On Wednesday, February 27th, 2019, Camber Property Group, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement Inc., (HCCI), NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC), and NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) held a groundbreaking ceremony for Victory Plaza in Harlem. The ceremony included community members and elected officials for Victory Plaza, a 136-unit, 100 percent affordable building for seniors in Harlem. The building, located at 11 West 118th Street, will include 41 units set aside for formerly homeless seniors and will be constructed using the latest sustainable design principles. Victory Plaza is being constructed on underutilized land associated with a neighboring senior housing building. The project will leverage recent zoning changes passed by the New York City Council known as Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) that provide density bonuses with the creation of senior affordable housing. The nine-story building will feature interior and exterior community space and an outdoor garden, as well as offices for on-site social services. The building anticipates a completion date of December 2020.
“Victory Plaza will provide state of the art senior housing serving some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Rick Gropper, Principal at Camber Property Group. “With on-site social services and curated indoor and outdoor amenity space, our residents will live in comfort without concern about rent burden. Camber and HCCI are thankful to HPD, HDC, Councilmember Bill Perkins and Wells Fargo for their support in making this impactful project a reality.”
“HCCI has produced quality affordable housing in Harlem for over 32-years,” said Malcolm Punter, President, and CEO of HCCI. “By and large, the production of the Victory Plaza Senior Housing, a core achievement adding 136 units of senior housing to Central Harlem, represents a strategic victory for our community. Our partnership with Camber, HDC, HPD, Wells Fargo is evidence that private-public partnerships in affordable housing continue to improve the lives of low-income New Yorkers.”
“Through Housing New York, we are looking to build the next generation of senior housing. Victory Plaza will create 136 homes for seniors, including 41 homes for homeless seniors, on land that was part of an existing HUD 202, delivering on a key strategy laid out in Housing New York 2.0,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank HCCI, Camber, Wells Fargo, and all our partners for working with us to protect our city’s seniors.”
“Through Housing New York 2.0, we doubled our commitment to senior housing and today, as we break ground on Victory Plaza, we continue to make good on that promise,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to all our partners who have worked to ensure these 136 permanently affordable homes will serve New York City seniors for generations to come.”
“Victory Plaza will address one of the most urgent needs in New York City – affordable housing for seniors,” said Vince Toye, head of Community Lending and Investment for Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo is committed to helping improve access to affordable housing in areas where there are the biggest needs, and we’re proud to support this ambitious project with both equity and debt financing.”
The $65 million projects is financed by HDC, HPD and Wells Fargo. The NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is funding $46 million in tax-exempt bonds and subsidy, HPD is contributing $7 million in subsidy and Wells Fargo is contributing $26 million in equity generated from the sale of Low Income Housing Tax Credits, along with a $39 million Letter of Credit.
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The Aufgang Architects-designed Victory Plaza will be located in the heart of Harlem, where senior residents will enjoy close proximity to cultural attractions, restaurants and a range of senior centers and health service providers. It will also enjoy close access to parks, with Marcus Garvey Park two blocks to the north and within a ten-minute walk of Central Park to the south.
Photo credit: 1) Victory Plaza launch ceremony in Harlem. 2) Risa Heller Comms rendering by Aufgang Architects.