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City and Elected Officials Join Pennrose, Riseboro Community Partnership and Project Partners to Break Ground on 218 Units of Affordable Housing in East New York

October 2, 2019

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) today joined Pennrose and RiseBoro Community Partnership to celebrate the groundbreaking of 50 Penn, a 218-unit affordable development. 50 Penn will be developed specifically to meet the key priorities identified in the East New York Neighborhood Plan. The transformative mixed-income, mixed-use development is expected to be completed in July of 2021.

Designed for family occupancy, 50 Penn will contain 218 residences, including 56 studios, 96 one- bedroom, 48 two-bedroom, and 18 three-bedroom apartments. 42 units will be set-aside for formerly homeless and frail elderly households that will receive on-site supportive services from RiseBoro. Operating subsidy for the 42 units of senior supportive housing is being provided by the New York State Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) program. 102 units will be permanently affordable, 44 of which were made possible thanks to the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program (MIH). The residences will be available for tenants at a range of income levels, with units available to extremely low-income households earning up to 30% of AMI to low-income households earning up to 80% of AMI.

“In keeping with the vision of a more equitable New York, 50 Penn will provide 218 affordable homes to the East New York community - nearly half of which will be permanently affordable,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin.  “Through projects like this, we are providing greater security and peace of mind to our lowest income households, as well as providing our most vulnerable formerly-homeless and senior residents with the supportive services they need and deserve. I applaud our partners across the private and public sectors, as well as our elected officials, for their contributions in reaching this important milestone.”

The ground floor will be anchored by a grocery store as part of the NYC Department of City Planning FRESH program, which promotes nutritious, affordable, and fresh food in underserved neighborhoods. The two remaining street front retail spaces will be leased to, neighborhood-scale retailers at discounted rents as one of the first developments to pilot the East New York Retail Preservation Program (ENYRPP). The ENYRPP is intended to persevere opportunities for longstanding East New York businesses to operate within the boundaries of the rezoned neighborhood at rents that facilitate the ability to source their workforce from within the community and provide job training and benefits. The project is also being developed in accordance with the HireNYC program and HPD’s Build Up program to provide opportunities for qualifying minority- and women-owned businesses.

“A recent comprehensive community engagement process gave us the chance to learn from residents of East New York and the surrounding areas. Today we celebrate the start of construction on what we’ve heard residents desire most – new accessible affordable housing opportunities. 50 Penn will create 218 new affordable homes for a range of households including formerly homeless households. We look forward to continuing our work with the community and supporting new area investments that will improve the lives of those that call East New York and Cypress Hills their home,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I want to thank Pennrose, Riseboro, and our development partners for their dedication to our common goal of building a more affordable New York City.”

Residents of 50 Penn will have access to on-site laundry facilities, community room, fitness lounge, and private landscaped terrace on the second floor. The project has been designed to meet Enterprise Green Community standards, and features rooftop solar photovoltaic panels and green roofs that are intended to offset the carbon footprint of the project and minimize stormwater runoff

“Coinciding with other planned capital improvements, 50 Penn will be a key factor in the changing fabric of the East New York neighborhood,” said Timothy I. Henkel, Principal and Senior Vice President at Pennrose. “Our main priority is always building properties that offer long-term, community-wide benefits. 50 Penn has the potential to contribute to the economic vibrancy heralded by the rezoning of East New York, by at once preserving outlets for local entrepreneurship, providing a diverse mix of affordable and intergenerational housing options, and creating much-needed local jobs and improving healthy food access.” 

Pennrose will serve as the lead developer, with RiseBoro providing supportive services and property management. Pennrose and RiseBoro have a strong track record of successful partnerships. Along with Habitat for Humanity New York City, Pennrose and RiseBoro are currently developing Haven Green in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan.

“We are thrilled to be part of the 50 Penn team, delivering on the promise of community benefit articulated in the 2016 East New York rezoning,” said Scott Short, CEO of RiseBoro Community Partnership. “The project not only provides much-needed deeply affordable and inclusive housing units, but also meets many of the other community priorities, including advancing local economic opportunity, food justice, and environmental stewardship.”

50 Penn is financed under HDC and HPD’s ELLA programs. HDC provided approximately $44.03 million of tax-exempt bonds and $13.75 million in corporate reserves. HPD provided $31.06 million in city subsidy.  New York City Council Member Rafael L. Espinal Jr. provided $2 million in Reso A funds. Redstone Equity Partners acted as the tax credit syndicator, Citi Community Capital is the tax credit investor and provided a letter of credit for the construction.