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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 2, 2013

Juliet Morris (HPD) 212-863-5682


HCR, HPD, HDC, THE HUDSON COMPANIES AND CAMBA HOUSING VENTURES CELEBRATE GROUNDBREAKING OF PHASE II OF NEW GREEN AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN THE SPRING CREEK SECTION OF BROOKLYN

Gateway Elton Street Phase II Development to Provide 175 Energy-Efficient Affordable Apartments – Designed to Meet NYSERDA Standards And Anticipated LEED Platinum Rating

Development Will Boast Over 300,000 Watts of Energy - Largest Solar Photo Voltaic Renewable Energy System on a Residential Development in New York State 

Brooklyn, NY ­— The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC), joined The Hudson Companies, and CAMBA/CAMBA Housing Ventures today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the next phase of the energy- efficient, mixed-use, affordable housing Gateway Elton Street development in the Spring Creek section of Brooklyn. The new buildings will be located at 516 and 524 Vandalia Avenue, and 526 Schroeders Avenue. The three buildings totaling 175 affordable rental units comprise the second phase of the three phase development, will usurp Gateway Elton Street Phase I as having the largest solar energy system on a residential development in all of New York State. Combined with Gateway Elton Phase I, Hudson, Related and CAMBA will have installed in excess of 500,000 watts of renewable energy with the ultimate goal of 1 million watts at full completion. Gateway II will also be built to meet NYSERDA’s energy-efficiency standards and is projected to qualify for a LEED for Homes Platinum rating. Also attending the ceremony were Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, NYC Councilman Charles Barron, NYS Assembly Member Inez Barron, NYSERDA’s Project Manager for Multifamily Apartment Buildings, Dean Zias, and Housing Director - NYC Field Office of New York State Office of Mental Health, Caren Abate.  

Gateway Elton Street Phase II is being developed under 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 $3.43 in private funding, amounting to a total commitment to date of more than $21 billion to fund the creation or preservation of over 144,700 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs to date. A total of 35,999 units have been financed in Brooklyn with 5,192 of those units in Brooklyn Community Board 5 where the Gateway Elton Street Development is being built. 

“As a lifelong East New Yorker, I recognize the extraordinary character and energy of the community, which this project captures,” said Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal. “Gateway Elton Street Phase II represents a resurgence for one of the most beautiful communities in Brooklyn. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership this transformative affordable housing complex brings Green healthy affordable living to 175 low-income individuals and families and retail ventures to grow the community and create jobs. I congratulate Hudson Inc., CAMBA and our other city and state partners for bringing resources to a very dynamic community with one of the greatest traditions of family and neighborhood.” 

“Fresh Creek was once tidal wetlands and later used as a landfill. There was nothing here but vacant land and rubbish strewn lots. It took great vision and tenacity to bring these 227 acres back to useful life. In a broader sense, the story this development tells is one of how the City continues to grow and change and reinvent itself in the face of the most difficult circumstances,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “I want to thank all of our partners for their commitment to creating affordable housing for New Yorkers. I want to give special thanks to HCR, HDC, Hudson Companies, CAMBA, NYSERDA, all other partners and all of the elected officials, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assembly Member Inez Barron and Councilman Charles Barron. Thank you all for all that you do. Let us all keep the good work going.” 

“Today we are celebrating the mixed-use, mixed-income aspect of the Gateway development – the construction of three new rental buildings that will bring new faces, new retail opportunities and a powerful boost to the on-going revival of the East New York community,” said Marc Jahr, President of NYC HDC.  “The first phase of this rental component, with 197 units, is already complete. These three new buildings will add another 175 units to the mix. And because the Hudson Companies seem to like to compete with themselves, the solar panels on these buildings’ roofs will be the largest solar panel installation on a multifamily residential project in New York State. Aside from the need to be green, there’s a very practical side to this aspect of the development: Hudson Companies saw a 30% reduction in electricity costs on their affordable Dumont Green development – also in Brooklyn – and which coincidentally was the largest solar array on a residential building in New York State, until now.” 

“Hudson is proud to be playing a role in the transformation of the Spring Creek neighborhood. It is a classic case study in public-private partnership to build a thriving neighborhood with schools, shopping and housing from a former 236-acre landfill. We commend the City, State and all the Agencies, organizations and staff involved for making Spring Creek a new home for New Yorkers,” said Aaron Koffman, Hudson’s Director of Affordable Housing. 

“CAMBA Housing Ventures is thrilled to partner again with The Hudson Companies and Related Companies to break ground on Gateway Elton Phase II today,” said Joanne M. Oplustil, President and CEO of CAMBA/CAMBA Housing Ventures, Inc.  “Gateway Elton Phase II boasts a sustainable project with state-of-the-art solar panels and healthy green features for future tenants.  This project also invests in Brooklyn’s human capital by creating jobs, building community and providing life-changing homes.” 

Gateway Elton Street Phase II will consist of three buildings totaling 175 affordable rental units and approximately 24,000-square-feet of commercial space. This groundbreaking marks the second of the three phases of this mixed-use project. The complex is built on formerly City-owned property which was conveyed to the development team by HPD. When all three phases are complete they will include a total of 659 affordable apartments with approximately 60,000-square-feet of community space – including a childcare center and convenience shops and restaurants as part of a comprehensive effort by the City and its development partners to create a strong, vibrant and self-sustaining neighborhood. 

“Bravo to trail blazing Hudson Companies and to the many community partners, including Assemblywoman Inez Barron, Councilman Charles Barron, Brooklyn’s own State Housing Commissioner Darryl Towns, City Housing Commissioner Mathew Wambua, Marc Jahr of the city’s Housing Development Corp, the State Office of Mental Health, Related Companies and Executive Director Joanne Oplustil of CAMBA who helped to ensure that Brooklyn remains a home for everyone from every income level,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Here in Brooklyn we always go big, so I’m thrilled that Spring Creek – which will always be East New York to us – will be the proud home of the largest solar installation on a residential building in the state! This innovation will not only add to Brooklyn’s increasingly ‘green’ footprint but will also put more ‘green’ in Brooklynites’ wallets. With Gateway 2 helping to jumpstart careers and make residents even more productive with pre-installed workspaces in each unit and free Wi-Fi in common areas, this is truly an ‘electrifying’ accomplishment.”   

“This project will bring real affordable housing to those who need it most,” said NYC Council Member Charles Barron. “It’s a great day for East New York!” 

The green design and development of this project directly support PlaNYC, the Bloomberg Administration’s sustainability plan to prepare the City for one million more residents while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.  By reducing resource usage and improving air quality, Gateway Elton will help to contribute to a more sustainable future for the benefit of all New Yorkers. Gateway Elton Street Phase II will create over 300,000 watts of solar photovoltaic renewable energy, usurping Gateway Elton Street Phase I as having the largest solar energy system on a residential development in all of New York State. Gateway II alone will offset over 456,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, which is the equivalent of over 9,360 trees. Combined with Gateway Elton I, Hudson, Related and CAMBA will have installed in excess of 500,000 watts of renewable energy with the ultimate goal of 1 million watts at full completion. 

The project also includes Energy Star® appliances and fixtures that have been designed to meet NYSERDA’s energy efficiency standards and to secure a LEED for Homes Platinum rating. Creating a tight building ‘envelope’ with well-insulated walls, the Gateway Elton Street Phase II development will reduce energy and water waste resulting in savings for the tenants and a reduced carbon footprint. East New York has one of the highest asthma rates in the city, but at Gateway Elton, the air will be easy to breathe, as all buildings will be non-smoking, and utilize no-VOC paint and urea/formaldehyde-free cabinetry. 

“The Elton Gateway Phase joins the ranks of over 350 other affordable, new construction NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Program projects across New York State; whose target is to set their energy efficiency goals to no less than 15% in source energy savings,” said Dean Zias, Project Manager at New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). “We worked closely with our Multifamily Performance Program (MPP) Partner, Bright Power, Inc., and in collaboration with The Enterprise Foundation’s Green Communities criteria to make this possible. Elton Gateway Phase II’s project is designed to save 20% to 23% in source energy savings annually, or over $79,000 -- in today's dollars, year after year, over a conventionally built new construction project. The Elton Gateway Phase II builds on the successive foundation of two of their other recent housing development projects in the community.” 

All units developed in Phase II will be available to families earning no more than 40% Area Median Income (AMI) or no more than $33,200 for a family of four, 50% AMI or no more than $41,500 for a family of four, and 60% or no more than $49,800 for a family of four. AMI levels are calculated yearly by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Units will range in size between studio and four-bedroom homes. Gateway II will encourage connectivity by including pre-installed workspaces in each unit, as well as offering free Wi-Fi in common areas. For individuals transitioning to independent living from institutions operated by the NYS Office of Mental Health, there will be 30 units set aside which will include rent- and case-management assistance from the agency. 

Acting Commissioner of the NYS Office of Mental Health Kristin Woodlock said, "It is a pleasure to work with our partners, the Hudson Companies, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Wells Fargo, CAMBA, NYC Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Housing Development Corporation, NYS Energy Research and Development Authority and the Borough of Brooklyn on this project.  This is a win-win for the community creating both affordable housing and jobs." 

The City of New York 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. 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 updates its available apartment and home website listings for City-subsidized housing in the five boroughs, please visit the Apartment Seekers and Homebuyers pages at www.nyc.gov/hpd

Gateway II is anticipated to create over 750 new construction jobs, including local Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) positions for subcontractors. The development team has partnered with ManUp, Inc., a nonprofit, East New York-based employment provider to ensure that local qualified applicants are placed in the open positions. Additionally, info sessions with LDC of East New York have been held to ensure local businesses had access to compete for construction hiring on Gateway II.  When construction is complete, ground floor retail at Gateway II will support 40 new permanent jobs.  

“Wells Fargo has a strong commitment to supporting long-term economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone in our communities,” said Duane Mutti, SVP for Wells Fargo’s Community Lending and Investment group. “Our involvement in the Gateway Elton II project not only strengthens our commitment to revitalizing the East New York area, but it means 175 individuals and families will have a place to call home.” 

Funding and support for the Gateway Elton Street Phase II project was made possible through a joint venture between the City of New York, Hudson Companies and the many public and private partners who have been dedicated to bringing affordable housing to this Brooklyn neighborhood. HPD conveyed the land to the developer and $8.3 million in construction financing and $8.5 million in permanent financing through its Low Income Program. HDC provided $30.4 million in tax exempt bonds and $11.4 million in loan subsidy, along with a $37.9 million senior mortgage and $11.3 million secondary mortgage through its Low-Income Affordable Marketplace Program. HCR provided $945,000 in New York State Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Wells Fargo Bank is providing a $30.4 million letter of credit, as well as making a $27.3 million direct LIHTC/SLIHTC investment. Richman Housing Resources provided predevelopment financing. The project was awarded $1.2 million in Reso A funds from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and NYSERDA is providing $596,044 for participation in the Multi-Family Performance and Solar PV Program. Gateway II also received strong support from Councilman Charles Barron and Brooklyn Community Board 5 Chair Nathan Bradley.

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 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 144,700 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For regular updates on news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/nychpd and www.twitter.com/nychousing. For more information, visit our website at www.nyc.gov/hpd.

 About the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC)

Since 2000, HDC has issued roughly 10% of all the multi-family 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 on the list. In 2012, 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 67,000 affordable units in multi-family buildings that also include 1.7 million square feet of commercial space. For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com 

About the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)

New York State Homes and Community Renewal consists of all the State’s major housing and community renewal agencies, including the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation, and others. For more information visit: www.nyshcr.org 

 About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.  NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.

About The Hudson Companies:

The Hudson Companies Incorporated is a real estate development firm active in residential development in New York City. Founded in 1986, Hudson's long record of successful real estate development reflects a commitment to managing the details of the development process from property acquisition, design and project finance through construction, marketing and property management. The firm is experienced in both new construction and building rehabilitation, including the adaptive re-use of historic structures. The firm's concentration in residential development spans the luxury, middle-income and subsidized affordable housing markets. To date, Hudson has developed over 4,400 new units of housing in over 40 projects and has several hundred more units currently under development. Hudson prides itself on creating high quality, attractive buildings appropriate for each marketplace. Hudson has demonstrated an ability to complete a broad array of complex and exciting projects. 

About CAMBA/CAMBA Housing Ventures:

CAMBA is a non-profit agency that provides services that connect people with opportunities to enhance their quality of life.  CAMBA serves more than 35,000 individuals and families, including 8,000 youth, each year. Specifically, we help people of low-income; those moving from welfare to work; people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or transitioning out of homelessness; individuals living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS; immigrants and refugees; children and young adults; entrepreneurs and other groups working to become self-sufficient. The majority of CAMBA’s clients live, work and/or attend school in Brooklyn.  CAMBA Housing Ventures, Inc. (CHV), created in 2007, works in partnership with prominent national organizations, local developers, community-based agencies, and city and state governments to develop safe, high quality affordable housing. 




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