NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- MacQuesten Development LLC, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority celebrated the groundbreaking of Phase II of Heritage Homes in New Rochelle today, part of a three-phase project in partnership with MacQuesten Development LLC and New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority to replace an obsolete public housing development with modern townhouses and 56 affordable apartments. The event was held at the construction site located at 55 Brook Street.
Heritage Homes is replacing the Hartley Houses public housing development, which has been managed by the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority. Phase II will add 56 units to the recently completed 131 units in Phase I. MacQuesten Development LLC was awarded approximately $1.5 million in Housing Trust Fund Program funding and $1.024 million annually in Low Income Housing Tax Credits from New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR). The tax credits will generate more than $10.5 million in equity for the project.
The 56 units include two- and three-story townhouses, 49 two-bedroom apartments, and seven three-bedroom apartments. The property includes parking and amenities such as laundry rooms, storage areas and a community room. The development includes green features such as Energy Star windows, appliance, and insulation.
The groundbreaking ceremony began with an invocation from Dr. Derek G. Pierson, Senior Pastor of the Holy Lighthouse Church in New Rochelle.
The National Anthem was sung by Joi Evans of Bethesda Baptist Church.
Elected officials New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and State Senator George Latimer, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins made remarks praising the project. Kevin Plunkett of the Westchester County Executive's office spoke on behalf of Rob Astorino.
Sheila Smalls, Vice Chairman of the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority spoke on behalf of the Board of Commissioners.
Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal spoke on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State of New York.
“Heritage Homes will replace a dated public housing development with sustainable, safe homes that will benefit families and New Rochelle into the future," said Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal. "HCR is proud to be part of this strategic revitalization and affordable housing development. Governor Cuomo has charged our agency with investing in projects that have lasting impact, and Heritage Homes is a shining example. Congratulations to MacQuesten, New Rochelle Housing Authority, and the people of this great community.”
Construction is being done in phases so that none of the residents of Hartley Houses are displaced. In order for the team to maximize the number of units constructed in Phase I, it requested that City of New Rochelle revert the ownership of the baseball field to the Housing Authority. The team successfully relocated eligible residents of Hartley Houses into 129 of 130 of the new units. One apartment is set aside for a live-in super. Residents will continue to move from the old buildings as new buildings open throughout the remainder of the project. A replacement baseball field will be built on the site of the final demolished building, completing the project, and will be open to the community.
Rella Fogliano, President, MacQuesten Development, the project developer, gave a highly personal account of the effort that went into brining the project to fruition.
“I was thrilled when MacQuesten was selected by the Board of the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority out of five competitors," said Fogliano. "The project has been challenging but the results have been more rewarding for me than all of our other projects to date. I remain grateful to New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the Housing Authority for allowing us to partner with them.”
Also attending was New Rochelle Councilmember Barry Fertel, Westchester County Board of Legislators Vice Chairman Jim Maisano, Assemblyman Steve Otis, City Manager Charles B. Strome.
The ceremony was emceed by Steve Horton, Executive Director of the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority.
“The redevelopment of Hartley Houses is essential if the Housing Authority is to accomplish our mission of providing quality affordable housing for the residents of New Rochelle," said Steve Horton, Executive Director of the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority. "The new Heritage Homes will be an affordable housing resource for the City and for generations to come. The partnership between the Housing Authority and the MacQuesten Development represents the type of public-private collaboration that can achieve large scale public benefit projects.”
Thomas Johnson, a Hartley House resident for many years, watched the proceedings from afar. After the event, Johnson expressed concerns about the quality of the new units built during Heritage Homes Phase I.
"There is already problems in those," said Johnson pointing to the previously completed units. "I hope they do a better job on these new ones."
PHOTO GALLERY FROM EVENT:
VIDEO OF HARTLEY HOUSES DEMOLITION: