By Dan Orlando
BRP Companies, the developers of Macedonia Plaza, a new addition to the affordable housing market in Flushing, had a wish this holiday season.
“Collectively as a group, it was very important to us to have the residents move in, before and during the holidays,” Carrie Reich, Director of Operations, BRP Management Group said. With the dawn of 2015 less than 24 hours away, the building is half rented and occupied.
“I think everyone was excited to get in and we were excited to open the building. It was great way to start the new year.”
The mixed-use project commands 9,000 sf between retail and residential space on 37th Avenue. Construction began in 2012 and cost about $50M to complete. Utilizing tax credits from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation, BRP followed 420-C protocol to build the 143-unit structure.
“We received over 39,000 applications,” Reich told Real Estate Weekly, adding that “the interviewing process to confirm eligibility takes quite a bit of time.”
The residential tenants were ultimately selected via a supervised city lottery that took factors such as disabilities and municipal employment into consideration.
“The City of New York was involved to make sure that these metrics were met,” she said.
Reich spoke with Real Estate Weekly about the impact that BRP expects Macedonia to have on the borough and referred to the demand for affordable housing throughout New York City as “incredibly important.”
“Numbers don’t lie,” said Reich, pointing to the nearly 40,000 potential residents that applied for housing in the building. “Affordable housing is needed here.”
“(Affordable housing) keeps people in their homes and within their communities. The development of affordable housing also allows for jobs, contributing to the economic growth of the area.”
Macedonia is bringing more than housing to the area and after planning to house multiple retail tenants, BRP opted to lease the entirety of the building’s commercial space to a single green grocer.
While she did not reveal specifics regarding whom the tenant will be, Reich did say that the store will provide both traditional groceries and a sit-down dining area.
BRP’s footprint in New York City extends into market-rate housing as well.
While that world may include clients with more options and less financial restrictions, Reich says that selling affordable units still requires salesmanship and a quality product.
“It’s obviously a little bit different than doing a conventional lease up on a market-rate building,” said Reich before adding that “I still think that there’s marketing involved in this.”
“People are paying varying rents and while the rents are affordable, they still want to see the apartments.”
Macedonia expects to be fully rented by the close of next month and projects to be LEED Silver Certified upon its projected official completion in February of 2015.