FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2023
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Over $222 Million in Capital Repair Needs Will Be Addressed for More than 2,900 Residents by PACT Partners Chosen by Manhattanville Resident Leaders
NYCHA and resident leaders selected Apex Building Group, Gilbane Development Company, and West Harlem Group Assistance as the development team to carry out comprehensive repairs at the campus
The PACT project builds on the more than $2 billion driven in 2022 to renovate over 8,500 apartments across 17 developments, with support from the Adams administration
NEW YORK – The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today announced that over $222 million in capital repair needs will be addressed for more than 2,900 residents of the Manhattanville campus in West Harlem through the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program, which will greatly improve conditions at the development. As an early step in this process, in partnership with resident leaders, NYCHA designated Apex Building Group – a Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) – Gilbane Development Company, and the non-profit organization West Harlem Group Assistance (WHGA) to begin the process of carrying out this important work, which will renovate 1,272 apartments. Gilbane Development Company and Apex Building Group will also lead as the General Contractors and ELH Mgmt. LLC will serve as the day-to-day property manager when the property converts to Project-Based Section 8. The selection of the PACT partners was made by a resident review committee after an extensive community engagement process beginning in the summer of 2021. Committee members reviewed and compared proposals and conducted interviews with proposing teams. The selected partner team will spend the next several months coordinating in-unit inspections and assessments of common areas as well as maintenance facilities. Construction is slated to start in the summer of 2024.
“Congratulations to the nearly 3,000 Manhattanville residents who are getting the major repairs and high-quality homes they deserve,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This project is a win-win — delivering critical upgrades at scale while supporting minority- and women-owned businesses and an inclusive economic future for our City.”
“The City celebrates this major step in rehabilitating the Manhattanville campus, and seeing the ongoing work of tenant decision-making in preserving NYCHA,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “The tenants have led the PACT partnership and chosen the development team according to their needs and priorities. This level of tenant-led work is key to Mayor Adams’ vision for NYCHA, outlined in Housing Our Neighbors: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness. We look forward to the completion of Manhattanville’s renovations and other successful tenant-led renovation projects.”
“With a strong network of established non-profit organizations experienced in affordable housing development and a number of MBE firms based in the neighborhood, Harlem is a strong anchor for realizing the potential of the PACT program,” said NYCHA Interim CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “Thanks to today’s designation, Manhattanville residents will receive substantial quality-of-life improvements to their homes and common spaces.”
“We are excited to move forward with resident leaders at Manhattanville to realize this large-scale investment for their campus,” said NYCHA Executive Vice President of Real Estate Development Jonathan Gouveia. “The selected partner team has responded directly to the priorities of this community, and we look forward to seeing their partnership and work continue.”
“I strongly feel this is the best thing that has happened to Manhattanville,” said Veronica Nieves, president, Manhattanville Houses Resident Association. “We need a change quickly. I am very thankful for the support provided to us through this process. We are looking forward to getting to work with our residents and the new PACT partners to bring these much-needed changes to our community.”
During the resident engagement process, Manhattanville tenants shared their concerns over chronic plumbing issues and leaks, elevator outages, broken lobby doors, lighting, and general safety and security across the buildings and grounds. They also expressed a desire to see improvements and reactivation of outdoor open space and shared community spaces. Slated improvements will address those concerns and include upgrades to lobbies, hallways, community spaces, and building security and access control, as well as updates to the heating and cooling systems, water and plumbing, ventilation, and elevator systems. Every apartment will be completely renovated with new kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, windows, and other interventions to enhance residents’ comfort and quality of life. The proposed scope also includes a plan to reactivate public areas through installations like planting improvements and garden programming, seating and table improvements, exercise equipment, ballfield renovation, and . Additionally, residents can expect to receive a complete renovation of the existing laundry room at the campus and the addition of two additional laundry facilities, as well as design strategies to deliver on necessary accessibility upgrades.
“Apex is proud to have been selected with our partners Gilbane Development Co. and West Harlem Group to become a part of the Manhattanville Family,” said Apex CEO Lee Brathwaite. “Our partnership provides us the opportunity to improve the lives of the Manhattanville residents and help enhance their community!”
Founded in 1971, West Harlem Group Assistance is a community-based development corporation that was established to stimulate investment in West and Central Harlem during a time when there were a number of dilapidated properties in the area. In addition to affordable housing redevelopment, the non-profit organization also provides homebuying counseling and rental assistance.
Gilbane Development Company is a national firm with experience leveraging public-private partnerships to revitalize under-utilized land assets as well as utilizing sustainable methods of design, construction, and long-term operations. Gilbane Development Company has worked with the Authority in the past, serving as part of the development team responsible for bringing comprehensive repairs to 648 units across 15 buildings at Twin Parks West (Sites 1 & 2), Franklin Avenue I Conventional, Franklin Avenue II Conventional, Franklin Avenue III Conventional, Highbridge Rehabs (Anderson Avenue), and Highbridge Rehabs (Nelson Avenue).
Apex Building Group is a MBE-certified, full service, licensed, insured, and bonded general contracting, construction management, and real estate development company. Founded in 1997 by Robert Horsford, this is the firm’s second designation as a project partner in the calendar year, as it was also tapped to oversee the renovation of Audubon Houses, Bethune Gardens, and Marshall Plaza in January.
The PACT repairs will be supported in part from capital generated by the sale of 280,000 square feet of development rights to adjacent property owners. The Authority closed on the sale of nearby development rights in October of last year. The sale of development rights will enable the owner of an adjacent lot to build a new mixed-used building at 1440 Amsterdam Avenue. The new building will include approximately 120 rent-restricted apartments, with current NYCHA residents receiving priority for 25 percent of the apartments. Among the other features are a new ground-floor supermarket and retail space, a dedicated community space for Manhattanville residents, and an indoor parking garage with 28 spaces reserved for NYCHA residents. The supermarket will restore a local supermarket that was shuttered after a fire in November 2013.
The PACT program transitions developments from traditional public housing assistance to the more stable, federally funded Project-Based Section 8 program — unlocking funding for designated PACT partners to complete comprehensive repairs. In 2022, the PACT program drove $2 billion in large-scale improvements for NYCHA residents in 8,531 apartments across 17 developments. With today’s designation, 138 NYCHA developments and 38,249 apartments are in either the engagement or pre-development process, under construction, or have received comprehensive repairs through the PACT program. The Authority is working to include 62,000 apartments in the PACT program in order to bring the benefits of comprehensive apartment repairs and building upgrades, as well as enhanced property management and social services, to more than 142,000 residents.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest public housing authority in North America, was created in 1935 to provide decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. NYCHA is home to roughly 1 in 16 New Yorkers across over 177,000 apartments within 335 housing developments. NYCHA serves over 339,000 residents through the conventional public housing program (Section 9), over 29,000 residents at developments that have been converted to PACT/RAD, and over 92,000 families through federal rent subsidies (the Section 8 Leased Housing Program). In addition, NYCHA connects residents to opportunities in financial empowerment, business development, career advancement, and educational programs. With a housing stock that spans all five boroughs, NYCHA is a city within a city.