BROWNSVILLE — L+M Development Partners who acquired the 625-unit Marcus Garvey Apartments, a former Mitchell Lama complex, in 2014, have secured $179 million in financing to begin construction on three new buildings, part of the Marcus Garvey Extension Project to build over 700 units of new, 100% affordable, supportive housing in Brownsville.
The three buildings will bring a total of 348 rental units and approximately 13,400 square feet of commercial and community facility space to the neighborhood.
215 Livonia Avenue
The new building at 215 Livonia Avenue, designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, will be seven stories tall, have 96 residential units of which 52 will offer supportive housing to families coming out of the shelter system. WIN (formerly Women in Need) that operates a number of family shelters across the city will be providing services and programming for those units.
There are approximately 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and community facility space planned.
169 Livonia Avenue
Next door, the eight-story 169 Livonia Avenue, also designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, will bring an additional 78 residential units and approximately 5,400 square feet of ground-floor community facility space to the neighborhood. Both buildings are expected to be completed by the end of 2021, spokesperson for the L+M informs us.
449 Chester Street
The third building — 449 Chester Street — will be another eight-story building, this one designed by Bernheimer Architecture. This one will consist of 174 residential units, of which 52 will be supportive housing units for people released after serving their prison sentences.
Services and programming will be provided by The Osborne Association.
“Since its founding in 1933, Osborne has provided programs, such as our Elder Reentry Initiative,” said Elizabeth Gaynes, President and CEO of The Osborne Association in an emailed statement. “This project will be a welcome extension of such services by addressing the urgent need for stable housing for older adults who have served their time and transformed their lives, but often travel a well-worn path from prison to New York City shelters.”
On the ground floor, there will be a 1,750-square-foot community facility, and the building will also have 36 parking spaces. The building is expected to be completed by mid-2022.
Developers inform us that all three buildings will have closed-loop geothermal systems — meaning that they will use the earth’s ground temperature for more efficient heating and cooling for the building, much the way L+M developed Beech Green Dunes II in the Rockaways, which also has solar power on the roof of the building.
Each building will also have a bike room, laundry room, community room, and a landscaped rear yard for the residents, and tenants will have Energy StarTM refrigerators, dishwashers, and high-efficacy lighting fixtures with occupancy/daylight sensors.
The apartments — truly affordable, and allocated via the Housing Lottery to those earning between 30% and 77% of AMI — will be a mix of studios, 1-, 2- and 3- bedrooms, and will allow service and support animals.
The three new buildings are part of a broader, seven-site plan to build more than 700 new units of affordable housing that and 30,000 square feet of commercial and community facility space on the Marcus Garvey complex’s vacant development sites.
“Our longstanding commitment to the revitalization of the Marcus Garvey Apartments is centered around community building and improvements for our residents and the surrounding neighborhood,” said Ron Moelis, CEO and Founding Partner of L+M Development Partners. “Just as we’ve partnered with local organizations to create a youth clubhouse and urban farm at Marcus Garvey, this project will build on the momentum of our past work and bring much needed affordable housing and amenities to the neighborhood. And by working with Win and the Osborne Association, this project will also provide critically needed high-quality supportive housing and services for formerly homeless and formerly incarcerated New Yorkers.”
The funding, $179 million, for the expansion project is a combination of public and private financing sources: New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA) tax-exempt bond financing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HFA’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program subsidy, HFA’s New Construction Capital Program subsidy and HFA’s Middle-Income Housing Program subsidy, as well as tax credit equity and a construction loan from Wells Fargo.
“Wells Fargo is honored to partner with L+M Development Partners on another affordable project serving the needs of the people of New York City with the financing for the expansion of Marcus Garvey Apartments, which will contribute much-needed additional affordable and supportive housing to Brooklyn,” said Alan Wiener, head of Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital. “Wells Fargo is committed to providing financial solutions to support the development of affordable housing in areas where there are the biggest needs.”