The City Planning Commission heard testimony on four developments, containing 224 units, to be 100 percent affordable housing for at least 30 years. On January 10, 2017, the City Planning Commission held hearings on four Department of Housing Preservation and Development applications to dispose of city-owned properties in order to facilitate four new housing developments. Each development—three in Harlem and one in Sunset Park—will contain varying levels of affordability under HPD loan structures.
This new seven-story mixed-use building, to be developed by the Lemor Realty Corporation, would be located at 225 West 140th Street in Central Harlem, Manhattan. The building would reach approximately 71 feet in height and contain 21,600 square feet of flooring. 19,000 square feet would be for residential use and 2,600 square feet for a community facility. The proposal does not require a Zoning Resolution or Zoning Map amendment, however, the property had been previously disposed for an unbuilt project, requiring the City to re-acquire and re-designate the site as an Urban Development Action Area Project.
The building’s planned 20 units would be 100 percent affordable for 30 years, afterwards only two units would remain affordable permanently. The units would have three tiers of affordability: five units targeted for families at 57 percent; twelve units at 80 percent; and, 3 units at 130 percent of the average median income.
The planned tenant for the community facility space is Street Corner Resources, a local gang-violence prevention program.
The Robeson development, to be developed by the Lemor Realty Corporation simultaneously with the Leroy development, would be located at 407-415 Lenox Avenue, and include frontage on both the western edge of Lenox Avenue and along the southern edge of West 131st Street. The application would facilitate the construction of a ten-story building, approximately 110 feet in height, and containing 82,419 square feet of flooring. 72,155 square feet would be for residential use, 7,555 square feet for commercial use, and 2,600 square feet for community facilities. The site is currently comprised of both city-owned and privately-owned property.
The building’s planned 79 units would be 100 percent affordable for 30 years, afterwards 22 units would remain affordable permanently. The units would have three tiers of affordability: 20 units targeted for families at 57 percent; 18 units at 80 percent; and, 40 units at 130 percent of the average median income.
Of the community facility floor area, 680 square feet would become additional office space for Street Corner Resources, which plans to house their main office the Leroy at 225 West 140th Street. 1,759 square feet would be used by New Hope Spring Grove Downtown Baptist Church of Christ for worship and social service programs.
Gale Brewer, Manhattan’s Borough President, recommended disapproval of the application unless the developer and HPD reached an agreement to lower the building by ten to twenty feet and make the percentage of permanently affordable units of housing equal to the percentage of city-owned property at both the Robeson and Leroy sites.
The new development would be a 15-story, 76,608 square foot building at 2395 Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. Currently, the site consists of seven privately-owned lots and one city-owned lot. An undersized Bravo supermarket operates on two of the lots.
The developer intends to receive an HPD loan under the agency’s Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability Program. The building’s planned 75 units would be 100 percent affordable for 30 years, afterwards 19 units would remain affordable permanently. The units would have five tiers of affordability: 8 units targeted for families at 30 percent; 11 units at 40 percent; 11 units at 50 percent; 39 units at 60 percent; and, 6 units at 90 percent of the average median income.
The developer also sought a FRESH certification—which allows a developer to guarantee supermarket retail space in exchange for a residential bulk bonus—to allow it to request a five foot height increase to allow for the 150 foot building height. The Bravo supermarket would reopen in the new structure.
Sunset Park Library
This proposal would construct an eight-story mixed-use building containing 50 new units of affordable housing. The development would contain 72,000 square feet of floor space, however, 20,755 square feet is slated for an extension of the Sunset Park Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Currently, the site is occupied by the Library in a one-story building. The existing Library branch has a $5 million outstanding, unfunded capital need, which includes the replacement of the HVAC system, improvements to the roof, and an expansion of its electrical outlets. The project would provide the Library with new facilities on the first and second floors of the building and in the cellar.
The building’s planned 50 units would be 100 percent affordable. Only one-fifth of the units would be guaranteed to remain affordable permanently under the City inclusionary housing law. The City’s disposition to the developer does contain a soft guarantee from the developer, Fifth Avenue Committee, to keep all units affordable for the life of the company as it is a non-profit affordable housing development entity. The units would have five tiers of affordability: nine units at 30 percent; nine units at 40 percent; nine units at 50 percent; twelve units at 60 percent; and, ten units at 80 percent of the average median income.
The City Planning Commission will issue its reports on the applications in the coming weeks. The City Council and the Mayor will then need to approve the proposals.
CPC: Hearings on the Leroy, Robeson, Frederick and Sunset Park Library Developments (ULURP Nos. 1700048 HAM, 170049 PQM, 170051 HAM, 170050 ZMM, 170052 ZRM, 170081 ZMM, 170082 ZRM, 170085 HAM, 170097 HAK, 170098 PPK, and 170099 PQK) (Jan. 4, 2017).
By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).