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Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces M/WBE Firms Win Bids to Build Hundreds of Affordable Homes at Six City-Owned Sites

January 13, 2017

City land in three boroughs to become 100 percent affordable housing M/WBE projects; developments include space for a local farm, leadership academy, LGBT community center, tech incubator

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery and Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been today announced the selection of eight Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise teams to lead the construction of six new 100 percent affordable housing developments on vacant City-owned land. The developments will include about 440 homes for seniors and other New Yorkers with a variety of income levels, including extremely-low income and formerly homeless households.

The sites are located in the Bronx’s Melrose and Crotona Park East sections, Brooklyn’s East New York and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods, and Central Harlem.

“These Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise firms are offering first-rate projects that will serve a diverse set of New York communities and New Yorkers. I congratulate them, and expect to see important work from each of them as we continue to work together in the future to protect affordability and quality of life in all our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"Just shortly after announcing a 25-year high of affordable housing stock in New York City, we're enlisting the talent of Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses to continue building the equitable, affordable city we envision – a city that works with everyone and for everyone," said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Citywide M/WBE Director. “These skilled entrepreneurs will create new homes for more than 400 families while putting us well on track to fulfill the Administration's bold commitment to increase contracting opportunities for M/WBES."

Aimed at increasing contracting opportunities for M/WBE firms in City housing and economic development projects, HPD issued a Request for Qualifications to create a pre-qualified list of M/WBE developers. The development of these properties was specifically restricted to respondents from that list through a Request for Proposals. In addition to hundreds of homes, these developments will incorporate community space for a green market, a high school capacity building program for STEM students, a tech center and an LGBT community center.

With the creation of the Mayor’s Office of M/WBE’s, the City made a commitment to award at least 30 percent of the value of City contracts to M/WBE’s by 2021 and to double the number of certified M/WBE firms by 2019. The new office is working toward these goals by helping City agencies build and improve their M/WBE programs, increasing access to capital for M/WBEs, capping interest rates at 3 percent on City-financed loans, providing resources for additional capacity-building and technical assistance programs, and streamlining the M/WBE certification process.

A series of initiatives specifically to increase the role of M/WBEs in City housing and economic development projects includes the establishment of a $10 million predevelopment loan fund to help emerging firms secure financing to purchase land and get projects underway, and an additional $10 million fund to help those firms secure the bonds they need in order to qualify for City business.

Winning proposals in Brooklyn:

1921 Atlantic Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant will be developed by a team of M/WBE firms, Dabar Development Partners, LLC and Thorobird. The 25,762 square-foot site will be transformed into a mixed-use project with 183 affordable homes for seniors, and low- and moderate-income households. The project will feature a community facility operated by Oko Farms and NHS. A new fresh food grocery store will be created.

1510-1524 Broadway in Bedford-Stuyvesant will be developed by MacQuesten Construction Management. Partnering with the not-for-profit East Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation, the M/WBE will create 59 affordable homes for extremely-low income individuals on the 20,059 square-foot parcel.

461 Alabama Avenue in East New York will be developed by CB Emmanuel Realty. In partnership with the non-for-profit Services for Underserved, the M/WBE firm will transform the 10,000 square-foot lot into a supportive housing development, with 55 homes for formerly homeless and low-income households. The nonprofit will provide onsite supportive services for the homeless. The building will feature a recreation room, a landscaped yard and roof for resident use.

Winning proposals in the Bronx:

1490 Southern Boulevard Crotona Park East will be developed by Type A Real Estate Advisors, LLC, into a 95-unit senior housing development, affordable to senior households with incomes between $25,400 and $38,100. Working with the LGBT Network and the Jewish Association Serving the Aging, the project will offer support services for senior residents and a community space with programing for the LGBT community of all ages.

359 East 157th Street in Melrose will be developed by Infinite Horizons, LLC. With MBD Community Housing Corp., the M/WBE firm will build 20 affordable homes on the 4,700 square-foot parcel. The homes will be affordable to individuals with incomes between $50,750 and $63,500, and families with incomes between $65,250 and $81,600. The development will feature a green roof and solar panels.

Winning proposal in Manhattan:

263-267 West 126thStreet in Harlem will be developed by M/WBE firms Lemor Realty Corporation and Apex Building Group. The companies will build a passive-house development with 29 affordable homes on the 8,492 square-foot property. The project will house a restaurant and space for the tech incubator company Silicon Harlem, which offers the Apps Youth Leadership Academy, a seven-week course for high school students focused STEM education and enrichment.

“This is the first group of developers to take advantage of the City’s expanded resources for M/WBEs through our new innovative initiative, and to come out of our training programs with actual contracts for affordable housing projects,” said Jonnel Doris, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to do business with these entrepreneurs. It’s a big day for the City, making clear that an investment in M/WBEs is a benefit to all New Yorkers.”

“This administration is deeply committed to expanding the pool of developers helping us create and preserve affordable housing,” HPD Commissioner Vicki Been said. “The six M/WBE teams selected to develop these City-owned sites reflect the diversity of our great city and its neighborhoods. The winning developments will create 440 affordable apartments, including supportive housing, senior housing, and housing for the homeless in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. I want to congratulate CB Emmanuel Realty, Dabar Development Partners, MacQuesten Construction Management, Infinite Horizons, LLC, Type A Real Estate, and Lemor Realty and Apex Building Group on their designation and their partnership in developing quality affordable housing that will strengthen our neighborhoods.”

Housing Development Corporation President Eric Enderlin said, “HDC applauds HPD’s selection of M/WBE firms to develop six vacant City-owned sites into dynamic mixed-use affordable housing complexes. HDC is proud to support initiatives that increase opportunities for M/WBEs in the City’s affordable housing efforts. These latest designations will further strengthen the capacity of M/WBEs and diversify the affordable housing industry – key goals of the Mayor’s Housing New York plan.”

“Mayor de Blasio has made a historic commitment to Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises and our Department is proud to support this work. Under the Mayor’s leadership, our Department has helped the City reach a new all-time high of 4,500 M/WBE firms certified to contract with the City and our goal is to double this figure by 2019,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “City contractors should reflect the rich talents and diversity of our people and the firms hired today for these six affordable housing developments reflect the City’s ongoing commitment to this principle.”

“This is excellent news for the community and I am so excited to have 183 affordable units coming to my district in Bedford Stuyvesant. Every day the affordability crisis is having a very real, negative impact on our families, especially our children. I am pleased that we have committed city-owned property to meeting the housing needs of our residents and engaged M/WBE developers to take part in the effort to preserve affordability in communities across the city, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery said.

“Taking vacant city-owned land and turning it into affordable housing, constructed and supported by M/WBE firms is a winning move. As the father of MWBEs, having authored Local Law 1 and Local 129, during my time in the City Council, I support the City’s commitment to helping these businesses realize their full potential. Moving forward, I will continue to work with the Mayor and his administration to ensure that more affordable housing is generated with a fair share of contracts going to MWBEs,” State Senator James Sanders said.

“I am excited to see the selection of Minority and Woman Owned Business Enterprise teams to lead the construction of six new 100 percent affordable housing developments on vacant City-owned land,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, Chair of the Oversight Subcommittee on Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. “I am especially glad to see 440 units of new affordable housing combined with the commitment made by the City to award at least 30 percent of the value of City contracts, along with innovative social initiatives such as on-site supportive services for the homeless, a new fresh food grocery store, a green roof and solar panels, a community space with programming for the LGBT community, and a STEM education program.”

“One of the biggest challenges in New York City today is the crying need for affordable housing. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and his team for this important move, both for the new construction, as well as for increasing contract opportunities for pre-qualified M/WBE firms by issuing a targeted Request for Proposals. Let this be one of many more such projects, and by M/WBE firms,” Assembly Member Luis Sepulveda said.

"Congratulations to the selected contractors. Affordable housing is a critical need for Bedford Stuyvesant. This initiative represents the Mayor's commitment, not only for more housing, more jobs, but also the inclusion of M/WBE participation. The merging of all three is a winning combination," said Council Member Robert Cornegy, Chair of the Committee on Small Business. 

“I’m pleased to see the city’s commitment in continuing to expand the number of projects developed by M/WBE firms,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca. “It’s my hope that the six developments announced today will be followed by many more that will be constructed throughout the city in the years to come.”

“We applaud Mayor de Blasio for focusing significant resources to strengthen New York City neighborhoods. There are few better ways to do that than empowering minority businesses as leaders in the rebuilding of often disinvested in communities,” said Carlton A. Brown, Principal of Full Spectrum of NY and a member of the Mayor’s MWBE Advisory Council.

“I am so glad the Mayor is making decisions to build more affordable housing in a way that fulfills his stated goal of increasing affordable housing as well as contracting opportunities for M/WBEs. M/WBEs hire people of color so we also create jobs for our communities. What a win - win situation - additional employment opportunities as well as more housing for everyone,” said Bonnie Wong, President of Asian Women In Business.

“Community Board 3 lauds the de Blasio Administration for achieving the dual goal of building 100 percent affordable housing and using M/WBE firms as the lead developers. We are particularly pleased that the housing facilities will be affordable for the various segments of our community,” said Richard Flateau, Chair of Community Board 3 in Bedford Stuyvesant.

“Bravo to Mayor Bill de Blasio for keeping his word! He is building 100 percent affordable housing in East New York and using M/WBE firms to do it! I look forward to more projects like this coming to East New York,” Nikki Lucas, Female District Leader in the 60th Assembly District in Brooklyn and longtime East New York resident.

“The LGBT Network is excited to bring much needed programming and services to Bronx LGBT families that will help save lives and build a safer, stronger and healthier community. We are grateful for Mayor de Blasio’s continued vision and leadership in expanding opportunities for Minority- and Women-owned businesses and are proud that our expansion for the LGBT community is a part of this important initiative” said David Kilmnick, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of the LGBT Network.

“We are pleased with the Mayor's decision to support local MWBE'S here in the Bronx as well as the creation of new affordable housing. We believe this will rejuvenate the economics and help the underserved here in our Borough,” Russell Cheek, Community Organizer with Banana Kelly.

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