Ascendant Heritage Apartments
In June 2017, AND, MDG Design + Construction (MDG), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) announced the closing of the Ascendant Heritage Apartments, a $23.95 million project to rehabilitate 359 apartments and six commercial spaces across 21 buildings in the AND portfolio.
The Ascendant Heritage Apartments are four, five, and six-story tenement apartment buildings serving low- and very low- income residents. AND acquired the properties from the City of New York and private owners in the 1990s, and rehabilitated them through a variety of city and state affordable housing programs. After years of use, these buildings required a new round of renovations to make them more comfortable, functional, sustainable, and resilient to climate change. We have also restructured and refinanced the buildings to ensure the long-term affordability of these homes.
The rehabilitation, which is at 99% completion, did not require the relocation of any of our residents, and their rents will not increase. The renovations include new roofs, windows, and kitchens; energy efficient boilers; upgrades to entryways, lobbies, and public hallways; new intercom and key fob entry systems; masonry repairs.
As part of the renovation strategy, we evaluated opportunities to employ solar technology to take advantage of cost-saving potential and environmental benefits. AND, with the help of Solar One, installed 197 kilowatts-DC of solar capacity across four of the largest buildings, generating approximately 236,840 kwh per year — enough to offset common area electricity usage in those buildings and several others in the Ascendant Heritage cluster. As a result, AND will be able to save over $100,000 in energy costs over the next 25 years, which can fund improvements throughout our portfolio while advancing AND’s commitment to environmental sustainability and community development.
Las Raices Apartments
In February 2018, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced the designation of AND and MDG Design + Construction (MDG) as one of nine development teams to build 490 affordable homes on 87 vacant lots through HPD’s New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program (NIHOP) and Neighborhood Construction Program (NCP). AND and MDG will work together to build four 100% affordable rental buildings on small City-owned lots, resulting in 75 new apartments in East Harlem.
The NIHOP/NCP programs encourage capacity development among smaller developers with a particular focus on local non-profits, and support the construction of affordable rental apartments and new homeownership opportunities. Development teams in the first two rounds of designations include eight non-profit community-based organizations, and teams from the first two rounds have already spurred the construction of over 600 affordable homes on 81 lots across the five boroughs.
More than two-thirds of the development teams chosen for all three rounds included a nonprofit team member, either via joint venture or as the sole entity. Both AND and MDG are proud to participate in the NCP program, and are excited to get started on building more quality, affordable homes in Northern Manhattan.
In October 2019, the New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced the designated of AND, in partnership with THINK Architecture & Design PLLC and the Ali Forney Center (AFC), as one of three shared housing proposals through the department’s ShareNYC pilot. The development will be located on a vacant lot owned by AND at 244 E. 106th Street. The plan includes the construction of a new 10-story shared housing development that will create 36 units of affordable housing and is anticipated to be filled with referrals from the shelter system. The building will include four duplex shared units and one simplex shared unit. The shared housing concept is designed to encourage a sense of community and create a home-like environment.
AND is partnering with AFC, the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youth, to provide onsite social services. Residents will also have access to the Ali Forney Center Life Skills Programming and Life Coaching Retreats.
The project will include a variant refrigerant flow heating and cooling system, a green roof, and a rear yard with native plantings that will be open for resident use. The development will be financed through a combination of 9% LIHTC, HPD subsidy under the Supportive Housing Loan Program (SHLP), and conventional debt. Rental assistance for the tenants would be provided by the New York 15/15 (“NY15/15”) program.
Carmen Villegas Apartments
AND is currently in the pre-development phase of the Carmen Villegas Apartments (CVA). Named after a late AND board member, CVA will be encompass the renovation of Casita Park Apartments and the new construction of a mixed-use senior affordable building.
Built in 2003, the Casita Park Apartments is AND’s largest section 202/senior affordable housing building with 94 apartments for low-income seniors. The existing building is an L-shape with an attached parking lot and garden. When the Department of City Planning (DCP) passed the Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) amendment in 2016, it lifted parking requirements for projects like this, thus freeing up the parking lot and garden space to be developed for housing.
The new construction building, designed by THINK! Architecture & Design PLLC, will encompass create approximately 190 units of affordable housing and 7,000 square feet of commercial space. The new building will serve low-income residents over the age of 62 and will be affirming to the LGBTQ population.
CVA will set a new standard for non-profit affordable housing in the neighborhood and the city. It will be a model of design excellence, green and resilient building, and resident- and community-centered development.