Marc Jahr, President of the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Mathew Wambua, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John Rhea joined representatives of Artimus Construction and Citi Community Capital at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Elliott-Chelsea on West 25th Street and 9th Avenue in Manhattan. The new construction development adds 168 units of affordable housing for low- to middle-income families to the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The $65 million development was funded through public and private partnerships and is located on land provided by NYCHA, which was previously used as a parking lot for neighboring NYCHA properties – Elliott and Chelsea Houses.
This partnership between the agencies is part of a collaboration which was announced in April 2005 in an innovative effort to identify underutilized NYCHA properties and, when suitable, work to develop them as affordable homes for low-income New Yorkers. The HPD/NYCHA collaboration has already produced more than 2,200 units with another 1,600 in construction or in the development pipeline; for a total of more than 3,800 affordable units.
The HPD/NYCHA collaboration highlights the Bloomberg Administration’s commitment to working across agencies to maximize city resources for the benefit of hardworking New Yorkers. The Elliott-Chelsea development was created under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP). The Plan is a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by 2014. To date, the Plan has funded the creation or preservation of over 129,600 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs with 7,100 units in Manhattan Community Board 4 where Elliot-Chelsea is located.
“The New York City Housing Authority is committed to providing affordable housing opportunities for low to medium-income New Yorkers,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “The new Elliott-Chelsea development is in line with the Authority’s strategic Plan NYCHA, which includes a long-term development strategy for the entire NYCHA portfolio, including all land and development assets that could potentially accommodate new housing. Through key partnerships such as these, we are able to maximize the use of our land to develop affordable and mixed-income housing for many more New Yorkers in need.”
“The Elliott-Chelsea development is another contribution to our efforts to realize the ambitious goals of the Mayor's New Housing Marketplace plan, strengthen our collaborative efforts with HPD and NYCHA, while helping to preserve Community Board 4 and Chelsea's great diversity, said Marc Jahr, President of HDC”
“This neighborhood epitomizes the fabric of New York and the factors that contribute to making it a world class urban center. In one of the most desirable communities in the City you have the residents of NYCHA’s public housing, HPD’s affordable housing, and private luxury buildings all calling Chelsea home,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “We are proof that neighborhoods can and should be diverse and have space for families with a broad diversity of incomes and backgrounds. This is not about one or the other – it’s about the whole. It is what makes this city great, and it is a lesson the rest of the country can take from New York.”
Elliott-Chelsea is a 168 unit 22-story building located at 401 West 25th Street on the corner of 9th Avenue in Chelsea. Each unit features hardwood floors, central cooling and heating, stainless steel appliances, video intercoms and granite countertops. In keeping with HPD’s energy-efficient guidelines, this development features Energy Star appliances, energy efficient light fixtures, and plumbing fixtures. Residents have access to onsite parking, laundry facilities and a green rooftop terrace that features modern furniture and planters. Since the new building replaced a NYCHA parking lot, the 26 underground parking spaces will be available for rent at prevailing NYCHA rates to residents of neighboring Elliott and Chelsea Houses.
The Elliott and Chelsea Houses, NYCHA owned properties, were completed in 1947 and 1964 respectively. Elliott Houses is named after John Lovejoy Elliott (1868 – 1942). Elliott fell in love with the Chelsea neighborhood in the West Side of Manhattan and dedicated his life to the people living there. He was a major force in getting the Chelsea and Elliott developments built. He founded the Hudson Guild, a neighborhood settlement house that still provides activities and a summer camp program for youngsters in the area. Elliott was a senior leader of the Ethical Culture Society where he taught ethics. John Lovejoy Elliott Houses consists of four buildings, 11 and 12-stories tall with 607 apartments. The 4.70-acre Manhattan development is bordered by West 25th Street, Ninth and Tenth Avenues, and Chelsea Park. Chelsea Houses has two 21-story buildings with 425 apartments. The 1.93-acre Manhattan development is on Ninth Avenue between West 25th and West 26th Streets. The newly developed Elliott-Chelsea shares a name with the longtime neighborhood Houses.
Elliott-Chelsea’s 168 housing units include 40 studios, 39 one-bedrooms, 84 two-bedrooms and five three-bedrooms. The units are mixed-income and are reserved for very low-, low- and middle-income tenants. Limits are set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and are determined by the 2009 AMI calculations for this development. Twenty-eight units are designated for families earning no more than 50 percent Area Median Income (AMI), or $38,400 for a family of four. Six of these units serve families earning no more than 40 percent of AMI, or $30,720 for a family of four. Twenty of the building’s units serve households earning 125 percent AMI ($99,000 for a family of four), but can be rented to households earning up to 160 percent of the 2009 AMI ($126,720). The development’s remaining 113 units are income restricted with 58 units reserved for households earning up to 165 percent of AMI ($126,720 for a family of four) and 55 units available to households earning up to 195 percent of AMI ($149,760 for a family of four).
Residents of this development applied for housing through an open lottery system to ensure fair and equitable distribution of housing to eligible applicants. Applications are sent to building managers and/or real estate professionals directly and the selection process is reviewed by HDC. To date, about 10 units with NYCHA resident preference are still available for rent at Elliott-Chelsea. All other units have been filled. Information on upcoming availabilities in affordable housing developments can be found on the HPD and HDC websites.
Artimus Construction served as both developer and general contractor for this new construction. New York based GF55 Partners was the sites architecture firm. Selection of the development team for this site was conducted through a Request for Proposal (RFP). Preference was given to developers who proposed the greatest amount of affordability with competitive acquisition prices and the least amount of City subsidies, while maintaining the highest standards in sustainable design and quality of construction.
“This development is the result of a collaborative effort between the City of New York, Citi Community Capital, and Artimus Construction, said Robert Ezrapour, Principal of Artimus Construction, Inc. “It showcases both the challenges and rewards of such an undertaking to today’s challenging economy.”
"Elliott-Chelsea is a great example of a successful public-private sector partnership, one of which we are proud to be a part of, “ said Richard Gerwitz, Managing Director, Citi Community Capital. “The New York City Housing Authority and Artimus are both valued clients of Citi and the opportunity to work with them as a team, in conjunction with the Department of Housing Preservation Development and the Housing Development Corporation has produced an outstanding benefit to the local community."
Total development cost for Elliott-Chelsea is $64.9 million. The development was financed with both new and recycled bonds under HDC’s Mixed-Income Program. The $41.4 million HDC First Loan consists of $22.4 million in recycled bonds and $19 million in new volume cap bonds. The bonds are guaranteed by Freddie Mac. Citi Community Capital was the construction lender. In addition to the bonds, the project’s financing includes $2.7 million from HDC Corporate reserves; a $5.5 million HPD City Capital loan; a $1.5 million City Council grant; and a $1.5 million NYCHA Purchase Money Mortgage (PMM).
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 the five boroughs of New York City Housing Authority 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. For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com
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 129,600 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA): NYCHA is committed to increasing opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 334 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. www.nyc.gov/nycha
About Artimus Construction, Inc.: With more than 30 years of construction and real estate development experience in New York City, Artimus is well respected as a successful construction and development company with expertise in affordable housing. Artimus’s growth stems from positive interaction with the community – the company seeks to engage and promote the neighborhoods they work in by working with local not-for-profit and governmental institutions, city agencies, subcontractors, and community groups. Artimus has constructed over two million square feet in new mid-rise and high-rise projects that include residential, commercial, retail, and mixed used properties. Some of their recent projects include: SoHa118 – A 91-unit, 14-story condominium at 8th Avenue and West 118th Street; Brownstone Lane II – A 54-unit 2-building complex between 8th Avenue and Manhattan Avenue at 119th & 120th Streets; 5th on the Park – a 204 unit mixed use building with a church, condo, and rental portion in one high rise structure; The Lenox – A 77-unit 12-story condominium; Susan’s Court – A 125-unit, 8-story luxury rental building at Manhattan Avenue and 120th Street; among others. Artimus fosters relationships by employing local contractors and contributing to the local trade schools. Artimus is committed to ensuring that each project respects the quality-of-life issues of its neighbors during and after construction. For more information, visit: www.artimusnyc.com.
About GF55 Partners: GF55 Partners is the partnership of David E. Gross, AIA, Leonard Fusco, AIA and Shay Alster, AIA dedicated to the practice of Architecture and Interior Design. Founded in 1984 as GF55 Architects, the firm offers a complete range of architectural design services. Based in New York City with an office in Miami Florida, GF55 has successfully completed projects throughout the United States. For more information, visit: www.gf55.com
About Citi Community Capital: Citi Community Capital (CCC) is a premier financial partner with nationally recognized expertise in financing all types of affordable housing and community reinvestment projects. CCC's origination, structuring, asset and risk management staff across the country provides creative financing solutions designed to meet their clients' needs. CCC helps community development financial institutions, real estate developers, national intermediaries and nonprofit organizations achieve their goals through a broad, integrated platform of debt and equity offerings. Additional information may be found at www.citicommunitycapital.com