A piece of L+M Development Partners’ sprawling affordable housing project in Brownsville is getting a new developer.
Plans filed Friday with the Department of Buildings call for an eight-story, 157-unit mixed-use building with 5,400 square feet of community facility space at 401 Chester Street. A spokesperson for site owner L+M said it plans to transfer the property to fellow affordable housing developer Dunn Development Corp.
The building’s residential units will consist entirely of affordable senior housing provided through the three-year-old Affordable Independent Residences for Seniors program, a representative for Dunn said.
Earlier this year, AIRS became a source of frustration for developers, who said the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development had yet to approve any privately financed projects through the program. HPD said it was holding off because it wanted to reduce the income threshold for such projects.
As L+M is developing the seven-building Marcus Garvey Extension in partnership with HPD and other city agencies, Dunn may be able to avoid such complications.
The ground-floor community space at the building will be occupied by Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, a local organization that provides creative, educational and vocational programs for youth of African descent.
The Marcus Garvey Extension is being developed in the vicinity of Marcus Garvey Apartments, a 625-unit Mitchell-Lama complex that L+M acquired for $98.6 million in 2014 and subsequently rehabilitated with landscaping, a playground and a large solar panel array, among other features.
The sites for the new buildings are primarily underused parking lots.
“Several of the project sites were intended for use as accessory parking for existing Marcus Garvey Apartments tenants,” environmental assessment documents from the planning agency note. “However, the parking lots went largely underutilized for years and are no longer used by any tenants.”
The building being transferred to Dunn (Site A in the above diagram) appears to be the fourth of the seven buildings to have plans filed for it. Last week, L+M secured $179 million in public and private construction financing for 215 Livonia Avenue, 169 Livonia Avenue and 449 Chester Street (Sites B, E and F), for which plans had been filed earlier this year.
The complex is expected to be fully developed by 2024, while the three newly financed buildings are slated for completion by 2022.
In a panel discussion at The Real Deal’s 12th annual New York Showcase in May, L+M CEO Ron Moelis said that “affordable housing is a great business from the standpoint that it’s a steady business.”
“There’s so much more need than supply,” he said. “And there’s no risk that you’re not going to rent an $800-a-month apartment.”