Joint Venture Opens Affordable Housing in Harlem

A joint venture has opened Bethany Place, 23 renovated apartment units in Harlem, to go to Sandy-impacted and rent-burdened families.

New York—A joint venture between The Community Preservation Corporation Inc. (CPC), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, New York City Housing Development Corporation, New York City Retirement Systems, Bethany II HDFC and Bethany Baptist Church has opened Bethany Place, 23 renovated apartment units in Harlem, to go to Sandy-impacted and rent-burdened families.

“It is becoming more and more difficult to find affordable housing in up-and-coming neighborhoods like Harlem, and families who have lived in the neighborhood for years are getting priced out,” Richard Conley, CPC’s senior vice president and originations director, tells MHN. “CPC and HPD were able to originate financing that enabled the borrower to provide apartments that are affordable to low- and moderate-income residents.”

Located at 301 West 153rd St., the affordable housing development was gut renovated into 23 quality rental units, 10 percent of which are set aside for families displaced from their homes due to Hurricane Sandy. Renovations include all new mechanical systems, a new elevator and new windows. All units have Energy Star appliances as well as hardwood floors, high ceilings and ample closet space.

The basement of the building will be used as office space for the super and Bethany Baptist Church, giving residents instant access to support if they need it. Additionally, a commercial space totaling 2,243 square feet was created on the ground floor.

“The ground-floor commercial space has been leased to Super Uptown 99 Plus Discount, Inc.,” Conley says. “There is a need in the community for a retail establishment that is conveniently located where residents can purchase everyday items at a reasonable price. This new commercial business will serve the needs of longtime residents as well as the influx of new tenants.”

Financing for Bethany Place came from a variety of public and private sources. HPD provided a $2.5 million construction-to-permanent loan, and HDC provided $1.3 million in subsidy. CPC provided a $4.4 million construction loan and a $3.6 million permanent loan through NYCRS with 100 percent SONYMA insurance. Additionally, the Community Capital Assistance program contributed a $1.4 million New York State Grant.