CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON BSDC's LATEST AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT
November 18, 2011
To finance the project, BSDC took advantage of low-income housing tax credits to attract private investment through the National Equity Fund (NEF). “Investing in Noel Pointer Court was an easy decision,” NEF’s Acquisition Manager, Stephen Karnath, says. “The project boasts a very nice design that complements the streetscape and adds value to the neighborhood. In addition, we value our working relationship with Bridge Street Development Corporation and its CEO, Rhonda Lewis.”
The tax-credits will expire after 15 years, at which time Noel Pointer Court will convert to a cooperative and tenants will be eligible to purchase their apartments for approximately $9,000. During the 15-year tax credit period, BSDC will provide residents with on-site financial readiness, homeownership, and cooperative living training. Tenants will also meet quarterly with property management staff about building operations and budgeting to enable active resident involvement and prepare them for co-op ownership.
Fourteen of the twenty-three apartments are reserved for families earning less than 50% of median income and nine for families earning between 51% and 60% of median income. Building tenants will be selected through a lottery. Noel Pointer Court comes on the heels of Joshua Court, the immensely successful 56-unit project at 300 Putnam Avenue that BSDC completed last year and which was recently featured in the NY Daily News section Best Places to Live. Says Rhonda A. Lewis, BSDC’s president & CEO, “Noel Pointer Court will not simply provide a roof for low-income families, will not be what most people think of as a typical ‘affordable housing project’—it will be a true home, a place residents can be proud to live and where they will have a voice in the management of the building from day one.”
“While the demand for true affordable housing far outpaces its availability, Bridge Street Development Corporation has been at the forefront of increasing affordable housing opportunities for Bedford-Stuyvesant residents,” said New York City Council Member Al Vann. “I am proud to be a sponsor of this project, which will not only provide affordable housing but also the opportunity for homeownership.”
The project, which will include eight 1-bedroom and fifteen 2-bedroom apartments, is named for late jazz violinist and Brooklyn resident Noel Pointer. “I am very happy that Bridge Street Development Corporation has decided to name their newest project in honor of my husband,” said Chinita Pointer, widow of the musician and executive director of the Noel Pointer Foundation. “Noel was a son of Bedford-Stuyvesant and he would be so proud to know that his name lives on not only through his musical legacy and the Noel Pointer Foundation, but also a building that will provide affordable, safe homes to low-income families in his old neighborhood.”
The building will integrate eco-friendly green elements into all aspects of construction. A passive green roof with trees and shrubs, designed as an added green space for residents, will assist in mitigating the building’s “heat island” effect while also reducing heating and cooling costs. Additional green elements of the project include: Energy Star appliances in all units and common areas; “low-flow” water conserving plumbing fixtures; detention of storm water for use in landscaping; and all interior paints, primers, adhesives and caulking will comply with current Green Seal standards for low volatile organic compound (VOC) limits.