NEW YORK, NY - BRP Companies, The NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC), and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today announced the commencement of construction of The Bradford, an innovative, $45 million housing and retail development in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. U.S. and New York City officials joined the developers and financial supporters of this project at a ceremony today celebrating the groundbreaking.
Source: The Bradford:
The Bradford, located at 1560-1576 Fulton Street, will offer 105 apartments for rent to low- and middle-income families and represents a significant milestone in revitalizing the area of Bedford Stuyvesant. The project, which is slated for completion in the summer of 2012, is part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), an $8.4 billion initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by 2014. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of nearly 108,600 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs. Under the NHMP, more than 2,940 affordable homes have been financed in Brooklyn Community District 3 where The Bradford is being built.
The groundbreaking was attended by Edolphus Towns, U.S. Congressman; Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President; Albert Vann, New York City Council Member; Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs; Colvin Grannum, President and CEO of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp.; Rafael E. Cestero, Commissioner of NYC Housing Preservation and Development; Marc Jahr, President of NYC Housing Development Corporation; Deborah Wright, CEO of Carver Bancorp; and Geoff Flournoy and Meredith Marshall, Managing Directors of BRP.
Goldman Sachs, the sole private investor in The Bradford, worked closely with HDC, HPD, and BRP Companies to develop an innovative financing structure. This project represents the first time HDC financing has been used in conjunction with New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). Goldman Sachs' investment in the project, coupled with the HDC and HPD financing, enabled the project to move forward despite the difficult real estate financing environment and diminishing government resources.
"The Bradford is the type of development that can help transform underserved communities into sustainable and vibrant neighborhoods by providing more affordable housing and community-serving retail space," said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. "The Bradford is the latest investment in a series of mixed-income community development projects Goldman Sachs has made in Bedford-Stuyvesant and across New York City."
In addition to The Bradford, Goldman Sachs has financed two other mixed-use mixed-income real estate projects in Bedford Stuyvesant, including Vendors Market and Garvey, which total an additional $50 million in development costs.
For The Bradford, HDC issued $20.7 million in recycled tax exempt bonds for the construction financing and provided $6.8 million in subsidy from its corporate reserves.
"HDC works with a variety of partners to make the new, affordable housing a reality in communities across the city," said Marc Jahr, President of HDC. "The opportunity to bring the financial and intellectual capital of Goldman Sachs to bear on financing The Bradford by putting New Markets Tax Credits to work will benefit many future generations here in Bed-Stuy. This innovative structure has enabled The Bradford project to move forward, allowing the City to meet the needs of this community, which is creating sustainable homes for our New Yorkers."
Additionally, HPD provided $4.38 million in City Capital funds, $1.9 in HOME funds and $1 million in HTF funds. Goldman Sachs, in addition to fulfilling the role as equity backer for the bond issuance, has also provided $6.5 million in NMTC equity.
"There has been a revitalization taking hold in Bedford Stuyvesant that is undeniable and today's groundbreaking is positive proof of the City's ongoing commitment to the success of this vibrant neighborhood," said HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero. "The affordable housing we are creating at The Bradford will provide a place for families to settle and grow roots, and the new retail space can be a catalyst for growth and opportunity that will strengthen the community for years to come. Under the Mayor's housing plan, we have financed more than 2,900 affordable homes in this community board, but we could not have done it alone. I'd like to thank our partners Goldman Sachs and BRP Companies who have played a key role in helping to advance our mission of creating a more affordable and sustainable New York."
The not-for-profit and development partners are the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (BSRC), the nation's oldest community development corporation, and BRP Companies, a development firm of multi-family housing throughout New York City and Philadelphia.
"The Bradford represents a significant milestone in BSRC's initiative to re-envision and revitalize Fulton Street, the major commercial corridor in Bedford-Stuyvesant," said Colvin W. Grannum, President of BSRC. "The project will transform one of the most blighted sections of Fulton Street by creating a significant amount of mixed income, affordable housing and attractive, flexible commercial space."
Of the 105 rental units, 21 will be reserved for families earning no greater than 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI), currently $23,760 for a family of four. In addition, 32 of the units will have rents set at 125% AMI (currently $99,000 for a family of four) and 51 set at 130% AMI ($102,960 for a family of four), and the remaining units may be rented to households earning up to 160% AMI ($126,720 for a family of four). The ground floor retail space contains approximately 9,700-square-feet for reserved for small businesses, providing both job and expanded retail opportunities.
BRP Companies is currently developing approximately $250 million in seven mixed-use properties in New York City. The Bradford is part of a broader strategic partnership between the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs and BRP to invest in mixed-income community development projects in neighborhoods across New York City.
"BRP is very proud to be developing The Bradford as it serves as a model for affordable, sustainable and transit-oriented development in emerging urban markets. This project was conceived over five years ago and would not have become a reality without the support of local community groups, city agencies, community development entities and Goldman Sachs," said Meredith Marshall, Managing Director of BRP Development Corporation. "In addition to the much needed economic stimulus, we are particularly excited about The Bradford's cutting-edge green elements including an on-site co-generation plant and other sustainable features that put the project on track for LEED Silver certification."
Other projects jointly developed by BRP, HDC and HPD include Garvey Apartments, a 78-unit low-income rental development on the same block as The Bradford, which will be completed in the summer of 2011, and The Douglass, a 38-unit condominium project in Harlem, which is currently 80 percent sold and includes apartments for low-income families. Additional projects in the pipeline include developments in Central Brooklyn, the South Bronx, Queens, and Upper Manhattan.