Manhattan, NY – July 22, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Rafael Cestero together with New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Marc Jahr, Artimus Construction Principal Robert Ezrapour and Citi National Director, North America Community Relations, Gina Doynow today announced the completion of Susan’s Court, a 125-unit mixed-income housing development in Central Harlem. Developed under HPD’s Cornerstone Program – a multifamily new construction initiative designed to facilitate the creation of mixed income housing on City-owned land – Susan’s Court was also financed by HDC’s New Housing Opportunity Program (New HOP), one of a number of programs created to fund the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing. The creation 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.
Located at 454 Manhattan Avenue, Susan’s Court is situated in one of Manhattan’s most historic neighborhoods, just steps away from Morningside Park, Columbia University and Barnard University, and mere minutes from Central Park. The 8-story elevator apartment building offers 125 rental units and 40 underground parking spaces. It includes 24 studios, 33 one-bedrooms, 63 two-bedrooms, 4 three-bedrooms, and 1 two-bedroom unit for the superintendent. Fifty middle-income units have been set aside for families at or below 250 percent of the HUD Income Limits ($192,000 for a family of four or $134,000 for an individual), 21 low-income units at or below 50 percent of the HUD Income Limits ($38,400 for a family of four or $26,900 for an individual), 4 low-income units at or below 40 percent of the HUD Income Limits ($30,750 for a family of four or $21,500 for an individual) and 49 market-rate units. Susan’s Court amenities include on-site laundry and tenant storage facilities, a fitness center and a private courtyard with wonderfully landscaped gardens and beautiful wood decks. The site was developed by Artimus Construction LLC, a community developer with 30 years of experience and very active in Central Harlem.
“Together with HDC, Artimus Construction and Citi, we have built a development that exemplifies the continued transformation underway in Central Harlem,” said HPD Commissioner Cestero. “Through collaborations like these, the City will continue to channel its resolve to build affordable housing. In so doing, our aim is to strengthen and stabilize New York City neighborhoods, and Susan’s Court indicates the imminent materialization of this long-term vision.”
“HDC is always proud to play a role in helping to develop the kind of quality affordable housing that is being offered here at Susan’s Court,” said Marc Jahr. “What’s more, we are particularly pleased to have been a part of creating such a fitting tribute to Susan Ponce de Leon, a woman who gave so much of herself trying to help others.”
Susan’s Court was named in honor of the late Susan Ponce de Leon, a twenty-year staff member and Assistant Commissioner of the HPD who died in 2006. Mrs. Ponce de Leon dedicated herself to the project from its earliest stages. She exemplified the spirit of public service, once saying that she could never negotiate as hard for herself as she did on behalf of the HPD. In the affordable housing community, which continues to struggle with the loss of Susan, a scholarship in her memory was founded to support and mentor promising young people who possess the virtues Susan embodied: commitment to public service, leadership, energy, ingenuity and compassion. The scholarship is offered to a graduate student pursuing an MPA at Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs to allow the recipient to pursue graduate level studies in nonprofit administration, policy analysis and evaluation, and public management. A plaque honoring Susan was also unveiled at the ceremony.
“The unveiling of this plaque at Susan’s Court commends the efforts of Susan Ponce de Leon, for the affordable housing opportunities that she was influential in creating,” said New York State Senator Bill Perkins.
Susan’s Court was developed at a total cost of $42,192,420. This includes $24M in tax exempt bonds and proceeds provided by HDC. Citi provided the credit-enhancement necessary to support the bonds. HDC also provided $4.94M in the form of a second mortgage. HPD contributed $1.3M in Capital funds, as well as $1.76 in HOME funds.
“We are proud to be part of this important project in Harlem and remain an active member of our local communities throughout the country. Despite challenging times, Citi is committed to helping families and revitalizing neighborhoods. We thank our community partners for their vision and dedication and we look forward to continuing our work together,” said Gina Doynow, National Director, Citi’s North America Community Relations.
NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
HPD’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. It is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing. HPD also actively promotes the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd.
NYC Department of Housing Development Corporation (HDC)
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) provides a variety of financing programs for the creation and preservation of multi-family affordable housing throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Our programs are designed to meet the wide-range of affordable housing needs of the City’s economically diverse population.
Artimus Construction LLP
Since our founding in 1979, Artimus has continuously expanded services to respond to our clients’ needs. We build quality, on schedule, and within budget. Artimus maintains a corporate office in New York and several field offices with a staff of more than 70 employees. We are one of New York’s most successful and driven development real estate companies. Artimus’ growth stems from positive interaction with the community; we seek to engage and promote the neighborhoods, working with local not-for-profit and governmental institutions, city agencies, subcontractors and community groups. Artimus has succeeded in providing strong profits for investors and better housing and communities for its residents. Over our 30 year history, Artimus has fostered relationships employing local contractors and contributing to the local trade schools. Artimus has constructed over two million square feet in new mid-rise and high-rise projects that include residential, commercial, retail, and mixed used properties. We are committed to ensuring that each project respects the quality-of-life issues of its neighbors during and after construction.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries. Through its two operating units, Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com <http://www.citi.com>.
New York City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
The 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.
Contact: Seth McM. Donlin, HPD (212) 788-2958 donlins (at) hpd.nyc (dot) gov
Christina Sanchez, HDC (212) 227-2644 csanchez (at) nychdc (dot) com
Andrea Hurst, Citi (212) 559-4767 andrea.hurst (at) citi (dot) com