Construction commences for two affordable seniors housing projects valued at $245 million

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Atrium at Sumner
Atrium at Sumner

Construction is starting for two affordable seniors housing projects valued at $245 million in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA); the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD); and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) say they have finalized two deals to bring 393 units through the $113 million Casa Celina and the $132 million Atrium at Sumner housing development projects.

Construction on the 205-unit Casa Celina building at a vacant parking lot site at NYCHA’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor campus and the 190-unit Atrium at Sumner building on NYCHA’s Sumner Houses campus in Brooklyn is starting, the NYCHA says in a statement.

There continues to be a pressing need throughout New York City for affordable senior housing that enables residents who have lived and been part of their communities for decades to age in place,” said Jonathan Gouveia, NYCHA’s executive vice-president of real estate development. “NYCHA is committed to increasing that supply while creating meaningful employment and social service opportunities for public housing residents and area seniors in the process.”

“Arriving at this milestone is bittersweet as we’ve lost several leaders at Sumner Houses during the pandemic,” said Matt Gross, partner/executive of Urban Builders Collaborative/Lettire Construction Corp. “We’re proud to be part of this legacy project and grateful to the Village who supported us,” he said in the statement.

Casa Celina rendering
Rendering of Casa Celina

Casa Celina was designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning and developed by Xenolith Partners LLC (a WBE developer of affordable and supportive housing); The Kretchmer Companies LLC; ELH Management LLC; and the not-for-profit Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA). Mountco will be serving as the project’s general contractor.

The Atrium at Sumner in Bedford-Stuyvesant will feature 130 studio apartments and 59 one-bedroom apartments, as well as one two-bedroom superintendent apartment, with 57 apartments set aside for homeless seniors and the remaining 132 apartments available to households earning at or below 50 percent of Area Median Income. NYCHA residents will be given preference for 33 of the apartments. The 11-story building is organized around a central atrium with corridors overlooking a year-round indoor garden on the ground floor.

The new building was designed by the architecture firm Studio Libeskind and will be developed by Urban Builders Collaborative, LLC., RiseBoro Community Partnership, Inc., and Selfhelp Realty Group – The Melamid Institute for Affordable Housing.

The Atrium at Sumner is designed to Passive House Standards, resulting in 60 to 70 percent less energy consumption compared to the average New York City apartment building.

Permanent financing for the Casa Celina includes $43 million in HDC bonds, $7.7 million in HDC Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) subsidy, $52.7 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, and $9.9 million from other sources.

Permanent financing for the Atrium at Sumner project  includes $41 million in HDC bonds; a $12 million subsidy from HDC’s Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) and HPD’s Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) programs; roughly $63 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity; $3.5 million in Reso A funds from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, City Council Members Corey Johnson and Robert Cornegy, and the City Council’s Black & Asian Caucus; $2.2 million from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York; $300,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and $10 million from other sources.

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