Construction Closing On Affordable And Supportive Housing For Formerly Homeless New Yorkers
Rendering by Marvel Architects
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 16, 2022
Alexis Geslani, Marketing Communications Director
[email protected] | O: 917.408.1667 | C: 646.315.3475
June 16, 2022 (Bronx, NY) – Services for the UnderServed (S:US) and Bronx Pro Group (BPG) closed on construction financing on the first phase of our two-phased Starhill project. Starhill Phase I will create 325 units of supportive and affordable housing at 1600 Grand Ave in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx. The project is the result of a longstanding partnership between a non-profit supportive housing developer and service provider (S:US) and a neighborhood-based developer which specializes in mission-driven development, ownership and management (BPG).
This extraordinary milestone comes after over six years of predevelopment work during which S:US worked extensively with multiple community stakeholders to collaborate on the redevelopment plan and include benefits for the Morris Heights community. As a result of that collaboration, and a recognition of the ways in which the project fits within the City’s broader policy goals, the NYC Department of City Planning worked with S:US to include this redevelopment in the neighborhood-wide rezoning of the Jerome Avenue Corridor.
Starhill Phase I supports economic diversity in the Bronx by providing desperately needed high quality housing for households earning a range of incomes between 40% and 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). Of the total 325 units in the development, 200 will be supportive housing units set aside for formerly homeless individuals with substance use disorders. S:US will be the service provider for the supportive housing units, through funding from the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) under the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) program.
In addition, the project will include a vast array of common areas including a community room, computer room, children play area, laundry room, fitness room and 24-hour security. S:US’ social service offices will be housed on the ground floor fronting a yet to be constructed 11,000 sf public plaza (Phase II). Significant outdoor space for the private use of the residents will be provided in the back of the building, offering planters, seating, a BBQ area and an S:US urban farm.
The site began in 1915 as Calvary Hospital, the only acute care hospital for terminally ill adults with cancer in the United States. In 1979, it became Starhill, a residential treatment facility for people with substance use disorders.
While the Starhill treatment facility helped many individuals over the past 40 years, by the time S:US acquired Starhill in 2014, the building had been deteriorating for many years. The treatment approach for people facing addiction has also changed over time.
“At S:US, housing is at the core of what we do. Having a roof over one’s head is more than protection from the elements. Without the stability of a home, families cannot stay together, people cannot find employment, challenges completely overwhelm and life quickly spirals out of control. Helping New Yorkers obtain housing is part of our social justice mission to end homelessness and ensure access to affordable/supportive housing,” said Dr. Jorge R. Petit, S:US President and CEO.
“Bronx Pro Group is proud to be a part of the next chapter and reinvention of the Starhill Campus of Morris Heights. Starhill Phase I honors the site’s history of medical and mental health care, while responding to the present day community’s need for affordable housing and new open space. We look forward to building this new community together with S:US , our lenders, as well as our community stakeholders,” said Samantha Magistro, BPG CEO.
“With the lasting economic effects of the pandemic on top of the existing housing crisis in our city, increasing our supply of affordable homes, particularly ones with supportive services, has never been more important,” said Baaba Halm, Enterprise Community Partners Vice President and New York Market Leader. “We are proud to work with our longtime partners, Bronx Pro Group, Services for the UnderServed, and others, in bringing crucial affordable and supportive housing to the Bronx.”
This construction closing would not have been possible without the collaboration and support of our public partners at the City and State, as well as our private lenders and our excellent design and construction teams. The total development cost for Starhill Phase I is $190 million. The project is being financed by tax-exempt bonds, low-income housing tax credits and subsidy loans provided by the New York State Housing Finance Agency, subsidy loans provided by the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development, tax credit equity syndicated by Enterprise Community Partners and purchased by Freddie Mac, a construction loan provided by JP Morgan Chase and Resolution A funds.
The building was designed by Marvel Architects and the General Contractor is Home Builders, an affiliate of BPG.
S:US is excited to embark on the construction of this new building and is grateful for its many long-term partnerships that made this deal possible. We look forward to moving forward with Phase II of this exciting project.
About Services for the UnderServed
Services for the UnderServed (S:US) drives scalable solutions to transform the lives of people with disabilities, people in poverty and people facing homelessness: solutions that contribute to righting societal imbalances. Housing is the core of what we do. S:US provides permanent housing through a mix of congregate and scatter site supportive housing. S:US currently owns and manages 65 buildings, leases and manages an additional 55 buildings plus 1,000 scattered-site apartments throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. This includes more than 1,130 units of LIHTC-funded housing under ownership and management, with another 1,800+ LIHTC units in construction and predevelopment. Learn more at sus.org.
About Bronx Pro Group
Bronx Pro Group is a neighborhood-based firm that employs approximately 100 professional and support staff engaged in real estate development, construction, property management, and residential services. The company began as a property manager in 1988 and in 1998 expanded its business activities to include the development of low- and moderate-income housing. Beginning first with the rehabilitation of occupied, city-owned buildings, the company has since broadened its scope to include the development of new construction projects that contain both residential and commercial/community facility spaces. Learn more at bronxprogroup.com.