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Yonkers announces new financing for master-planned community

Yonkers housing authority has announced the latest funding package for the city’s new $296 million masterplan to turn Cottage Place Gardens in to a modern, mixed-income community.

178 Warburton at The Ridgeway is the fifth phase of the six-phase master plan to redevelop the distressed Cottage Place public housing complex built in 1945.

The Ridgeway is being developed by the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY) and The Community Builders (TCB) and will replace three outdated public housing buildings (Cottage Place Gardens Building #4, 8, and 12) and a disused gas station with a new, energy efficient residential building. The project also includes the remediation of a brownfield.

It will have 500 units of housing, parking spaces, a central open space as well as mixed-use development in three of the six project phases.

To date, 242 units across three phases have been completed, as well as the substantial renovation of an existing daycare center. Another 166 units of housing are currently under construction at 172 Warburton and 178 Warburton.

Financing for 178 Warburton at The Ridgeway includes $10,432 from for predevelopment to permanent financing; TCB contributed over $700,000 in predevelopment financing; Community Capital New York provided a $800,000 predevelopment loan. The City of Yonkers has committed to provide $500,000 in City HOME funds and $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding.

Other financing sources include NYS Housing Finance Agency tax exempt bond financing and subsidy, Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, State Low Income Housing Tax Credits, NYS Brownfield Tax Credits, $5 million from Westchester County Housing Implementation Fund and $250,000 of a $2.5 million Empire State Development Restore NY grant that was secured to finance multiple phases of the redevelopment.

The total development cost for the entire multi-phase project is estimated to be $296 million. New York State Homes and Community Renewal is the primary source of financing for the effort, having already committed several million dollars in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), hard debt, and gap financing toward the total development cost of $183 million for Phases I, II, III and IV.

The new eight-story building at178 Warburton, which is under construction, will feature a unit mix of six studio units, 35 one-bedrooms, and 40 two-bedrooms. The building will include a common laundry room, on-site management, and a rooftop resident center. Parking is free of charge. The units are affordable to families with a mix of incomes, ranging from 30% to 90% of Area Median Income (AMI).

The mixed-use building will also include a new Early Head Start day care center serving infants and toddlers from families with lower incomes. The center will be operated by Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc. (WestCOP), a private, not-for-profit, multipurpose social service organization, who will also operate the Head Start pre-kindergarten center at 172 Warburton Avenue, the fourth phase of the redevelopment also presently under construction.

The project also includes a 33,000 s/f central open space to be constructed to the east of the building.

Rendering of the planned community

“This new phase of Cottage Garden’s redevelopment points to the positive momentum happening right now in Yonkers as we revitalize our neighborhoods and improve the lives of the residents who live here,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “We are building a stronger, a more sustainable community for residents, thanks to the support of our federal, state, private and local community partners and their commitment to Yonkers. I look forward to the great improvements that will be made to this very deserving neighborhood.”

“We are thrilled to begin construction on this project to transform an obsolete public housing site into a neighborhood of choice for people with a mix of incomes,”  said Sue McCann, regional senior vice president for real estate development for The Community Builders. “We continue building a beautiful community for our current and future residents in Southwest Yonkers.”

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