Governor’s Storm Recovery Program Brings 8 New Apartments and Retail Space to Aid in Recovery from Tropical Storm Lee
Investment Complements “Southern Tier Soaring” - The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Owego, NY, September 22, 2017 – The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), Empire State Development (ESD), Nelson Development Group LLC., the Village of Owego, the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), and the Tioga County Department of Economic Development and Planning (ED&P), today celebrated the beginning of construction on the Gateway Apartments project in Owego, New York. The $2.9 million project, which is being developed under the Governor’s Small Project Affordable Rental Construction (SPARC) program, will have eight affordable units along with four storefront retail spaces and two retail/office spaces.
The Gateway Apartments is in the Village of Owego’s main commercial area. The village sustained extensive damage during Tropical Storm Lee. Rapidly rising waters of the Susquehanna River and the Owego and Huntington Creeks caused severe flash flooding that resulted in flood damage to 85 percent of the homes, businesses and municipal structures in the Village.
This project will aid the recovery and revitalization of Owego’s historic downtown central business district by reconstructing an anchor building located at 200-204 Front Street. The previous buildings at the site were destroyed by an early morning fire on July 1, 2000.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Gateway Apartments is an investment in the region’s future that complements Governor Cuomo’s statewide commitment to expand affordable housing opportunities that revitalize downtown areas. While this project may be part of our ‘Small Project’ program, it has a major residential and commercial impact beyond the historic downtown area and is another reason why the Southern Tier is soaring.”
Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery Executive Director Lisa Bova-Hiatt said, “Owego and Southern Tier residents know first-hand that severe weather events like Tropical Storm Lee do not only affect coastal communities. Gateway Apartments will return some of the much-needed rental and retail stock lost from the storm and provide residents a new and resilient place to call home.”
Empire State Development President CEO &Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The Restore New York initiative is helping to reinvigorate downtowns and generate economic opportunity in communities statewide. The Gateway Apartments project is proof positive that the program is working to transform blighted properties which in turn will help build stronger regional economies.”
“We are pleased to be an investment partner with the Community Preservation Corporation on this shared mission to help revitalize New York's communities and increase the availability of affordable housing,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the New York state pension fund. "I welcome this opportunity for a sound investment that will also enhance the historic downtown Owego neighborhood."
“The addition of this new building will reclaim not only the aesthetic and structural integrity of the Village's historic downtown, but also brings great benefits to residents, business owners and visitors alike,” said Steven May, Mayor of the Village of Owego.
The SPARC program was launched in 2015 to restore and create housing options and economic opportunity for low- to moderate-income New Yorkers in communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. It targets small rental projects with eight to 20 units each in low-density areas throughout New York State that may not be reached by other housing programs. The program has served as a catalyst for the transformation of a long-vacant site into a new mixed-use building that will be resource of new affordable housing and retail opportunity. All of the apartments will be affordable to residents at 80 percent of the area median income. The project is being developed by Nelson Development LLC, a local company with 30 years of experience, along with the assistance of the Tioga County ED&P.
The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery provides funding for the program out of its $4.4 billion federal allotment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program. Qualified developers and projects were chosen via a competitive Request for Proposals issued by CPC which administers the program under HCR’s guidelines.
“Nelson Development Group has been a part of the revitalization efforts in the Owego community for many years, and we are proud to build upon these efforts with the Gateway Owego project. We consider it our privilege to contribute to the success of Owego’s downtown, and are thankful to all of the partnering organizations and agencies that have helped bring this project to life. We truly admire the spirit of the Owego residents, and look forward to being a part of the fabric of this community for many years to come,” said Bruce Nelson, Owner/Developer, Nelson Development Group.
“Working with HCR and GOSR to help administer Governor Cuomo’s SPARC program was an opportunity to lend our unique expertise to communities that need help recovering from storm damage. Small rental projects like Gateway are the backbone of neighborhoods and main streets across our state, and we’re proud to partner with Nelson Development to help bring new housing and new economic opportunity to the Village of Owego. As we break ground here and look to the future, we are keeping those impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in our thoughts,” said CPC’s Senior Vice President and Regional Director Michael Skrebutenas.
“Both the Restore NY and SPARC programs have had a truly meaningful impact in Tioga County and in the Village of Owego’s historic downtown. The construction of the Gateway building will not only support and strengthen the Village’s vibrant main street community, but it will also grow economic opportunity in Tioga County, by offering retail space to encourage commercial development, as well as, residential apartments that will increase the population and consumer base in the downtown,” said Brittany Woodburn, Economic Development Specialist with Tioga County ED&P.
Financing for the Gateway Apartments includes $1.6 million in permanent financing through the SPARC program. CPC is providing a $524,000 permanent loan through its funding agreement with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The project also received $500,000 in permanent financing through a Restore New York Grant. CPC is also providing a $2.6 million private construction loan, and the developer is contributing equity towards the construction of the project.
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
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About the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR)
Established in June 2013, GOSR coordinates statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure programs, GOSR invests more than $4.5 billion made available through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) CDBG-DR Program to better prepare New York for future extreme weather events. More information about GOSR and its programs is available online at http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/
About New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)
NYS Homes and Community Renewal’s (HCR) housing and community development agencies work to create, preserve and improve affordable homes and vibrant communities, in keeping with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s vision of a more inclusive, affordable, sustainable, and resilient New York. In 2016, HCR set a record for the third year in a row, financing the creation or preservation of more than 17,000 affordable homes and apartments, creating nearly 2,000 homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers, and was once again the #1 affordable housing bond issuer in the nation with $2.8 billion issued. For more information on HCR agencies, programs and initiatives, please visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/
About Nelson Development Group LLC
The Northeast is an area filled with the history of our nation and often that story is retained in buildings. These buildings can’t always remain as monuments to what was, but require imaginative restoration for a new life. That’s where Nelson Development Group, located in Vestal, NY, enters the picture. NELSON DEVELOPMENT GROUP, LLC was founded by Bruce Nelson in 2008 for the express purpose of restoring historical buildings and adapting them for a new life. After 30 years’ experience in the construction field, Bruce is now focusing on this vital aspect of preserving our history with an eye to the future. http://www.nelsondevelopmentgroupllc.com/
About Tioga County Economic Development and Planning (TC ED&P)
The Tioga County Department of Economic Development and Planning (TC ED&P) facilitates and supports activities which increase job opportunities, maximize the quality of life, and foster a vibrant rural economy within Tioga County. Click here to visit TC ED&P online, and on Facebook.
About the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC)
Established in 1974, CPC is a nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company that believes housing is central to transforming underserved neighborhoods into thriving and vibrant communities. To date the company has leveraged approximately $9.7 billion in private and public investment to finance more than 170,660 units of housing. CPC’s work with its partners has helped revitalize countless neighborhoods and provided quality housing for families, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities. Visit CPC at communityp.com, and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.