Governor Cuomo Announces Groundbreaking For $12 Million Affordable Apartment Building In Rochester

Charlotte Square on the Loop Includes 50 Affordable Apartments; First Residential Development to Be Built On Rochester’s Inner Loop East Transformation

New Workforce and Supportive Housing Joins New Market-Rate and Townhome Developments to Grow Vibrant Mixed-income Community in Downtown Rochester

Investment Complements Finger Lakes Forward, the Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the groundbreaking for a new $12 million affordable apartment building in Rochester. Charlotte Square on the Loop is the first residential development in Rochester’s Inner Loop East Transformation project, the city’s effort to convert the 1950’s era below-grade Inner Loop highway into a vibrant, walkable, safe, and at-grade residential and commercial community. The development will create 50 affordable apartments, including eight that will offer services and supports for homeless ex-offenders.

“Charlotte Square on the Loop will provide safe, affordable housing to many New Yorkers, continuing the revitalization of Rochester’s downtown,” Governor Cuomo said. “By transforming our urban cores into vibrant, livable communities for all New Yorkers, we will continue to move our economy, and the Finger Lakes, forward.”

Governor Cuomo’s commitment to growing the Finger Lakes economy by strengthening the City of Rochester and other communities is reflected in Finger Lakes Forward, a $500 million state investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative that builds on the more than $5.2 billion the State has injected in the region since 2012. The State’s investment in Charlotte Square on the Loop complements the Finger Lakes Forward initiative with housing that will support a growing area of Rochester’s downtown.

The first residential building to rise on the City’s new $25 million Inner Loop East, Charlotte Square on the Loop will have 50 affordable apartments in a four-story, almost 47,000-square-foot L-shaped building close to employers, commercial services, medical care, entertainment options, and public transportation. The development includes a community room, fitness center, patios and balconies, on-site management office, secure interior bicycle storage, a playground, on-site parking for residents, and bulk storage incorporated into the units.

The gross rents (rent plus utilities) will range from $450 to $1,047 a month. Eight of the apartments will be set aside for Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach to house homeless ex-offenders who are in recovery and are graduating from transitional housing. The organization will also have an on-site office and counseling space, funded by Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.

The project is located on a new parcel created by the City of Rochester’s $25 million Inner Loop East Transformation, which is converting a below-grade beltway into six development parcels and making major improvements in traffic safety and walkability in the surrounding area. As the first Inner Loop residential development project, Charlotte Square on the Loop completes Home Leasing’s three-phase mixed income, integrated redevelopment of Charlotte Street in downtown Rochester. On the adjacent site to the west is Charlotte Square at the East End, a 72 market rate apartment community, and Charlotte Square Townhomes, a community of newly constructed townhomes for sale.

HCR funding is being provided through $2 million from the NYS Middle Income Housing Program, $7.1 million in federal Low-Income Housing Credit equity and $1.6 million in NYS Low Income Housing Credit equity. Other sources include a $750,000 permanent loan from the Community Preservation Corporation financed through their partnership with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The City of Rochester is providing $300,000. Key Community Development Corporation is the tax credit investor.

The development is part of the Governor’s unprecedented $20 billion, five-year plan to create or preserve more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. Since 2011, HCR has financed the creation or preservation more than 3,600 affordable apartments in multifamily buildings in Monroe County, more than 2,000 of which are in the City of Rochester. In addition, HCR, through its State of New York Mortgage Agency, has made more than $76.6 million in loans to 811 first-time homebuyers.

RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, said,“Charlotte Square on the Loop is a celebration of new beginnings for the reimagined neighborhood it will help revive, and the more than 100 residents who will call it home, including ex-offenders getting a second chance. By ensuring that all New Yorkers will be part of a blossoming community, Charlotte Square on the Loop will help strengthen the city’s economic foundation, and keep the Finger Lakes Region moving forward.”

Senator Joe Robach said, “Downtown Rochester is experiencing a rebirth with new jobs and opportunities for people in our region. The state-of-the-art, affordable apartments at Charlotte Square will not only meet a need for residents of the City of Rochester and people looking to relocate downtown, they will also provide exceptional services and amenities to those who will call this new development ‘home’.”

Assemblyman David Gantt said, “Rochester’s downtown revitalization takes a giant step forward with the construction of Charlotte Square on the Loop. I have long been committed to bringing more affordable housing to Rochester and I have always believed that it will strengthen and add vitality to our community.”

Cheryl Dinolfo, Monroe County Executive said, “The new Charlotte Square apartments are a wonderful addition to Downtown Rochester and will enhance the continued redevelopment of the Inner Loop corridor. Monroe County played an active role in the project’s early development phase and we thank Home Leasing and the Leenhouts family for their investment in a project that will support more jobs and stronger families in the heart of our community.”

Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, “As the first private development to start construction on the former Inner Loop East expressway, Charlotte Square on the Loop is an important milestone in Rochester’s ongoing transformation. Along with our partners in New York State’s government and the private sector, we are building a more integrated and connected Downtown that meets the needs of all our citizens. I want to thank New York State Homes and Community Renewal and Nelson Leenhouts and his team at Home Leasing for their investments in the city of Rochester and for helping us advance our efforts to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”

Nelson Leenhouts, Chairman & CEO, Home Leasing said, “We are ecstatic to start the construction of Charlotte Square on the Loop, our third phase of development along Charlotte Street in downtown Rochester.  Home Leasing’s three Charlotte Square phases provide housing opportunities to a mix of incomes and diverse populations, creating a vibrant community as a whole.  We are so grateful to have a partnership with the City of Rochester, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach, KeyBank, Community Preservation Corporation, and Monroe County.  This development completes the vision for Charlotte Square and kicks off the development along Union Street.”

Miriam Zinter, Mortgage Officer at CPC, said, “Charlotte Square on the Loop will be a transformative apartment complex, in that it will provide people with an affordable living option in the heart of our beautiful city. We’re proud to invest in a project that will help the City transform this stretch of underused roadway – reuniting long-separated communities and creating a more affordable, vibrant and livable city center. My thanks to our partners at Home Leasing, HCR Commissioner Visnauskas, Mayor Warren and the City of Rochester, and to Comptroller DiNapoli and our funders at the State’s Common Retirement Fund.”

Jim Smith, Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach, Director said, “Charlotte Square on the Loop will be a place of continued healing for the alumni of the Spiritus Christi Outreach.”

Rob Likes, National Manager of KeyBank’s CDLI Team said, “At KeyBank, we are dedicated to helping communities thrive by investing in affordable housing that creates opportunity.  Our partnership with Home Leasing, LLC and our investment in Charlotte Square on the Loop demonstrates our commitment to the people and communities we serve.”

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. 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 Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward 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 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.