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Chinese-American Planning Council breaks ground for Broome St. development

The Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC), in partnership with the Gotham Organization, today held a ceremony to celebrate the groundbreaking of both 55 Suffolk Street and 64 Norfolk Street in the Lower East Side.

CPC chose the Gotham Organization as its partner to help plan and build the proposed community in 2017, concluding an extensive RFP process. The two organizations partnered over a period of four years concluding with a ULURP approval for the mixed-use community in February 2020.

In December, the development team closed on a total $230 million financial capitalization of 55 Suffolk Street to begin construction of the 330,000 s/f building including a new 40,000 s/f state of the art Chinese-American Planning Council headquarters, 378 rental homes including 94 affordable residences and 18,000 s/f of small format retail space.

Wells Fargo provided Gotham with a $162.4 million construction loan and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (GS UIG) invested $55 million of private equity for the $235 million development cost at 55 Suffolk, with a total equity of approximately $70 million.

More recently in April, the development team closed on a total $63.5 million financial capitalization of 64 Norfolk Street to begin construction of the 84,000-square-foot building including 115 senior affordable residences and a new 4,000-square-foot congregation and cultural heritage center for the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol (BHH) synagogue. Congregation BHH was founded in New York City in 1852 and has been integral to the community since. Wells Fargo provided Gotham with a $22.5 million construction loan and HPD provided $22.4 million in capital subsidy. GS UIG is investing approximately $31 million inclusive of both the construction and permanent phases through its purchase of federal low-income housing and NYS brownfield tax credits generated by the project.

“CPC is excited to build our permanent headquarters and community center and to create much needed affordable housing in the neighborhoods we have served for over 50 years,” said Wayne Ho, President and CEO of CPC. “We partner with 60,000 community members every year and we look forward to serving them in our new headquarters which will serve as a community anchor in the Lower East Side.”

“Today’s groundbreaking demonstrates the City’s commitment to work with dedicated partners, like the Chinese-American Planning Council, to create and preserve affordable housing, while also opening up critical community spaces, like the cultural heritage space for the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol Synagogue (BHH). In particular, we honor our aging population by dedicating over half of the development’s homes to our senior New Yorkers. This prioritization is especially important given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on this already vulnerable community,” said Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “The Broome Street Development will bring 208 safe, affordable, accessible, and dignified homes—some with supportive social services—to the Lower East Side community. I look forward to welcoming tenants to their new homes soon.”

Photo by Daniel Wai

“I am so excited to see this important project move forward,” said Council Member Margaret Chin“Chinese-American Planning Council has a long-standing history of serving Lower Manhattan and the organization is long overdue for a permanent home. I am so happy to see the creation of deeply affordable housing units as well as community space, including a 4,000 square foot congregation space and synagogue cultural center. I want to thank leadership from Chinese-American Planning Council, including Virginia Kee, Wayne Ho, and Veronica Tsang, and I am proud to stand with them today in celebration of this groundbreaking. As Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Aging, I advocate around the clock for New York City’s seniors. These deeply affordable apartments are exactly what our city needs to help low-income New Yorkers – especially our older adults — recover from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“This project is an example of how a successful public-private partnership can reap tremendous community benefits, such as much-needed intergenerational affordable housing, critical community facilities, neighborhood retail, and cultural space leveraged by private investment, when executed correctly,” said Gotham Executive Vice President of Development Bryan Kelly. “After going through the ULURP process and having on-going conversations with community leaders, we’re proud to follow through with a plan that not only responds to the city-wide housing crisis but addresses the Lower East Side’s unique housing challenges for the growing senior population.”

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