Joint Venture Plans $52.7M Renovation of Affordable Community in the Bronx

by Jeff Shaw

NEW YORK CITY — A joint venture between Fort Schuyler Housing Development Co., Smith & Henzy Advisory Group Inc., MDG Design + Construction LLC, Concord Management of New York and partners has unveiled a $52.7 million renovation and refinancing plan for Fort Schuyler House, a 139-unit affordable seniors housing development in the Bronx.

In addition to $15.5 million in capital repairs, the project will preserve the affordability of 138 of the units. The 139th unit is reserved for the property manager.

Fort Schuyler House was built in 1973 to offer independent living opportunities for low-income seniors age 62 and over. The eight-story building features 118 studio units, 20 one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit.

The project will provide apartment improvements including the conversion of antiquated Dwyer units to fully functioning kitchens. The apartments will also receive new flooring; new electrical risers and CB panels; new emergency pull cords; and energy-saving appliances, radiator control valves, bath and kitchen fixtures, and LED lighting throughout. The renovations will be done with tenants remaining in their homes to minimize the disturbance to residents.

The shared spaces and overall property will also receive upgrades including new flooring and finishes; new security and energy efficiency measures; a newly renovated auditorium; new tenant lounge. Landscaping improvements will include community roof terraces; a shuffleboard court; and sitting areas. Accessibility improvements include the installation of an automatic operating entrance, and door knobs and locks with new lever handles.

Fort Schuyler House was originally constructed under the New York State Mitchell Lama Program and HUD 236 Loan Program. In order to obtain rental assistance for existing residents, the HUD 236 mortgage will be prepaid, thereby enabling existing residents to receive Tenant Protection Vouchers that will then be converted to Project Based Vouchers at 110 percent of the 2018 New York City Fair Market Rent.

The financing of the project includes a combination of tax-exempt bonds and Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Short-term and long-term bonds in a total amount of approximately $21.9 million will fund the project’s rehabilitation. Bond proceeds will be utilized to fund development costs and make the project eligible for Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Upon construction completion and project stabilization, tax credit equity will take out the short-term bonds.

Fort Schuyler Housing Development Company will continue to serve as the manager of the property. In addition to Smith & Henzy Advisory Group, MDG Design + Construction and Concord Management, project partners include architects Newman Design, engineers Antonucci & Associates, Architects & Engineers LLP, and Nixon Peabody LLP as borrower counsel.

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