City Officially Launches the Inwood Development Project, Soon to Bring Affordable Housing and a New State-of-the-Art Public Library

June 10, 2021

Media contact: hpdmedia@hpd.nyc.gov
housej@hpd.nyc.gov

Project will bring 174 deeply affordable homes and a much-needed new, modern public library to the growing Inwood community  

NEW YORK, NY – Today, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and The New York Public Library (NYPL) announced the “The Eliza,” a landmark project that combines a new Inwood branch of The New York Public Library with 100% affordable housing into one building, has received financing and is moving forward. The project is the result of a public-private partnership between City agencies, The New York Public Library and Robin Hood, the city’s largest poverty fighting philanthropy. 

Located at 4790 Broadway, The Eliza will offer the Inwood community a wide array of much-needed neighborhood assets, including 174 deeply affordable homes, a brand new two-level public library branch, an extensive community learning space, and a universal Pre-Kindergarten facility operated by the New York City Department of Education (DOE).  

“Through YOUR Home NYC, this administration strives to pair affordable housing with neighborhood assets that will help residents and the community at large thrive,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “We are pleased to be working with The New York Public Library, Robin Hood and our partners in development and City government to bring 174 affordable homes, a revamped public library, and Universal Pre-K to the Inwood neighborhood.” 

“The Eliza exemplifies what can be accomplished through community engagement and collaboration across the public and private sectors,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “This project will bring deeply affordable housing as well as educational resources through the new library and Universal Pre-K facility - a tremendous victory for New Yorkers and the entire Inwood community. I would like to thank all of our partners for their dedication in bringing us to this pivotal stage in the development of this project.” 

“As New York City prepares for its next chapter of recovery and renewal, it is critical that its social infrastructure—including and especially public libraries—be as strong as possible to meet the changing needs of the New Yorkers who rely on their services,” said NYPL President Anthony W. Marx. “This project will do just that: it will give the people of Inwood a great new library that will be as beloved as the one we are replacing but offer even more space, collections and programs. We are so grateful to Robin Hood, and to our partnership with the City, for this opportunity to create an inspiring and welcoming beacon of learning, hope, and opportunity in this community.” 

The new 20,000-square-foot Inwood Library will replace the former branch in order to meet the evolving needs of today’s patrons. The new space will feature an improved layout, as well as provide a variety of flexible spaces for programs and classes; dedicated spaces for kids, teens, and adults; internet/Wi-Fi access; updated technology; and a robust collection of circulating materials. The updated library is expected to open in 2023.  

Throughout construction, The New York Public Library will keep its temporary site across the street at 4857 Broadway open to patrons who can pick up or drop off books. The location will also eventually offer computer use, reader advisory, and other services not currently available because of COVID safety protocols. 

The Eliza, a project informed by the community after months of engagement and neighborhood planning exercises, is a central benefit of the Inwood Rezoning Plan, which will eventually bring 2,600 new affordable homes to the neighborhood.  

The new building, named in honor of Eliza Hamilton, the wife of Alexander Hamilton, will be developed by a joint venture between the Community League of the Heights (CLOTH), Children's Village, Ranger Properties, Alembic Community Development, and Housing Workshop. In addition to a new two-level library branch, the new 14-story building will include a mix of studio, one, two- and three-bedroom apartments that will be affordable to low-income households earning 60% of AMI and below.  

The project will also provide approximately 6,800 square feet of Universal Pre-Kindergarten space to be occupied by the Department of Education. Finally, the project will include approximately 10,000 square feet of Activities, Culture, and Training Center (ACTS) community facility space to be leased to CLOTH and Children’s Village, and approximately 2,135 sf of flexible classroom space dedicated to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) to be leased to First Robotics. 

“The Community League of the Heights thanks its partners on the Eliza development team and looks forward to working closely with the community as the project moves forward,” said CLOTH Executive Director Yvonne Stennett. “The project will create 174 units of affordable housing for the neighborhood- meeting a critical need for long-time, lower income households in the community- as well as a new, state-of-the-art library, a universal pre-k facility and support services for our neighbors in need.” 

“The Inwood Affordable Housing and Library Development Project is a breath of fresh air for a community that is in need of 100% affordable housing. This is the first of many more affordable housing development projects to come to Northern Manhattan creating 2,600 affordable housing homes for the neighborhood while also preserving thousands more. This couldn’t have been possible without the support of Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, my colleagues at the Council, Community League of the Heights (CLOTH) and Children’s Village,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “The Inwood Library will return with additional programs like a robotics program, 3k programming, state of the art technology and systems, free broadband access, among much more, thanks to a grant from the Robin Hood Foundation. I will continue to work alongside Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, CLOTH, Children’s Village, the Northern Manhattan agenda, and the future administration to ensure we deliver on our promises.” 

About the Housing 
Sitting above the library will be deeply affordable homes for New Yorkers earning extremely-low to low-incomes (up to 60% AMI). Ten percent of the units will be set aside for New Yorkers earning up to 30% AMI and 15 percent of the units will be reserved for formerly homeless tenants. Building residents will have access to an exercise area, tenant lounge, a terrace, a roof garden, a bike room, and a laundry room. 

About the Library 
The new Inwood Library, made possible by a grant from the Robin Hood Foundation, will stand on the first two floors of the building.  The redeveloped branch will feature a vastly improved layout than its predecessor, which will create increased usable public space for the Inwood community. It will offer a variety of flexible spaces for programs and classes, dedicated areas for kids, teens, and adults and free broadband access. The new branch will also have updated technology and systems, much needed as the original branch was built in the 1950s and previous renovations were unable to address these concerns. While under construction, the community can continue to access the temporary branch at 4857 Broadway.  

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The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation's largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked advancing the goals of the City's housing plan – a critical pillar of YOUR Home NYC, Mayor de Blasio's comprehensive approach to helping New Yorkers get, afford, and keep housing in these challenging times. For full details visit http://www.nyc.gov/hpdand for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.      

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency and is charged with helping to finance the creation or preservation of affordable housing under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan. HDC also serves as a key financing partner in the rehabilitation of our city’s public housing stock under the NYCHA Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) initiative. Since 2003, HDC has financed more than 194,000 housing units using over $26 billion in bonds and other debt obligations and provided in excess of $3 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves and other available funds held by the corporation. HDC ranks among the nation’s top issuers of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing on Thomson Reuter’s annual list of multi-family bond issuers. In each of the last five consecutive years, HDC’s annual bond issuance has surpassed $1.7 billion. For additional information, visit: http://www.nychdc.com 

About The New York Public Library 
For 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library receives approximately 16 million visits through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.  

About Robin Hood 
Founded in 1988, Robin Hood finds, fuels, and creates the most impactful and scalable solutions lifting families out of poverty in New York City, with models that can work across the country. In 2020, Robin Hood invested nearly $200 million to provide COVID relief, legal services, housing, meals, workforce development training, education programs, and more to families in poverty in New York City. Robin Hood tracks every program with rigorous metrics, and since Robin Hood’s Board of Directors covers all overhead, 100 percent of every donation goes directly to the poverty fight. Learn more at http://www.robinhood.org