on these homes provide a much needed stability for the families who call these buildings home. Block by block, Harlem is being revitalized by preservation efforts such as this one. We at HDC are proud to play an integral, essential role in this neighborhood’s revival.”
In December 2008, Jonathan Rose Companies acquired 107-145 West 135th through its Rose Smart Growth Investment Fund, an investment fund focusing on the strategic green repositioning of existing buildings. Purchase was funded using $22.5 million in acquisition financing secured through the New York City Acquisition Fund (NYAF). NYAF—made possible in 2006 through an unprecedented partnership with the City of New York, Enterprise, major foundations and New York’s public and private investment groups—offers acquisition and predevelopment loans to developers committed to the creation and preservation of affordable housing in New York’s five boroughs. The program was originated by Enterprise, the leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities.
“Preserving and retrofitting affordable housing, especially while tenants remain in the building, is a complex process. But the end result—ensuring that homes remain affordable and healthier for hundreds of residents—makes it all worthwhile,” said Abby Jo Sigal, Vice President and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “Enterprise was thrilled to support our fantastic partner, Jonathan Rose Companies, by providing $22.5 million in acquisition financing and $10.1 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity to the West 135th Street Apartments. Together, we have helped ensure that these 198 families continue not only to have an affordable home, but also to have the safe, sustainable, and quality homes all New Yorkers deserve.”
At acquisition, Jonathan Rose Companies worked with HUD to obtain a 15-year Section 8 contract renewal to preserve the affordability of the buildings. The tenant-in-place green rehabilitation is estimated to have produced approximately 25% utility saving. The buildings were rehabilitated according to Enterprise Green Communities criteria, the first national green building criteria designed for affordable housing, and are now Enterprise Green Communities- and LEED-certified. Since January 2011, HPD has required the developers of new affordable housing construction and substantial renovation projects funded by the City to attain Enterprise Green Communities Certification by adhering to these criteria.
West 135th Street Apartments are comprised of 10 identical six-story walk-up buildings and include eight studios, 55 one-bedrooms, 99 two-bedrooms and 36 three-bedroom units which serve tenants at 50% AMI (currently $38,400 for a family of four) and 60% AMI (currently $46,080 for a family of four).
The green retrofit project targeted important building upgrades in common areas and interior units that enhance residents’ health, safety, address needed repairs and maintenance issues, promote energy efficiency and better air quality, and increase the quality of life for people living at the West 135th Street Apartments. These upgrades include the replacement of 32 boilers with 10 high-efficiency boilers; bringing the building’s fire alarm system up to current city building code; a new interior vestibule and insulated glass entry doors; new lobby finishes including recycled content ceramic flooring; significant repairs to the exterior brick and stucco; LED light fixtures in corridors; increasing roof insulation; rooftop solar photovoltaic panels; compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) fixtures and bulbs; Energy Star appliances; new linoleum and FSC wood flooring; ceiling fans; non-formaldehyde cabinets and PLAM countertops; double-pane argon-filled low emissivity (low-e) windows; aerators and new low-flow showerheads; non-toxic paints, adhesives and sealants throughout; and thermostatic radiator valves to give residents the ability to control the heat in their apartments. Continued emphasis on greening the project will take place through ongoing operations and maintenance plans. During renovation tenants were not displaced. Tenants were given the opportunity to use designated ‘hospitality suites’ on site for their comfort while upgrades were being made.
HDC issued more than $24.1M in tax-exempt bonds to re-finance the project for the construction phase including $22.4M for the permanent financing of this project. This project also received approximately $5.9M from HPD HOME, $3.6M from HUD Green Retrofit Program, as well as $4.8M of tax credit equity from Enterprise. Bank of New York provided construction credit enhancement and the project anticipates receiving State and Federal grants to offset a portion of the cost of the solar panel installation.
About Jonathan Rose Companies
Founded by Jonathan F.P. Rose in 1989, Jonathan Rose Companies is a national real estate firm managing $1.5 billion of work from offices in New York, Connecticut, Colorado and New Mexico. The firm provides award-winning, institutional real estate investment and development services, with 20+ years experience in the affordable multifamily housing industry and 3,000 units across current active projects. Jonathan Rose Companies is widely recognized for its ability to combine market-rate economics with environmental and social considerations to achieve visionary goals.
About US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transforms the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
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. 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. Since the plan’s inception, nearly 125,000 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd.
Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For nearly 30 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 $11 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve more than 280,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Visit www.enterprisecommunity.org and www.enterprisecommunity.com to learn more about Enterprise's efforts to build communities and opportunity.
Since opening our New York office in 1987, Enterprise has created or preserved more than 35,000 affordable homes for 116,000 New Yorkers, and has committed over $2.3 billion in equity, grants, and loans to community development projects across the city.