Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Awards 2018 Finalist: Alvista
July 25, 2018
Alvista is a new development that has added 380 units of affordable, mixed-income, and workforce housing in the downtown Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York. While Jamaica had long been considered economically depressed, there has been significant development over the past 10-15 years that has contributed to the revitalization of the neighborhood. However, with continued investment in the neighborhood, rents have risen making the improved neighborhood unaffordable to many longtime residents.
The project will include 95 very low- and low-income units, including 15 units affordable to households earning up to 50% of AMI and 80 units affordable to households earning up to 60% of AMI. These 95 units will be permanently affordable under the City’s Inclusionary Housing Program. In addition, there will be 110 moderate-income units affordable to households earning up to 120% of AMI, 40 units affordable to middle-income households earning up to 130% of AMI, and 134 units affordable to middle-income households earning up to 165% of AMI. Building amenities will include a lounge, children’s play room, fitness center, courtyard, laundry, tenant storage, and rooftop access.
To make Alvista a reality, the 25,000 square foot site was rezoned as part of the Special Downtown Jamaica Rezoning adopted by the City of New York in 2007. The goal of the rezoning was to foster additional transit-oriented development around the multimodal transportation hub in Jamaica, which offers quick access to Midtown and Lower Manhattan as well as JFK Airport. The rezoning included an Inclusionary Housing overlay to spur the creation of affordable housing in the area. Past uses of the project site included a building that has been vacant since 2006 and a refrigerated food storage warehouse. In order to properly repurpose the project site, the development team worked with the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation and the New York State Department of Environmental Protection through the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program.
This mixed-income development fosters greater community diversity and economic growth in the transit-oriented area of downtown Jamaica. The project is financed under the New York City Housing Development Corporation’s Mixed Income: M2 (Mixed-Middle) Program, a contender for this year’s Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership awards. The innovative financing structure allows for the creation of housing serving a wide range of incomes, with affordability locked in for at least 40 years.
Location: Jamaica, NY
Developers & Owners: Artimus Construction, Inc. and Phoenix Realty Development Company, LLC
Partners: New York City Housing Development Corporation; New York City Department of Housing & Development; Artimus Construction, Inc.; Phoenix Realty Company, LLC; HP 94th Avenue HDFC (NYC Housing Development Fund Company, Inc.); 94th Avenue Jamaica LLC (147-20 94th Jamaica Investors, LLC); GSG 94 Jamaica Investor LLC