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Oct. 29, 2010

Lottery Begins for Affordable-Income Apartments at $220M Project in the Bronx

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

New York, N.Y.–Joy Construction Corp. has just kicked off the first lottery for St. Ann’s Terrace in the Bronx, making available 380 units of the 641 residences that will ultimately be available at the $220 million affordable-income development.

St. Ann’s Terrace’s multiple structures are being erected on three formerly vacant blocks in the Bronx’s Melrose neighborhood. In addition to the mixed-income apartments, the project will also bring a 15,000-square-foot supermarket and a 5,500-square-foot dry/cleaner Laundromat and additional ground-level retail space to the site, as well as such coveted amenities as underground parking, closed-circuit video security systems and spacious community centers.

Joy Construction’s partners on the St. Ann’s Terrace development endeavor are Jackson Development Group, the New York City Housing Development Corporation and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development. Capital One is pitching in on financing, providing an aggregate $41 million. Approximately $24.1 of those funds come in the form of a letter of credit for tax-exempt, fixed-rate bonds issued by the New York City Housing Development Corporation’s Low-income Affordable Marketplace Program, and the remaining $15.3 involves the purchase of 4 percent as-of-right Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

“This is an investment in our community and our own portfolio, so we’ll be there to attract tenants with a range of incomes for the long term,” Eli Weiss, Director of Finance for Joy Construction and Jackson Development Group, tells MHN. The lottery is open to hopeful renters of various income levels. Individuals earning $23,829 to $63,400 yearly are eligible for the studio and one-bedroom units that are being made available, while two- to four-member households with an annual income of $34,183 to $79,200 may apply for a two-bedroom apartment, leaving the three-bedroom units for three- to six-member households with annual earnings of a maximum $91,900.

The low-income units are 20 to 30 percent below market rate and the moderate-income units are for renters earning 80 percent to 100 percent of the area median income, so they are essentially market rate apartments. “People who are beginning to do better financially were starting to be frozen out of the low-income housing market,” Weiss notes. “These apartments create an opportunity for those who are doing better to stay in the Bronx in a new building that will remain affordable for at least the next 30 years.”

The emphasis on affordability at St. Ann’s Terrace, however, does not translate into sub-bar accommodations. “Our public-private partnership is focused on delivering a quality project to help provide a sufficient supply for what seems like a very strong demand for affordable housing,” he says. We want to make sure that what we are building today is beneficial to the community 20 years from now. And we want residents to like their home not just because it’s affordable, but because it’s wonderful.”

The deadline for lottery application submissions is November 30. Presently at 75 percent completion, the group of 380 residences at St. Ann’s Terrace will be available for occupancy in spring 2011.

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