Affordable Housing Named For State Senator

Ruben Diaz

April 25, 2006

New housing is coming to the South Bronx, and with the name that everybody knows.

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (NYCHDC) this past week approved the use of $29 million of tax-exempt bond financing for the construction of two buildings in The Bronx that will contain more than 200 affordable apartments.

The buildings, each 12 stories tall and containing 111 apartments, will be located at opposite end of the borough. Both of the developments will be financed through HDC’s Low-Income Affordable Marketplace Program (LAMP), which provides financing to developers for the creation of affordable apartments reserved for households earning no more than $42,540 for a family of four.

The first development to receive financing approval, the Rev. Ruben Diaz Gardens Apartments, named for the clergy leader and current State Senator. The apartments will be built at 927 Kelly Street at Westchester Avenue in Longwood.

Adjacent to the HDC-financed residential component, the building will contain 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, 27,000 square feet of office space on three stories and 53 underground parking spaces.

The building will occupy a site formerly used as a parking lot and two one-story early 1930s retail buildings that housed the full-block S&D Discount Furniture Warehouse, which closed in January 2003 after a smoky five-alarm fire, unchecked by the afternoon snow, caused the roof to collapse.

HDC agreed to provide a $14 million mortgage loan from the sale of tax-exempt bonds.

Rev. Diaz was thrilled that his name would be attached to such a worthy project.

"I am happy to bring affordable housing to my district, which has a severe housing shortage. By me helping to bring this, it will help relieve that crisis," said Rev. Diaz.

The Arker Companies, a co-developer of the building, have built 19 developments using HDC financing. The other co-developer of the building, the Jackson Development Group, has collaborated with HDC once before: In December, it received financing for the construction of Morrisania Terrace, an eight-story, 42 unit apartment building on East 165th Street in Tremont.

Financing was also approved for Villa Avenue Apartments, located at 3121 Villa Avenue at East 204th Street in the Bedford Park neighborhood.

The building will occupy a sire one block west of the Grand Concourse that was formerly used as a surface parking lot and will be owned by Senior Living Options, Inc. The developer is an affiliate of Atlantic Development, LLC, whose primary focus is the development of residential multi-family housing in New York.

Atlantic has built 25 apartment buildings financed by HDC. HDC is providing a $15 million loan from the sale of tax-exempt bonds for the Villa Avenue Apartments.

Both of the buildings approved today will be rent stabilized and will include a mix of apartment sizes ranging from studios to three-bedroom units.