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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 30, 2013

Eric Bederman (HPD) 212-863-5176


HPD COMMISSIONER VISNAUSKAS, HDC PRESIDENT JAHR, GOTHAM ORGANIZATION AND DT SALAZAR INC. ANNOUNCE $278 MILLION FINANCING PLAN FOR NEW MIXED-INCOME RESIDENTIAL TOWER IN DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN CULTURAL DISTRICT

250 Ashland Place Project Brings 282 New Permanently Affordable Units and Will Provide New Cultural Office Space and New Retail Space

 

NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas, NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Marc Jahr, Gotham Organization President David Picket and David Salazar of DT Salazar Inc. announced today that they have closed on a $278 million plan to finance the construction of the 250 Ashland Place development on a formerly city-owned vacant site in the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District. With financing secured, the development team expects to break ground on the project in the coming weeks. The City has been committed to bringing much-needed affordable housing to the neighborhood as it has continued to prosper. 250 Ashland Place will provide 586 new apartments to the community, with 282 of the new units being permanently affordable to low-income and middle-income New Yorkers. This commitment of affordable units nearly doubled the amount of affordable housing originally projected for Cultural District Site I and exceeds the City’s plan for the entire north block. The residential tower will also provide new office space for cultural institutions, new retail space, and other amenities.

 

250 Ashland Place is being financed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. To date, the plan has funded more than 160,337 units across the five boroughs, with more than 37,427 units in Brooklyn. For every dollar invested by the City for affordable housing, the NHMP has leveraged $3.48 in funding from other sources for a total investment of more than $23.6 billion. 

“The revitalization and expansion of the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District with strengthened cultural institutions, affordable and market rate housing and commercial development, has been a hallmark of Mayor Bloomberg’s administration,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. “With 250 Ashland, nearly 300 more units of affordable housing and a new cultural space will be added to this thriving and dynamic neighborhood that is quickly becoming a global destination.” 

“With the financing in place for 250 Ashland we can soon begin construction on what will be an iconic tower providing affordable housing, space for cultural institutions and new retail opportunities to this vibrant neighborhood,” said HPD Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. “The Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District has become one of our City’s most important centers for the arts – drawing some of the best creative talent in the borough, the country and the globe. This project, and those to come, will transform these vacant and underused lots into mixed-income affordable housing and cultural space that will become a real bricks and mortar community and home for these artists, performers, and for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. I thank Gotham Organization, DT Salazar Inc, the Borough President and all of our elected officials for the support and commitment.”

“The Brooklyn Academy of Music has been a hub for the arts for more than 100 years and while its existence has never been a secret, more and more New Yorkers and visitors are fast discovering its cultural riches,” said HDC President Marc Jahr. “The renovation of the BAM Opera House and the other theaters as well as recent additions such as BRIC House, the Mark Morris Dance Center, Urban Glass, TFANA, and the Barclay’s Center have all brought the crowds and at the same time firmly embedded the culture of the arts into the heart of Brooklyn. This district where Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Green and Boerum Hill converge is poised for its second act as a residential center anchored by state-of-the-art housing for a diverse cross-section of New Yorkers and their families. The new building at 250 Ashland Place offers Brooklyn’s family of arts organizations even more room to grow while providing an irreplaceable resource to our City in the form of hundreds of units of permanently affordable housing. Thanks to our partners, the community, and our elected officials for their all-important support.” 

The 52-story building, which has been designed by architects FXFOWLE, will complement the cultural district by adding foot traffic to the Arts Plaza and locating active retail uses along Fulton Street. The site is two blocks from the Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn’s largest transit hub with nine subway lines and the Long Island Railroad, and the newly constructed Barclays’s Center. 

250 Ashland Place will add to the richness of the neighborhood’s cultural identity and to the diversity of its housing stock. There will also be approximately 8,000 square-feet to be used as office space for cultural institutions, along with approximately 10,200 square-feet of retail space along Fulton Street. The building will also be constructed to attain sustainability certification through Enterprise Green Communities criteria which is required on all City-subsidized affordable housing new construction and substantial rehabilitation projects.

 

"We are thrilled to be part of Brooklyn's Cultural District", said David Picket, President of Gotham Organization. "Our architect, FXFOWLE has designed an iconic building that meshes the colors and tones of brownstone Brooklyn and BAM's historic opera house with the fenestration appropriate to a 52-story tower."  

"Working closely with Enterprise Green Communities and HPD, our team was able to plan a mixed-use building that promotes healthy living and sustainability", said David Salazar, of DT Salazar Inc. "We are excited to bring new residents into the Cultural District." 

250 Ashland Place will have a total of 586 apartments with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Of the 282 permanently affordable apartments, 118 apartments will be affordable to low-income households earning up to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI), or approximately $51,540 for a family of four. Eight-two units will have rents affordable to middle-income households earning 135% AMI, or approximately $115,965 for a family of four. The other 82 units will have rents affordable to middle-income households earning 165% AMI, or approximately $141,735 for a family of four. There will be one unit reserved for the building’s superintendent.

 

The total development cost of the 250 Ashland Place project is $278 million. To help subsidize construction and ensure the project’s affordability, HPD provided the land for this project at a nominal cost. HPD is also allocating 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate approximately $19.3 million in equity towards the project. HDC is providing a total of $177.5 million of financing, of which $33 million is tax-exempt bonds, $2.5 million is an HDC subordinate loan, and $142 million is a loan originated by HDC and participated to a consortium of private lenders comprised of Wells Fargo, TD Bank and Capital One.  

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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 the end of fiscal year 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 160,337 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 providing 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 2013, HDC was the third largest affordable housing lender in the U.S. after Citi and Wells Fargo, beating out Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Capital One. To date, under the Mayor’s plan, HDC has financed the creation or preservation of more than 73,765 of the total 156,397 affordable units. Multifamily buildings financed by HDC contain more than 1.7 million square feet of commercial space. For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com