A Manhattan developer that has concentrated on building apartments in Brooklyn, Harlem and Queens is setting its sights on New Rochelle.
BRP Development Corp. has received city approvals to build a $57 million mixed-income apartment building at 10 Commerce St., on the periphery of the city’s downtown.
The minority-owned firm was founded in 1998 by Geoff Flournoy and Meredith Marshall. The developers think of themselves as innovators in urban housing, according to their website.
Many of the projects are near subways, train stations and bus hubs, such as Caton Flats in Flatbush, The Lafayette in Harlem and The Crossing at Jamaica Station in Queens.
The New Rochelle project is aimed at people who commute to Manhattan but prefer suburban life. Like many developers in Westchester County, BRP is targeting young single professionals, young couples and older couples who are downsizing.
“To attract this population,” BRP states in its application for tax abatement, “the project will need to provide high-quality amenities and apartment finishes, while keeping the rents competitive when compared to similar projects in White Plains, Port Chester, Stamford and NYC.”
The 1.17-acre New Rochelle site is squeezed between railroad tracks and Cedar Street, and it has a two-story building that is headquarters to Somnia Inc., an anesthesia services company, that will be torn down.
BRP 10 Commerce LLC bought the Somnia building in February for $5,450,000 from Koch Family LLC and CJE LLC.
The proposed apartments would be a half-mile walk to New Rochelle Transportation Center where tenants can take a Metro-North train to midtown Manhattan, catch a bus or hail a cab. The building will have electric car charging stations and parking for 162 cars and 56 bicycles.
Humphreys & Partners Urban Architecture has
designed a 7-story, 204,976-square-foot building with 172 dwellings. The mix includes 53 studios, 64 one-bedroom and 55 two-bedroom apartments.
Ten percent of the apartments will be rented as affordable units, with rents pegged at 80 percent of the area median income. Leases will range from $1,463 for a studio to $1,658 for a one-bedroom and $1,860 for a two-bedroom.
Market-rate rents are expected to begin at $1,900 for a studio, $2,150 to $2,300 for a one-bedroom, and $2,350 to $2,700 for a two-bedroom.
The New Rochelle Industrial Development Agency gave BRP authorization for nearly $8.2 million in tax incentives on April 25. The subsidies include $342,511 mortgage recording tax relief, $1.6 million sales tax exemption and a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes agreement worth $6.2 million.
The current property taxes are $121,279 a year. The tax abatement begins at 90 percent in the first year and ends at 5 percent in year 20, for $9.6 million in total payments and a savings of 39 percent on the full $15.8 million tax rate.
When fully occupied, the apartment building is expected to add nine students to the public school system, costing $175,428 a year, according to an analysis for the city by the National Development Council. That’s 125 percent more than the schools will receive in the first year of the tax abatement deal. But by year three, PILOT revenues for the schools will exceed the estimated education costs.
The city expects to receive an extra $3 million in taxes and fees over the life of the deal compared with current taxes.
The project is expected to create 329 construction jobs and 5.5 full-time equivalent jobs.
A BRP representative said at the IDA meeting that construction could begin late this year or early next year and will take two years to build.
BRP could soon be doubling down on New Rochelle.
Luiz Aragon, the city’s commissioner of development, said at the meeting that BRP could be coming back with another project. Mayor Noam Bramson referred to a 16-story, 243-apartment building at 500 Main St., at his 2018 state-of-the-city address. And BRP recently bought the building at 506 Main St. for $1.2 million.