For Immediate Release
Friday, June 5, 2015
CITY OFFICIALS join BRP Companies, MACEDONIA AME CHURCH, ELECTED OFFICIALS AND PARTNERS TO CELEBRATE THE OPENING OF MACEDONIA PLAZA, FLUSHING’S NEWEST AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
Macedonia Plaza project transformed a municipal parking lot into a thriving community hub with 143 affordable low-income apartments and retail that will provide new economic opportunity for the area.
Flushing, Queens, NY – New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Gary Rodney joined BRP Companies, Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, and development partners to celebrate the opening of Macedonia Plaza. Built on an underused former city-owned site in Flushing, Queens, this newly constructed building located at 37-08 Union Street provides 143 affordable apartments for very low- and low-income New Yorkers as well as new retail space that will be occupied by Tree of Life NY grocery store later this year. U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, State Assemblyman Ron Kim, Councilman Peter Koo, and Deputy Queens Borough President Melva Miller were among those present for the ceremony.
“Flushing’s diversity, culture, and thriving local economy are what makes this neighborhood so unique and attractive, and have played a key role in contributing to its continued development. It is critical that we have housing like Macedonia Plaza that contributes to the vitality of the community while also safeguarding its affordability as the neighborhood experiences new opportunities for growth,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “Macedonia Plaza is a great example of how we can work across agencies and with our faith-based partners to leverage resources like an underused site and adjacent air-rights, to create more than 140 new affordable homes for hardworking New York families. My sincere thanks to HDC, BRP Companies, Macedonia AME Church, and to our elected officials for their commitment to making New York City more affordable.”
“Macedonia Plaza is a model of the sustainable, mixed-use development envisioned by Housing New York that provides not just energy-efficient affordable housing, but needed retail space for current and future residents,” said Gary Rodney, President of HDC. “It exemplifies the power of what can be accomplished in partnership with faith-based and non-profit organizations who share our commitment to creating safe, quality, affordable housing for low income families that contributes to the strength and vibrancy of the neighborhood. We are very excited to celebrate this new development and welcome the new residents of Macedonia Plaza. I would like to thank HPD, BRP Companies, Macedonia AME Church, Congresswoman Meng, State Senator Stavisky, Assemblyman Kim, Councilmember Koo, the Queens Borough President’s Office, and all of our partners for their efforts.”
“BRP Companies is proud to provide working families with beautiful, affordable apartments with great access to public transportation and new retail,” said BRP Companies Managing Partner Meredith Marshall. “We couldn’t have completed this high-quality, energy efficient project for the Flushing community without our partners at Macedonia AME Church, HPD, HDC, Capital One and Hudson Housing Capital.”
One of the oldest houses of worship in Queens, Macedonia AME Church recently celebrated its bicentennial. It has been a valued supporter and key advocate for the inclusion of affordable housing at this site, and partnered with the City and developer to select the architect and develop the project’s design. The Church has also acted as the community liaison for the project since pre-construction.
“The mission of Macedonia AME Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people. We are grateful to God for the opportunity to provide much needed affordable housing to this community,” said Macedonia AME Church Senior Pastor Reverend Richard O. McEachern.
The new 14-story, 161,760 square-foot affordable rental building makes productive use of a portion of a former municipal parking lot, combined with underused air rights made possible through collaboration with a community partner, the adjacent Macedonia AME Church. Macedonia Plaza was constructed on approximately 30,000-square-feet of a municipal parking lot formerly owned by the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), and adds not just affordable housing, but 9,000-square-feet of new retail space.
Macedonia Plaza includes 143 affordable apartments. Twenty-nine units are affordable to households earning an annual income as low as $19,063 and up to $24,080 for an individual, or between $24,515 and $30,960 for a household of three. The remaining 113 rental units in this 143 unit development are affordable to households earning an annual income within a range of $29,383 and up to $36,120 for an individual, or between $37,783 and $46,440 for a household of three. In addition, the development includes one unit for an onsite superintendent. The above incomes reflect the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2013 Area Median Income calculations. The unit distribution includes 27 studios, 58 one‐bedroom apartments, 55 two‐bedroom apartments, and two three‐bedroom apartments.
“I'm thrilled to help celebrate the opening of Macedonia Plaza," said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens). "Queens continues to need more affordable housing, and this new development is a huge boost towards meeting that demand. Macedonia Plaza will provide affordable, high quality housing that 143 families can now call home, and the new retail space will enhance the local economy. Many thanks to all who partnered for this great project. Glad it's now a reality."
“I am delighted to join Reverend McEachern and the Macedonia family, my colleagues in government and all of the community groups and businesses here today who made this possible,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing). “This building is a testament to the vision that New York should be a welcoming home to everyone—whether you are young or old, wealthy or low-income, native or foreign-born. Today, that vision becomes reality because of the hard work and the cooperation of all parties here today—a true public-private partnership that refused to give up on building something that benefits the entire community.”
“The completion of Macedonia Plaza is great news for Queens because this new development will offer our borough’s families quality affordable housing in the heart of downtown Flushing, one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Housing Development Corporation, the developer BRP Companies and community partner Macedonia AME Church all deserve our thanks for working together to make this important contribution to our affordable housing stock.”
“Flushing is undergoing a significant transformation on all fronts, and we are working to ensure affordable housing like the new units here at Macedonia Plaza continues to be a priority. Macedonia Plaza stands in the heart of our community and will have direct access to Flushing Commons upon completion. That 30,000 people applied for 143 units here at Macedonia Plaza shows just how desperate our community needs real affordable housing. I am happy to join my colleagues today to open our newest and most needed affordable housing development, and I look forward to continuing to work with the city and all stakeholders to ensure this remains a priority,” said Councilmember Peter Koo.
Macedonia Plaza is a model of an affordable, sustainable housing development and is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The building incorporates a number of green building practices, including a co-generation system; low-flow fixtures and toilets; Energy Star appliances; interior and exterior energy efficient lighting; cool roof; low/no-VOC paints, primers, adhesives and sealants; urea formaldehyde-free composite wood; and healthy flooring material. The co-generation system technology will use natural gas to generate electricity for the commercial and common area spaces. The "waste" heat from this system will be used to aid the heating of the domestic hot water supply. These features will offset operating costs and result in a more affordable and sustainable building structure for the building owner and residents.
Later this year, Tree of Life NY grocery store will occupy the new retail space in Macedonia Plaza, offering the neighborhood a wide selection of fresh produce and goods, which will benefit current and future residents of the area.
The total development cost for the Macedonia Plaza project is $49.8 million. HDC provided an initial $26.4 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance construction, $9.6 million of which is a permanent source of funding, as well as $9.3 million in corporate reserves through its Low-Income Affordable Marketplace Program (LAMP). HPD is providing $6.3 million in city capital funding and $1.9 million in federal HOME funding. By accessing HDC’s bond financing, the project qualified for Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which were leveraged for $18.5 million in tax credit equity from Hudson Housing Capital. In addition, the funding includes $4.2 million from BRP Companies for the project. The site was conveyed to the developer by the City at a nominal cost to help subsidize the deep affordability of this development.
The housing lottery for Macedonia Plaza closed in October 2013. The building is now fully leased. Units were rented through NYC Housing Connect, an Open Lottery System to ensure fair and equitable distribution of housing to income-eligible applicants. Over 30,000 applications were received for this development. Marketing of the apartments and the application process for the lottery typically begins when construction is approximately 70 percent complete. For more information regarding the affordable housing lottery process or if you would like to receive an e-mail when HPD updates its available apartment and home website listings for City-subsidized housing in the five boroughs, please visit the ‘Find Housing’ page under the ‘Renter’ tab at www.nyc.gov/hpd. Current housing lotteries are also available at www.nyc.gov/housingconnect. Applicants may submit either a paper application or an electronic application. Duplicate applications will be disqualified.
With an experienced staff of 50, a track record of over 600,000 SF of completed real estate projects and over 3.6 million SF currently in development, BRP is uniquely positioned to meet the demands of urban housing consumers. The firm is an innovator in developing mixed-use, mixed-income, “walkable" urban housing with high-quality, and energy efficient properties throughout the city of New York and beyond. www.brpcompanies.com