Yonkers Mayor Spano and The Community Builders Break Ground at 188 Warburton
By Hezi Aris
The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) a leading nonprofit developer of mixed-income housing and the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY) joined with public officials and community members to break ground on 188 Warburton, phase II of the redevelopment of the Cottage Place Gardens housing complex.
“Today’s groundbreaking 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 Yonkers 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 look forward to the great improvements that will be made to this very deserving neighborhood.”
The $27 million development will create 51 affordable rental apartments, and is expected to generate 100 construction jobs. Located at 188 Warburton Ave., the new 62,000-square foot, LEED-certified development will replace two distressed buildings as part of a broader effort to revitalize Southwest Yonkers.
“We are proud to deepen our commitment to the city of Yonkers with the transformation of 188 Warburton into modern, energy efficient, workforce housing,” said Bart Mitchell, president and CEO of The Community Builders, Inc. “The 188 Warburton development will be platform for opportunity for residents as well as a driver of revitalization for the neighborhood.”
The building will include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with affordable rents for families and will offer 79 parking spaces. Other amenities include a community room, in-unit dishwashers, a play area, and on-site laundry.
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, HUD, MHACY, and TCB.
“The authority is pleased to be able to be working with the City of Yonkers, and our State, Federal and private partners to continue the effort to redevelop the Ashburton Corridor. With this project, we have 227 new units of housing and $ 100 million in construction,” said Joe Shuldiner, executive director for the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers.
The modern, energy-efficient 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 will be completed by April 2015. 188 Warburton is designed to meet LEED accreditation and is enrolled in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Multifamily Performance Program, which requires a minimum energy savings of 15% over ASHRAE. The third phase of this development effort will create homes for 72 Yonkers families.
Yonkers City Council Member Christopher Johnson (District 1-D) added: “This groundbreaking represents the collaborative efforts of the public and private sectors and is an especially impressive partnership which will benefit the residents of the district I proudly represent. I commend the efforts of all who have contributed in the redevelopment of this community that will strengthen the fabric of the neighborhood and I applaud all who were instrumental in making this project possible. I am honored to be a part of the solution to the shortage of affordable housing units and local hiring opportunities in the district and the city at large. I hope that as we work to change the face of our great city we will continue to work collectively with community partners to meet community needs.”
“HUD launched Choice Neighborhoods in recognition that it isn’t enough to just replace public housing with new housing; we have to transform distressed neighborhoods into inclusive communities that connect people to opportunity,” said Holly Leicht, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “Aided in part by a combined $2.5 million from Choice, HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and HUD HOME funds, that transformation is underway in Croton Heights. Warburton Avenue is the spine of a comprehensive vision for the revitalization of this neighborhood, and today, we mark the beginning of its next phase, thanks to the ongoing commitment of Yonkers’ leadership.