Lexington Gardens II Development Will Exceed MIH Requirements with 100 Percent Affordable Units, Half for Families Earning Below 47 Percent AMI
CITY HALL – City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in partnership with Lexington Gardens Associates, a joint venture between L+M Development Partners and Tahl Propp Equities, today announced an agreement to deepen affordability at Lexington Gardens II—a new 400-unit, 100 percent affordable mixed-use development located at Lexington Avenue between 107th and 108th Street in East Harlem. As part of the city’s ULURP process, the development was approved unanimously today by the City Council.
Following negotiations with Speaker Mark-Viverito, a new income band was added to the project – 20 percent of the units will now be affordable to families earning up to 30 percent AMI. In addition, 30 percent of units will be affordable to families earning 50 percent AMI [50% low-income housing]; 30 percent of the units will be affordable to families earning 80 percent AMI, and 20 percent of units will be affordable to families earning 130 percent AMI [50% moderate to middle income housing].
A portion of the units will be subject to the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) law and will be permanently affordable while the remainder will be protected under a 40-year regulatory agreement with HPD, rent stabilization, and an Article IX tax abatement, which was part of the package approved by the City Council today.
In response to the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, this project reinforces the need for the City to work with the development community to ensure that existing local residents are served in newly-constructed affordable housing in the neighborhood, particularly on sites that include City-owned land.
Through this project, the development team strives to add to the fabric of East Harlem in a way that strengthens its supply of affordable housing, provides good-paying jobs, and community facility space.
“The Lexington Gardens development will advance the goals of the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan by making sure that hundreds of existing local community members can benefit from affordable units. After extensive negotiations between my office and the development team, I am proud to say that we lowered the AMI band to help more families qualify for affordable housing—which has been and will continue to be one of the top priorities of the New York City Council,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I am proud to work with L+M and Tahl Propp Equities to open 400 units and more than 38,000 square feet of community space for families in El Barrio/East Harlem.”
“Lexington Gardens II will strengthen the supply of deeply affordable housing in East Harlem while providing jobs for residents of the community and new space for two highly-respected, local nonprofits,” said Ron Moelis, CEO and Founding Partner of L+M Development Partners. “We’ve worked hard to provide new mixed-income housing and services to the East and Central Harlem community and its residents for more than a decade and we are proud to continue our investment here. I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, HPD, and our partners, Tahl Propp Equities, Northside Center for Child Development and Union Settlement Association, for their support throughout this process.”
“As an active owner, manager and developer of affordable housing in East Harlem, we wish to thank New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her inspiring leadership in the creation and preservation of long-term affordable housing in our City,” said Joseph Tahl, President and co-founder of Tahl Propp Equities. “Lexington Gardens II, with 400 affordable units, plus the additional 1,500 units we’ve worked with Speaker Mark-Viverito to preserve as long-term affordable housing, represent a major part of the Administration’s 10-year, 200,000-unit affordable housing plan right here in East Harlem.”
The project includes space for two East Harlem nonprofits that have operated in the community for a combined 170 years: a new headquarters for the Northside Center for Child Development and new space for Union Settlement Association to expand their social services programming.
The project also includes 4,000 square feet of new retail—which will be located on the corner of Lexington and 108th— that aspires to support local businesses, such as a restaurant. To complement the new building and retail options, the developers will enhance the pedestrian experience by incorporating street planters, a public art program, and a number of green façade elements, including trees on the roof and setbacks. Above all, the development will be contextual, quality design that is in keeping with the character of the neighborhood.
Both L+M and Tahl Propp Equities have been working in East and Central Harlem for well over a decade. The development team has a track record of local hiring in neighborhoods across the city and will tap into relationships with local workforce development groups, including Hire NYC and Building Skills NY, as well as Community Board 11, to achieve a goal of hiring local residents—defined as those who reside above 96th Street—for 10 percent of the construction jobs created by the project. Additionally, the project has a 15% MBE hiring goal and a 5% WBE hiring goal for subcontracts. The developers will also provide 3 free OSHA 10‐hour certificate classes for up to 30 local residents, and refer any applicant(s) without a high school diploma to services in their boroughs to earn their GED.