Read full article - Macquesten Development, LLC

HCR Announces Start of Construction of $31.5 Million Affordable Housing Development
in Mount Vernon
Transit-Oriented Project with 81 Units Revitalizes Former Distressed Industrial Zone
For Immediate Release: March 27, 2015
Contact: Charni Sochet | | (212) 872-0681
MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (March 27, 2015)--New York State Homes & Community Renewal
(HCR) today announced the start of construction of The Modern, an 81-unit affordable housing
complex serving low-income and special needs tenants. With easy access to Metro-North and
other transportation, the new development is part of the transit-oriented renewal of the
Downtown Mount Vernon corridor and includes a ground-floor retail component that will
provide permanent jobs and help kick start the revitalization of this long underused and derelict
“The Modern is bringing public and private resources to bear to create a dynamic residential and
retail community,” said Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and
Community Renewal. “This development, located on a long-derelict commercial corridor,
demonstrates HCR’s commitment to quality affordable housing and innovation. The Modern is
the centerpiece of Mount Vernon’s effort to bring new life and activity to this part of town,
integrating affordable and special needs housing, economic development opportunities and
commercial space to build a stronger community.”
The Modern, by MacQuesten Development, will be built at 130 Mount Vernon Avenue,
replacing abandoned businesses in the former industrial and commercial zone. In proximity to
the Mount Vernon West Metro North Train Station that is slated to undergo major renovations
The Modern promises to be a focal point of the downtown revitalization.
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson said, “The need for workforce housing is paramount in our
community and the construction of 'The Modern' housing development will be a wonderful
addition to Mount Vernon. Our hard-working residents deserve safe and high quality homes that
are economically feasible and will contribute to the overall growth of our community. I wish to
thank Rella Fogliano, Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Darryl Towns for their vision and
support for this exciting project.”
Assemblyman Gary Pretlow said, "More than 80 individuals and families will soon have a safe
affordable place to call home, thanks to the amazing work, dedication and commitment of
MacQuesten Development, HCR, and Governor Cuomo. We are truly fortunate that so many
partners in the public and private sectors care for the betterment of Mount Vernon and her
“We are particularly excited about this project because it will serve as a catalyst for the creation
of a sustainable neighborhood in which people can live, work and have easy access to services
and mass transit. As a mixed-use project, The Modern will bring expanded activity and new
focus to this strategically important area of the city,” said Rella Fogliano, President, MacQuesten
Development LLC.
Financing for the development comes from public and private sources. Through New York State
Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the State is providing: $15.1 million in tax exempt
bonds, $750,000 from the New York State Community Investment Fund for commercial space,
and $950,000 from the New York State Medicaid Redesign Team. Other State investment
includes: $3 million from the New York State Office of Mental Health, through MacQuesten’s
not-for-profit partner, Community Housing Innovations (CHI).
Private resources include $3.9 million in subordinate financing from Bank of America; $2.2
million in developer’s equity; and $200,000 from the City of Mount Vernon federal HOME
The project is part of the State’s initiative to develop supportive housing for high-needs New
Yorkers. Twenty-two units will provide permanent housing for individuals with special needs
who will receive CHI supportive client services including employment services, daily and
community living skills training, healthcare monitoring and medication management, linkages
and referrals to community services, coordination of social and cultural activities and support
The remaining units will be rented to eligible households with incomes at or below 60% of the
Area Median Income, which is $64,740 for a family of four.
The State’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) identified savings that rein in runaway Medicaid
spending. Of that savings, the state is reinvesting $260 million in supportive housing, which
provides better health outcomes for vulnerable, high-need Medicaid clients. The project also
benefits from the Community Investment Fund (CIF) financing that provides resources for retail
or community space in an affordable housing development – to help make feasible mixed-use
development in urban communities.
“Supporting the development of safe, affordable housing in underserved communities like Mount
Vernon is vitally important to Bank of America Merrill Lynch,” said Todd Gomez, Northeast
Regional Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “MacQuesten’s experience with and
passion for community development made this an ideal project to finance. In addition to
$27MM of debt financing and equity investment, the Bank also provided $3.9MM of deeply
subordinate financing targeted to family housing throughout New York, which reduced The
Modern’s reliance on state subsidy.”
CHI executive director Alexander Roberts said, “We are thrilled to be part of one of the projects
under Governor Cuomo’s innovative mental health initiative.
The 11-story building will also feature rooftop recreational space offering beautiful views of
Westchester County and the New York City skyline. The building will conform to a stringent
Green Building Initiative and seek LEED Certification. The Modern has also been approved for
NYSERDA certification under the Energy Star and Multi Family Performance Program.
About HCR:
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) consists of all the State's major
housing and community renewal agencies, including the Affordable Housing Corporation, the
Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York
Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. In 2014, HCR set an agency
record by financing the creation or preservation of 9,363 affordable housing units, including
affordable homeownership opportunities for more than one thousand families.