Macedonia Plaza Will Turn Underutilized Parking Lot Into Affordable Apartments For Low-Income Families, New Retail and Community Space
5,940 Affordable Units Now Financed For FY 2012 On Way To Goal of 14,500 Units
NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua, NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Marc Jahr, project developer BRP Companies Managing Partner Meredith Marshall, and Macedonia AME Church Senior Pastor Reverend Richard O. McEachern announced that they have closed on $49.6 million in construction financing for the Macedonia Plaza mixed-use development. Located at 37-08 Union Street in Queens, Macedonia Plaza will add 143 newly constructed units of affordable housing to the Flushing community. This project, which will be developed by BRP Companies, will transform a municipal parking lot into a thriving community hub with affordable low-income apartments, community facility space, and economic opportunity through the addition of new retail space.
Macedonia Plaza is part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP). The NHMP is a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of Fiscal Year 2014. For every dollar invested by the City, the NHMP has leveraged $3.41 in private funding, amounting to a total commitment to date of more than $19.4 billion to fund the creation or preservation of over 130,700 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs. More than 12,519 units have been financed in Queens.
"Financing the transaction that allows Macedonia Plaza to be built is another important step in fulfilling the Mayor's New Housing Marketplace Plan's goal of creating or preserving 165,000 home by the close of the 2014 fiscal year," said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. "To date we've financed the construction or preservation of more than 130,700 homes, and every one of those units represents a family in need. Whether a family or individual is struggling to make ends meet; has special needs; is rent-stressed; or living in substandard housing; our mission is to provide relief, housing choice and opportunity. In BRP Companies and Macedonia AME Church we have dedicated partners who are helping to bring affordable, sustainable housing to the Flushing community, and an opportunity for stability to hardworking New York families.”
“This is the type of project HDC is committed to financing. Partnering with our sister agency HPD, it harnesses our ability to access the capital markets and tap the entrepreneurial energies of for-profit developers and the nonprofit community to create a mixed-use development that serves the needs of working families and the surrounding community. Many factors played into getting us to this juncture, none of them more important than the combination of persistence and faith that this needed to happen," said HDC President Marc Jahr. "No other municipal entity has a housing program like New York City's -- over the years we have built capacity, expertise and trust that enables us to work together -- public, private and not-for-profit sectors -- as one, to fulfill this critical mission of executing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan.”
“BRP Companies is honored to be involved in this important development,” said Meredith Marshall, Managing Partner at BRP Companies. “When completed, Macedonia Plaza will provide its residents with well-designed, energy-efficient apartments that will be affordable to working families. We appreciate the good efforts of the greater Flushing community, NYC HPD and HDC, our lender and tax credit investors, and all others who worked to make this development a reality.”
Macedonia Plaza will be constructed on approximately 30,000 square-feet of the current municipal parking lot, which was conveyed to the developer at a nominal cost to help subsidize the affordability of this development. When complete, Macedonia Plaza will be 14 stories tall with 143 affordable apartments. 113 of the apartments will be available to low-income families earning not more than 58 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or what is equivalent to a household income of $48,140 for a family of four. 29 of the apartments will be available for low-income families earning not more than 38 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or what is equivalent to a household income of $31,540 for a family of four. There will be one apartment reserved for the building’s superintendent. The unit distribution will include 27 studios, 58 one‐bedroom apartments, 55 two‐bedroom apartments, and two three‐bedroom apartments. It is anticipated that construction will be complete in the Spring of 2014.
The total development cost for the Macedonia Plaza project is $49.6 million. HDC is providing a $26.3 million first mortgage and $9.3 million in tax-exempt bond subsidy through its Low-Income Affordable Marketplace Program (LAMP). HPD is providing $5.1 million in city capital funding and $1.7 million in federal HOME funding. Hudson Housing Capital is providing $1.8 million in tax credit equity, and BRP Companies has allocated $5.4 million for this project.
In additional to the affordable residential component, the Macedonia Plaza development will include approximately 6,287 square-feet of new retail space, and 2,767 square-feet of community space. It will also incorporate green building practices and amenities consistent with the City’s mission to produce affordable, healthy and sustainable housing. Some green features will include low-flow fixtures and toilets; Energy Star appliances; interior and exterior energy efficient lighting; cool roof; low/no-VOC paints, primers, adhesives and sealants; urea formaldehyde-free composite wood; and healthy flooring material.
"Macedonia A.M.E. Church, the third oldest church in Queens, is pleased to witness the start of construction of Macedonia Plaza, a 143-unit affordable housing, LEED Certified project. Macedonia Plaza has been in the works for the past seven years and has now become a reality,” said Reverend Richard O. McEachern, Senior Pastor of Macedonia AME Church. Although faced with many challenges and at times having to accept several set-backs along the way, we never gave up hope. We continued to believe that God would make a way out of no way. We are grateful to Macedonia Plaza Development LLC, a joint venture development team between BRP Companies and Macedonia Plaza Community Development Corporation. Special thanks are given to Geppaul Architects, who has been with us since the beginning, and has designed an exceptional building that will truly enhance the area. Macedonia Plaza will not only be a state of the art building, but it will also meet the needs of community residents who are in desperate need of affordable housing. We are pleased to see this project come into fruition."
The project site will incorporate air rights from the adjacent Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, which recently celebrated its bicentennial and is one of the oldest houses of worship in Queens. Macedonia AME has been a valued supporter and key advocate for the inclusion of affordable housing at this site. In addition to its partnership with the City and developer, the Church was active in the process to select the architect and develop the project’s design. The Church also acts as the community liaison for the project and will continue to serve in that capacity following completion of construction.
“From the very beginning, I believed that the element of affordable housing must be a crucial component of this overall project. As Macedonia Plaza closes, the door begins to open to construction of this affordable housing. I look forward to continued progress and growth in this community,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
"I am elated that the construction of affordable housing by the Macedonia AME Church is about to begin. This development will create homes for the most socio-economic disadvantage citizens of Flushing and is a reflection that affordable housing concerns still remains as a fundamental need in our communities,” said City Councilman Peter Koo. “I want to give special thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, representatives of Housing Preservation and Development, community leaders and church officials who worked together to make this important project a reality.”
HPD requires that subsidized apartments be rented through an Open Lottery System to ensure fair and equitable distribution of housing to eligible applicants. Marketing of the apartments and the application process for the Lottery typically begin when construction is approximately 70 percent complete. The application process for Macedonia Plaza is currently not open as construction has yet to start. For more information regarding the lottery process, current housing lotteries, how to apply to an open lottery, and if you would like to receive an e-mail when HPD has updated its website concerning available apartment and home listings for City-subsidized housing in the five boroughs, please visit the Apartment Seekers and Homebuyers pages at www.nyc.gov/hpd.
Traditionally the months of May and June are the busiest for the affordable housing industry – bankers, developers and staff work to ensure that financing transactions for the construction or preservation of affordable housing projects are complete before the City’s fiscal year comes to a close at 12:00 midnight, June 30th. In the current fiscal year (FY 2012), staff has closed financing on 5,940 units; on their way to reaching the FY 2012 goal of 14,500 units.
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, more than 130,700 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd.
About the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC):
HDC provides financing that builds and strengthens neighborhoods. Since 2000, the corporation has issued roughly 10% of all the multifamily housing revenue bonds in the U.S. and since 2003, when Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan was launched, HDC has raised more than $6.7 billion in financing for affordable housing developments, including in excess of $1 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves. In Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s annual listing of the nation’s top ten funders of multifamily housing, HDC is the only municipal entity included on the list, and consistently bests many of the largest commercial banks and most statewide Housing Finance Agencies (HFA). This past year, HDC was the fourth largest affordable housing lender in the U.S. after Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, beating out JPMorgan Chase and Capital One. To date, under the Mayor’s plan, HDC has financed the creation or preservation of more than 60,000 affordable units in multifamily buildings that also include 1.7 million square feet of commercial space. For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com
About BRP Companies:
BRP Companies is a New York based real estate firm that is at the forefront of affordable, mixed-income, and market-rate housing and commercial developments. From the firm’s modest beginning in 1998 as a local development company, the firm has successfully evolved into a vertically integrated organization offering a full complement of development, construction, property management, and financial services.Today, with an experienced staff of 30 members responsible for approximately 400,000 SF of development and construction, with some 800,000 SF currently in its pipeline, BRP Companies’ goal is to build quality sustainable housing and commercial developments throughout the tri-state area and beyond.www.brpcompanies.com