Developers of a West End housing project in New Rochelle are cobbling together government financing to build low-rent apartments in a city in need of affordable housing.
About 40 percent of renters in New Rochelle pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing, according to a state report. Nearly 18 percent of the city’s households use more than half of their income for housing.
“New Rochelle has demonstrated a great need for affordable housing,” the state Homes and Community Renewal report says. The state Housing Finance Agency, a division of Homes and Community Renewal, is considering a request for financing that would alleviate the city rent crunch.
The $27.3 million Craft Apartments project at Union Avenue and 1st Street consists of 75 units in a six-story building, with two ground-floor retail spaces and parking for 89 vehicles. The project site is close to the Metro-North train station and about a half-mile from Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital.
The West End is the city’s most densely populated neighborhood and has the highest concentration of low-income households. These blue-collar, working-class streets are where many immigrants first started out, beginning with Germans and then Italians and Latinos. More than half of the residents, according to the 2010 census, were Hispanic or Latino.
Local developer Louis J. Iacopetta paid $1.8 million for three parcels on Union Avenue, including Battaglia Brothers market, Win-Rite Plumbing and a warehouse. His Quintessential Associates LLC is teaming on the project with Regan Development Corp. of Ardsley. General contractor David Resetarits has a small interest in the project, according to the housing agency report. The development’s management company is Interstate Realty Management Co. and the architect is Edward Paul Butt Architects of New Hyde park.
All 75 apartments are designated as affordable housing, with rents ranging from $901 to $1,835 a month. The units span 500 to 750 square feet, including 10 studios and 55 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom apartments.
Fifty-two units will be rented to people who make no more than 60 percent of Westchester’s median income, 12 units to people with developmental disabilities who make no more than 50 percent of the median, and 11 units to residents earning no more than 80 percent of the median income. Thirty apartments will be rented to seniors.
The developers have asked the state housing agency for a $17 million, tax-exempt affordable housing revenue bond issue to fund a mortgage, an $8,960,000 mortgage loan and 4 percent tax credits worth more than $8 million over 10 years.
The request is not a done deal. The state Housing Finance Agency was supposed to consider the proposal at its Oct. 12 meeting, but postponed action to get more information from the developers.
Other government funding sources for the project include another state tax credit for $308,798 annually and a $1.2 million loan from the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. The New Rochelle City Council has approved a tax abatement plan that will save the developers $6.7 million in property taxes over 30 years.
The combination of state government bonds, loans and tax credits account for 87 percent of the project’s development costs.