FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES FIRST AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN GREENPOINT-WILLIAMSBURG WATERFRONT AREA
Mayor Bloomberg also announces Completion of $47 Million Building With 140 units for Low Income Rental at Schaefer Landing
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and State Assembly Member Vito J. Lopez announced today that the City will provide up to $8 million in capital funds and the City and State will generate $17 million in housing tax credits for Phase I of the construction of 117 units of affordable housing for low- and moderate- income families at Palmer’s Dock at Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Palmer’s Dock is the first waterfront development resulting from the rezoning of Greenpoint-Williamsburg. The Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning opens two miles of waterfront to create 54 acres of open space, including a continuous public esplanade and a 28-acre park, while also preventing inappropriate heavy industrial uses. The plan creates 10,800 new units of much-needed housing, and through a powerful combination of zoning incentives, housing programs, and city-owned land, 3,500 of those units will be affordable due to inclusionary zoning.
“Our administration has looked to underused and abandoned stretches of our City’s shoreline as the source of new affordable housing, new parks, and thriving new businesses – the keys to a greater New York,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Today, we unlock the first doors of a dynamic new mix-use community – Palmer’s Dock. Because of our groundbreaking inclusionary zoning – the most aggressive of its kind in the nation – will be able to build up to 900 units of housing on the site, of which 117 is to be set aside for low- and moderate- income families. The affordable housing at Palmer’s Dock is part of the most ambitious and successful effort in actually creating affordable housing in a quarter century.”
The 117 affordable units in Phase I at Palmer’s Dock are a part of the approximately 900 units to be built for the development. Construction of the affordable units at Palmer’s Dock, located at 164 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, is to begin August 2006 and will be completed in 2008. Palmer’s Dock is a Joint Venture Partnership between L&M Equity Participants and Dunn Development.
Development at Palmer’s Dock will be assisted in financing with State and City allocations. The New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal is providing $11 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development is allocating $6 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits and up to $8 million in HPD funds. Further affordable homes will be part of future development stages. The affordable units at Palmer’s Dock will be counted towards the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace plan.
Mayor Bloomberg and Assembly Member Lopez also announced today the completion of a $47 million low-income rental building at Schaefer Landing on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg Brooklyn. The Schaefer Landing development will include 350 apartments in two buildings, of which 140 will be low-income rental units and 210 will be market-rate condominiums. Schaefer Landing also includes 12,000 square feet of commercial space. Some of the tenants who will occupy some of the 140 affordable rental units which are set aside for families earning up to $37,680 were welcomed to their homes today at Schaefer Landing. All tenants for the affordable units at Schaefer Landing have been or will be selected by lottery with at least half of the apartments being rented to current residents of Williamsburg. Over 100 families have been selected so far out of thousands of applications received.
The City paid the cost for the environmental remediation and demolition at Schaefer Landing which enabled developers to set aside 40% of the total 350 units for affordable rental housing. The City allocated $2 million, New York State’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal provided $36 million in tax credits and the remainder of the project’s $9 million was privately financed. The developer for both the affordable and market rate units at Schaefer Landing is Kent Waterfront Associates, a joint venture of BFC Partners, L&M Equity Participants and Allstate Realty Associates LLC. Financing is provided by the New York Community Bank, JP Morgan Chase, and the New York State Housing Finance Agency with low-income housing tax credits syndicated by WNC Associates.
“Finding affordable housing is a challenge for New York City’s families, and that’s why Mayor Bloomberg has focused on creating tools that will harness the strength of the city’s housing market to build and preserve affordable homes,” said HPD Commissioner Donovan. “One of the best examples of these tools is the aggressive inclusionary zoning program developed as part of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning. During the rezoning process the local community expressed concerns about whether affordable housing would be created and whether inclusionary zoning works. This development shows that it does. The successful financing of Palmer’s Dock is clear evidence that our programs are working and that a new, vibrant mixed-income community will soon be made real on the Brooklyn waterfront.”
“Today, we are one step closer toward reclaiming and renewing Brooklyn’s East River waterfront,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff. “With Schaefer Landing, we celebrate a project that inspired the historic Greenspoint-Williamsburg rezoning and with Palmer’s Dock, we celebrate a project that signifies the fruit of that rezoning. Both projects have brought together the public and private sectors to achieve two of the Administration's most important priorities - affordable housing and access to the waterfront. They are enormous wins for Williamsburg residents, and for all New Yorkers.”
“It is thrilling to witness the birth of a new waterfront for both Williamsburg and for Greenpoint thanks to the extraordinary collaboration between the Bloomberg administration and the community,” said City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden. “It is especially gratifying to achieve the goals of our rezoning so soon - reclaiming this abandoned waterfront for much-needed housing affordable to a range of incomes as well as for public use and enjoyment. Today's announcement regarding Palmer's Dock, an affordable housing development made possible by our inclusionary zoning and HPD housing programs, shows what can be accomplished when communities, government and the private sector work together on a shared vision.”
“New York City continues to attract the best, brightest, and most hard-working families in the world to its boroughs,” said New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal Commissioner Judith Calogero. “Because of its world class status and appeal, the need for affordable housing has never been more critical. Mayor Bloomberg understands this and Governor Pataki is committed to supporting his effort to create 86,000 opportunities in the coming years. Today's celebration and the state's allocation of resources for Palmer's Dock further demonstrates that commitment and will help bring the Mayor closer to this laudable and achievable goal.”
“BFC has a 25-year history of building mixed-income housing in neighborhoods that have spanned from the South Bronx to the East Village and now the Williamsburg waterfront,” said Don Capoccia, Managing Partner of BFC Partners. “At Schaefer Landing, we worked with Mayor Bloomberg and his administration to raise the affordable housing bar even higher and create an economically diverse and flourishing addition to the neighborhood. We are especially proud that Schaefer has been met with such widespread praise and support within the Williamsburg community.”
“I'd like to credit Mayor Bloomberg for his vision in proposing the redevelopment of Williamsburg-Greenpoint, inclusive of affordable housing and public waterfront access, and praise the dedication and hard work he and his professional staff at HPD, City Planning, and Parks have exerted to make the vision a reality,” said Palmer’s Dock Development Principal Ron Moelis. “As a result of their efforts L & M equity and RD Management along with Citibank financing, expect to start construction in a few months on an affordable housing development of 117 units and a waterfront condominium building. By year end we also expect to unveil plans to provide public access to a beautifully landscaped waterfront esplanade.”
“After so many years, we have finally been able to successfully transform vacant City-owned land into a beautiful housing development that creates low income and market rate housing for all people in our community,” said United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg President Rabbi David Niederman. “The Schaefer development is a wonderful model of what can be achieved when the private, government and not for profit sector work together to produce these much needed affordable units.”
Joining Mayor Bloomberg and State Assembly member Vito Lopez in heralding the on-going development of affordable housing in Greenpoint-Williamsburg was City Council members David Yassky and Diana Reyna, Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan and New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) Commissioner Judith Calogero, City Planning Commission Director Amanda M. Burden, L&M Equity Principal Ron Moelis, BFC Partners Managing Partner Don Capoccia and United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg President Rabbi David Niederman.
Edward Skyler/Paul Elliott (212) 788-2958
Carol Abrams (Housing Preservation and Development)
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