New Haven Housing Authority to Approve Section 8 units in new Shartenberg Project
(5/21/2007) The Housing Authority of New Haven (HANH) Board is expected to approve a resolution today to partner with the City of New Haven and Becker and Becker Associates, Inc. to ensure that affordable housing will be included in the new Shartenberg Project. Becker + Becker is the City’s chosen firm to develop the Shartenberg Site. The City of New Haven has offered HANH an opportunity to partner with the City in the development of the Project whereby HANH will provide up to $3,975,000.00 of financial assistance for the Project. The agreement also provides for 25 Project-Based Vouchers from HANH for an initial contract term of ten years. The development has been designed to meet the needs of a mixed-income population. Becker + Becker will work with the City of New Haven to incorporate a total of 50 units of affordable housing into the Project.
“The inclusion of affordable housing targeted to very low income families in this $100+ million project reflects New Haven’s commitment to providing accessible and high quality housing that is affordable to residents of all economic backgrounds,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “I am excited to continue to partner with the Housing Authority of New Haven to make this possible.”
The redevelopment of the former Shartenberg Department Store site, in vibrant downtown New Haven, represents one of the most exciting and significant development opportunities in the region. Becker + Becker’s proposal for a mixed-use, transit-oriented and green development will embrace and expand upon New Haven’s renaissance. Becker + Becker will build an iconic structure of exceptional design, to include approximately 475 units of rental housing, retail including a grocery store, parking and community facilities. When completed, the project will be a visual gateway to New Haven, support a growing downtown population and workforce, and further the area’s revitalization already underway. The developer brings at least $100 million to this project, much of this funded through union-backed pension funds. This project will be built by union labor. The redevelopment of this site is expected to bring 1,265 construction jobs and 99 permanent jobs to the city.
“Our company has a longstanding commitment to incorporating affordable components in prior projects such as the Octagon in New York City. We are pleased to formally enter into a meaningful relationship with the Housing Authority as we get closer to making this project a reality,” says Bruce Becker, Managing Partner of Becker + Becker.
HANH Board approval is conditional, requiring approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, subject to environmental review; subsidy layering review to ensure against excess public subsidies; permitting subsidy for families with children in a high-rise with elevators; and allowing payment standards of up to up to 120% of the local Fair Market Rents (FMR).
“The Housing Authority is very excited to be a part of this fantastic project. Our involvement reflects an achievement in our policy to integrate affordable housing into all neighborhoods throughout the City,” said Jimmy Miller, Executive Director of HANH. “The units supported by HANH will guarantee long term housing for very low income residents.”
“The Board understands the need to support development that is committed to incorporating affordable housing,” said Bob Solomon, Chairman of the HANH Board. “Our subsidy will guarantee that Becker + Becker will meet its commitment of 50 affordable units in the project.”
The Shartenberg site is currently a 1.5-acre surface parking lot located at 745 Chapel Street, occupying the entire frontage of Chapel Street between State and Orange Streets in downtown. In February 2007, the City announced the results of the RFP Process and reported that the City would enter into negotiations with Becker and Becker, the top choice developer, to reach a formal understanding on the project and its terms. Becker + Becker’s selection was based on evaluation criteria and was solidified by their proven track record in urban areas, qualifications of the developer and members of the project team, their experience, financial capability, and financial commitment.
In April 2007, the City and Becker + Becker signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing on a wide range of project terms, including allowable property uses (residential, retail, hotel, office, child day care and parking), a development timeline, funding security and explicit expectations regarding design, density, and parking. This project is expected to start the public review process in late May or early June.
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