Work Set to Begin on 206-unit Project in Bronx

Crain’s New York Business

November 20, 2013

The first phase of the project, called Soundview Family Housing, is a $47 million, 120-unit affordable development for families. It will rise on city-owned land, according to the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which is working jointly with the New York City Housing Authority and developers CPC Resources, Lemle & Wolff and L+M Development Partners. Construction of a new road will also take place during the first phase.

“We are excited. This is part of the initiative to bring much-needed affordable housing to the Bronx with access to Soundview Park,” said Eric Enderlin, deputy commissioner for development at the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development, referring to the nearby 205-acre greenspace along the Bronx River.

The development site, which is also a stone’s throw from the Bronx River and a city composting facility, is a strip of vacant land owned by NYCHA, and wraps around three-quarters of the authority’s Soundview Houses complex starting from the corner of Rosedale and Lacombe avenues.

Next month, the city hopes to close on the second phase of the project and break ground weeks later. That phase will entail an eight-story, $34 million property called Soundview Senior Housing. It will offer 85 one-bedroom affordable housing units that will be largely subsidized with Section 8 vouchers.

A third phase of the project that could create 16 townhouses that would house two families each, according to Mr. Enderlin, though the go-ahead will depend on market conditions.

The various parties to the project hailed it as further proof of the success of a decade-long agreement between HPD and NYCHA as part of the mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, which set a goal of constructing and preserving 165,000 units of affordable housing. According to HPD, 95% of that goal has now been met and the partnership between HPD and NYCHA has specifically created about 2,500 units with about 1,500 more in the pipeline on the Housing Authority’s land.

Recently, NYCHA land has played a more crucial role in city-sponsored affordable projects as other vacant municipal property becomes scarcer.

“I think this project is a great example of the kind of partnerships that are created under the mayor’s New Housing Marketplace plan to finance and development housing,” said former HPD Commissioner Rafael Cestero, now president of the nonprofit Community Preservation Corporation, of which the for-profit CPC Resources is a part.

But in this instance, NYCHA and HPD were just part of the equation, according to Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea.

“These projects tend to be a potpourri of funding sources and partnerships,” he said. For Soundview, NYCHA is providing the land and Section 8 vouchers, while HPD and the city Housing Development Corporation are orchestrating subsidized financing for the project, according to Mr. Rhea.

The project is also set up to tap the three affordable developers in different stages of the project.

CPC Resources is doing the financing for the project, while L+M will construct the project, and Lemle & Wolff will then manage the property once it’s opened.

This particular development is not only prioritized for local families making 60% or less of area median income, meaning a family of four making about $51,500 or less would qualify. It will also serve as space for families on NYCHA’s waiting list, and others who need to move to more appropriately sized apartments.

The project’s abundant open space will be a major plus, according to Lemle & Wolff’s Michael Sturmer.

“The fact that this setting has more open space and is going to be across from Soundview Park is going to give it an environment and community that you may not find in other, more densely populated neighborhoods in the city,” he said.