NEW YORK, NY – June 25, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) – Today the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. (WHGA), a 39-year-old Community Development Corporation celebrated the completed renovation and reopening of the Mannie L. Wilson Towers Senior Residence, located at 565 Manhattan in Avenue. The complex is named for the Reverend Mannie L. Wilson, the pastor of the Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem and a former president of the Council of Churches of the City of New York, who died in 1982 at the age of 76.
The Mannie Wilson Towers was formerly known as Sydenham Hospital, which was built in 1925. The hospital was the first medical facility in the City to voluntarily to hire black physicians , beginning in 1943. After being closed by the City in 1980, building was reclaimed for senior citizen’s housing through the HUD 202 Program for use as restricted income senior citizen housing with the assistance of Congressman Charles B. Rangel, who secured the waiver to transform the disused medical center into affordable housing.
HDC provided approximately $9.95 million for the renovation. HDC President Marc Jahr said: “Over the years, Mannie Wilson Towers has proved to be as significant a community fixture as Sydenham Hospital was before it. The City made a major commitment investing the adaptive reuse that first created this housing. I am proud that HDC has contributed to this lasting legacy.”
The complex is located on the West side of Manhattan Avenue between West 123rd Street and West 124th Streets in Central Harlem. The $9.95 million moderate renovation of Mannie Wilson Towers has preserved 102 units of badly needed affordable housing, including 46 studio apartments, 55 one-bedroom units at 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and one additional one bedroom apartments reserved for a superintendent. The completed project now also contains commercial space leased to Columbia University Health Care, Inc. and leases exterior space for a Sprint wireless antenna. The preservation of affordable housing in neighborhoods across New York City is part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods. HDC estimates that the renovation of Mannie Wilson Towers was responsible for creating 223 jobs over a period of two years.
Donald C. Notice, Executive Director stated: “West Harlem Group Assistance (WHGA) continues to advance its’ affordable Housing and Preservation agendas. WGA, being one of the oldest Community Development Corporations, has a preservation agenda that will allow us to preserve availability for another 30 years in 545 units by the year 2012. For nearly 40 years WHGA has worked to stem the deterioration of Harlem’s housing stock and so helped families who were committed to living in Harlem grow with neighborhood”.
About West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc.
West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. (WHGA) a community based development corporation was established nearly 40 years ago to revitalize the under-invested West and Central Harlem Communities- riddled and dilapidated and/or abandoned buildings. Ironically, as Harlem over the past several years has seen an influx of new businesses and investments, WHGA’s primary function has been to quell the impact of such rapid gentrification on the community’s existing residents. WHGA’s core efforts include affordable housing development and preservation as well as asset building initiatives including Homeownership and small business development.These endeavors are reinforced by our supportive social services programs, including homeless shelters, senior citizen residences, a multi-service facility, early childhood intervention, financial literacy programs, an education/technology initiative, financial literacy and small business development.For more information visit our website at www.WHGAINC.ORG.
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) provides a variety of financing programs for the creation and preservation of multi-family housing that meets the wide range of affordable housing needs of the City’s economically diverse population. It is the nation’s number one issuer of affordable housing bonds. In 2008, HDC issued more than $1.3 billion worth of bonds in the calendar year, including approximately $500 million in tax-exempt housing revenue bonds, enabling HDC to finance the construction and/or preservation of 7,371 apartments. HDC, along with HPD, is implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing for 500,000 New Yorkers. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history. For more information visit www.nychdc.com.
About New York City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
The City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city’s economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. To learn more about the plan, visit www.nyc.gov.
Christina Sanchez (HDC), (212)-227-2644, csanchez (at) nychdc (dot) com