Centereach, NY - October 29, 2013 - Community Development Corporation of Long Island (CDCLI) and partner Conifer Realty, LLC joined together today in a Ribbon Cutting ceremony with the many partners who helped to make Cathedral Place a reality. The 36-unit development was awarded $2.586 million from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC), part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statewide economic development initiative.
“Long Island has a dramatic need for multifamily rental homes that are affordable to families and seniors. We are grateful to the governmental, business, and non-profit partners who all worked together to meet this need. Every one of these remarkable partners played a critical role that lead to our cutting a ribbon today,” said Marianne Garvin, President and CEO of CDCLI.
Cathedral Place Apartments, located at 1020 Prospect Avenue, Westbury, will house families with a mix of 18 one-bedroom units, 14 two-bedroom units and 4 three-bedroom units within a single, three-story building which includes community space, a fitness room and onsite management/leasing office. This multifamily rental housing development is the result of years of work by the Town of North Hempstead and its CDA on the large scale redevelopment of Prospect Avenue. In addition to the Town of North Hempstead and its CDA, other partners in the project include Nassau County, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, TD Charitable Foundation, NeighborWorks® America, Capital One Bank, Community Preservation Corporation, Redstone Equity Partners and National Grid. Rents will be $962 for a one-bedroom, $1,153 for a two-bedroom and $1,327 for a three-bedroom unit. A lottery for residency was held in August.
Nassau County, a key stakeholder in the revitalization of New Cassel, contributed $720,000 in federal HOME funds to ensure long term affordability.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano stated, “My administration is proud to partner with the Community Development Corporation of Long Island to bring new affordable residences to Nassau County for our young people, families and seniors. Together with my economic development team, we are assisting the private sector in creating more than 1,000 additional new residences throughout Nassau while making County a better place to live, work and raise a family."
Nassau County Legislator Robert Troiano said, “Having lived in this community practically my entire life and having served on the North Hempstead Town Board and in my present capacity as County Legislator, I know first-hand about the dire need for affordable low to middle income rentals in this community. The addition of these apartments to the rental pool adds another component to New Cassel’s revitalization that has injected so much new energy into the community.”
Due to the collaborative effort of local government and community stakeholders, Prospect Avenue in New Cassel is a vibrant commercial and residential center. Cathedral Place Apartments was built on the last vacant blighted site on Prospect Avenue and is the culmination of the Town of North Hempstead’s decade-long effort to rejuvenate the community. The project was sponsored by the Town of North Hempstead Community Development Agency (CDA), which owned the land and sold it for $1 million lower than its appraised value.
“The Town of North Hempstead Community Development Agency (“CDA”) thanks all of our municipal partners including the Town of North Hempstead, New York State and Nassau County for making this project possible and congratulates Conifer and Community Development Corporation of Long Island for completing this significant project in record time,” said Lamont Bailey, Chairman of the CDA. “The CDA looks forward to working with the private development community and our municipal partners to provide additional affordable housing and commercial development in New Cassel.”
“The unveiling today of these much needed affordable housing units marks yet another giant step in the overall redevelopment of New Cassel,” said North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Viviana Russell, whose district encompasses New Cassel. “On behalf of the Town Board and former Supervisor Jon Kaiman, whose leadership was instrumental in making this happen, I would like to say thank you to all of our partners and community leaders whose invaluable input brought this project to fruition.”
The Regional Economic Development Council Initiative is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative approach to state investment and economic development. The Councils are public-private partnerships composed of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. As a result of the first two rounds of awards, $1.5 billion in resources have been awarded to support more than 1,400 regionally significant economic development and community revitalization projects that are creating or helping to retain an estimated 75,000 jobs across the Empire State and generating investments to grow the economy.
In its Five Year Strategic Plan, the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC) highlighted Cathedral Place as a priority project. New York State Homes and Community Renewal awarded CDCLI and Conifer Realty 9% tax credits, as well as $1,370,000 in loan funds from the NYS Housing Trust Fund to support Cathedral Place.
“Cathedral Place Apartments was a priority for the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council because affordable housing leads to better quality of life and a stronger community. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership we are helping to drive economic activity in Long Island communities, increase access to quality affordable housing, and bring partners together at every level. Cathedral Place will serve as a model for community investment and will serve residents and the people of New Cassel well, for years to come,” said LIREDC co-chairs, Stuart Rabinowitz, President of Hofstra University and Kevin Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association.
Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “Cathedral Place Apartments represents the best of what strong public and private partnerships can accomplish in New York. By working together to create affordable high-quality homes for families and senior citizens, we are also investing in and revitalizing New Cassel. Cathedral Place will help drive further development in the vibrant New Cassel community and provide a place people are proud to call home. This is the comprehensive, far-reaching approach that Governor Cuomo had in mind when he created the Regional Economic Development Councils.”
"Congratulations to UNCCRC, CDCLI, Conifer Realty and the entire New Cassel community! With the opening of the Cathedral Place Apartments we are one step closer to realizing the dream of New Cassel revitalization, community empowerment, and affordable living," said Senator Jack M. Martins.
“The Cathedral Place housing development is a prime example of what we can do when we all work together,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine. “The dire need for affordable, multifamily rental homes in this area resulted in a public private partnership that had the determination and commitment to make this project a reality, as well as the vision to rejuvenate Prospect Avenue in New Cassel.”
The local community has worked with the town and county on the decade long revitalization of New Cassel. Resident stakeholders were an integral part of the visioning and planning process that lead to the successful building of Cathedral Place. One such stakeholder, the UNCCRC, also assisted CDCLI and Conifer in the marketing and outreach for residents.
“This has been quite a journey, but here we are after 13 long years, cutting the ribbon on a beautiful building with homes for 36 families on a site that was nurtured from infancy to maturity. We now have the victory! It took a lot of focus, eyes on the goal and galvanizing the community along with all the various partners to make this dream a reality. With Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corporation as the catalyst and driver of this re-development process, it’s quite pleasing to know that the New Cassel community will be the benefactors of this great effort,” said Bishop Lionel Harvey.
As the lead bank for Cathedral Place, Capital One is providing financing through construction loan and tax credit equity through Redstone Equity Partners. “As a local bank, Capital One recognizes the need for quality, affordable housing and the role that housing plays in creating economic opportunity for individuals and families,” said Robert Bernard, a senior vice president in Commercial Real Estate Lending at Capital One. “We are proud to serve as the bank financing this development, which will enrich the New Cassel community with new, affordable multifamily rental homes.”
"We want to congratulate CDCLI on successfully completing Cathedral Place. Red Stone Equity Partners is pleased to work with our longstanding partners, Conifer Realty and Capital One, to provide
tax credit equity to support the development of this fantastic project," said S. Eric McClelland, Co-Founder and President of Red Stone Equity Partners. McClelland continued, "Over the last two years, Red Stone has significantly expanded our commitment to communities in Southern Westchester, New York City and Long Island -- areas in great need of affordable housing. Cathedral Place is a great achievement and we thank our partners on this transaction for the opportunity to participate."
The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) has originated a SONYMA-insured $1.45 million permanent loan to be funded by the New York State Common Retirement Fund, a vital program helping to finance affordable housing throughout New York State. “CPC’s mission is to invest in projects like Cathedral Place – projects that not only help low-income families have safe, stable homes, but also help revitalize neighborhoods through investment and development,” said Richard Conley, Chief Credit Officer, The Community Preservation Corporation. “Our SONYMA-insured $1.45 million permanent loan would not be possible without Conifer Realty and Community Development Corporation of Long Island’s commitment to the community of New Cassel and the critical investment of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. We thank you for your vision and commitment to providing affordable housing to Long Island families.”
"This loan to Cathedral Place Apartments is a win for the New York State Common Retirement Fund and it's a win for New Cassel residents," said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. "The Fund, through collaboration with the Community Preservation Corporation, achieves a consistent, positive rate of return and increases affordable housing options in communities across the state."
Other funding was provided by TD Charitable Foundation, which awarded CDCLI $100,000 through its Housing for Everyone Grant Competition to set up a pre-development revolving loan fund for this and other multifamily workforce rental housing developments. “The TD Charitable Foundation is extremely pleased to have participated with CDCLI in this truly collaborative and important housing project for the residents of New Cassel,” said Edward Blaskey, TD Banks’ Market President for Suburban New York and Long Island.
National Grid provided funding through a Cinderella grant to CDCLI. "National Grid has a long history of supporting the local communities on Long Island. We are thrilled to help Cathedral Place Apartments enhance the energy efficiency of its new multi-family community," said Ken Daly, president National Grid New York. "The Cinderella Program was founded in 1966 and has been a major part of National Grid's commitment to sustainability and to improving the quality of life in the Long Island communities in which we live and work."
CDCLI Funding Corporation provided $200,000 of real estate capital from NeighborWorks® America, as gap financing. "Soon 36 hard-working individuals and families will find well constructed, well managed apartments here at Cathedral Place, and will be a proud part of Long Island's future," said Deborah Boatright, northeast regional director, NeighborWorks® America. "NeighborWorks® is equally proud to join with our affiliate, Community Development Corporation of Long Island, and the broad nexus of private and public partners in making Cathedral Place Apartments, and the revitalization of New Cassel possible. Quality, affordable housing options like this are key to Long Island's continued economic vitality."
“The affordable housing industry has extreme challenges today in that resources are scarce and the need is greater than ever. This project is an exciting example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors come together to achieve a common goal. The Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County provided clear leadership that enabled this important redevelopment of Prospect Avenue to be completed. We are very proud to be a part of this project with our partner CDC of Long Island to provide 36 affordable homes for families in North Hempstead,” said Andrew Crossed, Executive Vice President of Conifer Realty, LLC.
About Conifer Realty, LLC
Conifer Realty, LLC is a full-service real estate company specializing in the development and management of high-quality, affordable housing communities. Since its inception, the company has developed and/or acquired over 230 properties and over 17,300 apartment units. Conifer concentrates its business in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The company currently owns and manages over 13,000 apartment units throughout these regions. Please visit www.coniferllc.com for more information.