RUPCO competes ‘most complex project ever undertaken’

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New York Construction Report staff writer

With the completion of a $37 million affordable housing development this week, the City of Newburgh has renovated or constructed 24 properties and created 62 affordable homes, including 10 units with supportive services.

The campus will also serve as the new home of Newburgh YouthBuild, a program that prepares local youth ages 16 to 24 for careers in carpentry, construction trades, culinary arts, and nursing.

East End II is the second phase of an East End revitalization effort. The project’s first phase, completed in 2018, included the substantial rehabilitation of 15 historic properties to create 45 affordable homes. The developer of East End I and II is RUPCO, Inc.

Kevin O’Connor, chief executive officer of RUPCO, called it “the most complex project RUPCO has ever undertaken.

“Our mission is to create homes, support people, and improve communities, and East End II represents that.”

The project also includes the adaptive reuse of a historic church to create 17,000 square feet of commercial and community space in a facility known as Highpoint.

Renovated or newly constructed properties are clustered in a seven-block area between Newburgh’s Broadway and South Street commercial corridors. There are 13 one-bedroom, 17 two-bedroom, and 32 three-bedroom units, which are all affordable to households earning up to 70 percent of the Area Median Income.

New community space known as Highpoint, spans an entire city block. The 17,000 square feet of community and commercial space includes the former United Methodist Church, the newly restored 257 Liberty Street building, and the city-owned Audrey Carey Park.

An energy-efficient development, all newly constructed buildings at East End II meet the US Green Building Council LEED Rating System’s criteria for Gold certification.

“East End II is a transformative project that is grounded in a strong reinvestment in existing neighborhood infrastructure and a commitment to communal spaces,” said Erik Kulleseid, office of parks, recreation and historic preservation commissioner. “By utilizing federal and state historic tax credits and rehabilitating previously vacant buildings into mixed-use spaces and residences,

“East End II showcases the valuable contributions historic buildings can continue to bring to communities. And, through new onsite programs such as Newburgh YouthBuild, these spaces will also nurture skilled tradespersons who may work on historic preservation efforts in the future. It is a dynamic model to consider for community revitalization and we are glad to be part of such efforts.”

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