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Douglaston closes on deal to build 450 apartments on NY Botanical Garden land

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) and Douglaston Development has closed two separate 99-year ground leases at 2856 Webster Avenue and 410 Bedford Park Boulevard.

The property is owned by NYBG and located one block from its 250-acre grounds.

Douglaston intends to develop the sites in two separate phases as 100 percent affordable housing. Together, the two phases will include 450 units of affordable housing for low-income seniors and low- to moderate-income families in Community District 7. 

The development strategy will retain the existing long-standing grocery store, Cherry Valley Marketplace, that has been operating in this location for more than 13 years. 

Douglaston and NYBG, working with the supermarket operator, have received certification from the New York City Department of City Planning for a Food Retail Expansion to Support Health Program (FRESH) store in the ground floor space. 

The FRESH program encourages the creation and retention of grocery stores that provide fresh meat, fruit and vegetables in underserved communities.  The existing grocery store will remain fully operational while construction commences on the first phase.

“With a 40-year development track record in the New York City area and beyond, we’ve seen the critical need for more affordable housing options in our City, especially for our senior population,” said Jeffrey Levine, Chairman of Douglaston Development. 

Jeffrey Levine

“We’re thrilled to be joining forces and visions with The New York Botanical Garden on this project, an institution with roots in the Bronx community dating back 129 years to provide this vital housing resource to the community.”

The first phase of development at 2856 Webster Avenue will include 188 units of affordable housing for seniors, available to those earning up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and 12,000 s/f of FRESH grocery space. On-site social services will be provided through the Fordham Bedford Community Services.

Construction financing arranged in cooperation with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and New York State Housing and Community Renewal is anticipated to close in December of this year and construction completion is planned for 2022.

The second phase of development, at 410 Bedford Park Boulevard, will include approximately 260 affordable rental units, for individuals and families earning between 30 and 100 percent of AMI, and an additional 8,000 square feet of community retail space.

Frank Liantonio, an executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, represented The New York Botanical Garden in the deal. Douglaston represented itself.

Stephen B. Jacobs Group is serving as the project architect.

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