Yonkers, NY Fifty-one families now have new energy efficient apartment homes with the grand opening of 188 Warburton Ave. The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) a leading non-profit developer of mixed-income housing and the Municipal Housing Authority joined with public officials and community members to celebrate at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“Today’s opening points to the positive momentum occurring right now in Yonkers as we revitalize our neighborhoods and improve the lives of the residents who live here,” said mayor Mike Spano. “We are building a stronger, a more sustainable community for residents, thanks to the support of our federal, state, private and our local community partners for their commitment to Yonkers and we look forward to the great improvements that will be made to this very deserving neighborhood.”
The five-story, $27 million development is phase II of a six-phase redevelopment of Cottage Place Gardens. The building has rental apartments for families of all incomes with free on-site parking, dishwashers, air conditioning, a landscaped courtyard, on-site laundry facilities, and excellent views of the Hudson River and Palisades.
“We are proud of creating beautiful new homes for families of a wide range of incomes,” said Bev Bates, senior vice president of development at TCB. “Our partners, the Municipal Housing Authority for the city of Yonkers and the city of Yonkers, and the continued support of HCR make this work possible.”
The building replaced two distressed buildings at the Cottage Place Gardens public housing complex and remediated a contaminated brownfield as part of a broader effort to revitalize Southwest Yonkers. New trees and landscaping, a private courtyard, community spaces on the ground level, and the acquisition and development of vacant property along Warburton Ave. reinvigorates pedestrian activity and reconnects the property to the street grid.
The energy efficient property is expected to achieve a minimum of LEED for Homes Silver certification, as well as earning NYSERDA New Construction Program accreditation and the Energy Star label. High efficiency LED lighting and PTAC units are installed throughout the complex. The construction includes recycled content materials, high efficiency HVAC equipment, and entailed the remediation of a brownfield.
“Today we celebrate the completion of the first step in an ambitious vision for Yonkers public housing,” said Luigi D’Ancona, director of HUD’s New York Office of Public Housing. “The model they have embraced – leveraging financing from multiple sources and forming strong partnerships throughout government and the private sector – will preserve and renew these vital assets for the next generation of residents. I congratulate executive director Joe Schuldiner and mayor Spano for having the foresight and leadership to pursue this forward-thinking strategy.”
“I am pleased to witness the continued efforts of revitalization in Southwest Yonkers all while preserving and protecting the families of varying incomes,” said Gary Pretlow, assembly member, New York State.
“I grew up in public housing; I appreciate how important affordable housing projects like this are. House prices have skyrocketed and there’s a severe shortage of places where people can afford to live. The Community Builders have taken responsibility for an enormous task by redeveloping Cottage Place Gardens, and it’s very exciting to stand with them as they complete the second phase of the project,” said Andrea Stewart-Cousins, senator, New York State.
“The Municipal Housing Authority and its residents are excited to see the continued development of Cottage Place Gardens with the opening of 188 Warburton. The new building reconnects Cottages Place Gardens to the community and continues construction of new affordable housing for the residents of the MHACY and Yonkers,” said Joe Shuldiner, executive director of the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers.
Significant funding for 188 Warburton came from Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) which provides incentives for the use of private equity in affordable housing developments. Other financing was provided by the New York State Housing Finance Agency, City of Yonkers, MHACY, NYSERDA, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and TCB. Community Capital New York provided critical early predevelopment financing.
As part of the $20 billion initiative included in the 2016-17 Enacted Budget, 188 Warburton Apartments is an example of housing solutions created to combat homelessness and expand access to affordable housing in New York State. Governor Cuomo recently directed New York State Division of the Budget Director Robert Mujica to execute a memorandum of understanding to release $2 billion in funding to create more than 100,000 units of affordable and supportive housing over the next five years. The executed agreement is now before the New York State Senate and Assembly for action.
James Rubin, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, said, “We are proud to celebrate the continued revitalization of the Croton Heights neighborhood and the Cottage Place Gardens housing complex with the completion of 188 Warburton Apartments. By preserving and reinventing our aging but vital public housing, we can ensure that more New Yorkers have access to safe, affordable homes in thriving, inclusive communities like Southwest Yonkers. Governor Cuomo’s sweeping affordable housing and homeless plans will allow HCR and our partners to do even more to preserve and create affordable housing opportunities across the state.”
The 188 Warburton development is the second phase of a six phase initiative aimed at redeveloping the Cottage Place Gardens public housing complex and revitalizing Southwest Yonkers. Phase I, the $63 million Schoolhouse Terrace development on Ashburton Ave., broke ground in 2013 and was completed in April 2015. Schoolhouse Terrace was the first step in a comprehensive effort to redevelop the western end of the Ashburton corridor and was created in collaboration with the city, the state and HUD. The third phase of this development effort, 209 Warburton Ave. will create homes for 70 Yonkers families. TCB plans to break ground in spring 2017 pending receipt of financing from HCR.