Harlem’s Erbograph Apartments Breaks Ground on LEED-Designed, Affordable Senior Housing

The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) and the Jonathan Rose Companies celebrated the ground breaking earlier this month on Erbograph Apartments, the first senior housing development in Harlem designed to achieve LEED® Silver certification. The 8-story, 65-unit senior housing building located in Harlem is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2011.  The Erbograph Apartments, which are located on a city-owned site formerly occupied by an abandoned film storage warehouse known as the Erbograph building, is a positive redevelopment for affordable senior housing in New York City.

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Designed by Harlem-based architect, Body Lawson Associates, Erbograph Apartments is 62,000 square feet and will be built in accordance with environmentally conscious development standards and include a terrace and planted green roof on the 7th floor to provide open space for residents.  The project will utilize a rainwater harvesting system to funnel water from the roof into storage tanks to be used for irrigation and cooling-tower make-up, reducing utility costs and storm-water run-off.  The project exceeds the NYSERDA Green Affordable Housing Program and Enterprise Green Communities guidelines for environmental responsibility and is expected to achieve LEED® Silver designation.

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"Thanks to leadership of HCCI, the Jonathan Rose Companies and their successful partnership with community leaders and elected officials, our community will have a new, multi-faceted, energy-efficient facility that will address the health, education and social service needs of our elderly," said Congressman Charles Rangel. "After so many years of hard work and contributions to society, our seniors deserve an affordable, supportive place that will provide the necessary resources to allow them to continue to be active, healthy members of our community.

“Nobody should have to choose between paying rent and paying for other critical needs such as food or healthcare, but unfortunately this is a choice faced by many seniors living on fixed incomes,” said HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero. “At the Erbograph Apartments we are providing New York’s low-income seniors with a safe, affordable place to call home – one that offers a full compliment of healthcare and other services in a state of the art, sustainable development. I thank HCCI and Jonathan Rose Companies for their work in helping us continue to set the standard for green urban living.”

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HPD contributed the land for the Erbograph Apartments to HCCI for $1, and also provided a repayable seed loan of $1.06 million to fund the asbestos abatement and demolition work on the old warehouse. Erbograph Apartments’ total development cost of $23.9 million comes from a variety of sources, including $9.7 million from the HUD Section 202 program, $4.4 million in Tax Credit Assistance Program funding from the New York State Housing Trust Fund, $8.3 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity from Richman Housing Resources, $1.28 million from the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program through Carver Federal Savings Bank, $151,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), $50,000 from the Enterprise Green Communities Program, and $50,000 from the Home Depot Foundation.

“Erbograph, the first LEED and Green Communities designed affordable housing development for seniors in Harlem, is a tremendous investment in the future of the community,” said Jonathan F.P. Rose, President of Jonathan Rose Companies. “By integrating social services, affordable housing and green design, we’re modeling a powerful example of positive urban redevelopment through this collaboration with HCCI.”   

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