Historic Former Elementary School Redeveloped into 25 Quality, Affordable Homes for Seniors
Complements ‘Southern Tier Soaring’ – Region’s Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative to Grow Economy and Create New Opportunities
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a $9.3 million housing development for seniors in the City of Hornell. The project transformed the former Lincoln Elementary School, a vacant, historic landmark, into a Lincoln Gardens, a new development of 25 affordable, energy-efficient apartments for people 55 and older. Four units of the new Lincoln Gardens are for persons who have physical disabilities or mobility impairment. This complements Southern Tier Soaring, the Governor’s successful upstate revitalization initiative to grow the economy and create new opportunities.
"By reimagining a longtime elementary school into a vibrant new development, we are injecting new life into this historic property, generating tax revenue for the local community, and are creating sustainable, affordable housing for seniors in need," Governor Cuomo said. "Helping ensure our most vulnerable New Yorkers have access to safe, decent and affordable housing is one more reason why the Southern Tier is Soaring."
The 33,000 square-foot building has 25 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The building features a new roof and energy efficient windows and doors, an elevator, laundry and community rooms and commercial storage space in the former gymnasium. It is located near local public transportation and a nearby hospital. Rents are affordable to households at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income.
The site, at 373 Canisteo Street, first housed a one-room schoolhouse built in the mid-19th century. It was destroyed by fire in 1923. A three-story brick building, designed in the classical revival architectural style, opened the next year and served as Lincoln Elementary School until 1979. It was repurposed as office and day care space by a local hospital until 2012. It was placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places three years later.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “A classic example of Hornell’s rich history begins a new chapter as Lincoln Gardens welcomes new residents home. This is one of many developments across the state that form the foundation of Governor Cuomo’s new, $20 billion investment to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes over the next five years and builds on the Governor’s Southern Tier Soaring initiative that is reinvigorating communities, creating economic opportunity and improving quality of life for families who live and work in the region.”
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “The Lincoln Gardens project is a great example of how underutilized buildings can be repurposed to create much needed housing, revitalize communities and preserve local heritage. Investing in historic structures encourages sustainable neighborhoods and preserves the unique character of our communities.”
Greg Olsen, Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for recognizing the valuable contributions older New Yorkers make to their communities, and by creating age-friendly, energy efficient, affordable housing, older adults are able to live independently and with dignity in their community. This latest investment is another example of the Governor’s strong leadership in making New York the first age-friendly state in the nation.”
The development team consists of Home Leasing, LLC, of Rochester, the owner, developer and manager; Edgemere Development, Inc., of Rochester, consulting developer; Home Leasing Construction, LLC, of Rochester, contractor; Glasow-Simmons, Architecture of Rochester. National Equity Fund is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit syndicator.
Funding for the $9.3 million project includes:
- $1,375,000 from the New York State Housing Trust Fund; $511,976 in annual Low Income Housing Tax Credits which leverages about $5.1 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity
- $1.6 million in Federal Historic Tax Credit equity and about $967,000 in New York State Historic Tax Credit equity
- $50,000 from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Congressman Tom Reed said, “We owe it to the seniors in our region to provide housing options that they can afford. This public- private partnership will provide the necessary funding for these homes and as a result will help strengthen our communities and provide support for our elderly neighbors.”
Senator Tom O'Mara said, "We’re grateful for this state investment to achieve this exciting transformation of the Lincoln Elementary School and significantly enhance affordable senior housing in Hornell. It's going to make an enormous difference in many lives."
Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan said, “One of the highlights of my 32-year tenure as mayor is to see the rebirth on Lincoln School into a beautiful, affordable and safe place for our 55 and older residents in our community. We are appreciative to Home Leasing and New York State for showing confidence in our community.”
Nelson Leenhouts, Chairman and CEO of Home Leasing said, “Public support is critically important. Mayor Hogan was instrumental in ensuring the success of Lincoln Gardens to create beautiful housing for seniors in partnership with New York State. We are so grateful to be a part of this community.”
Joseph Hagan, President and CEO of National Equity Fund said, “At National Equity Fund, we believe that extraordinary things happen when you have great partners and our partnership with Home Leasing demonstrates that belief to be true. Today we celebrate the adaptive reuse of an historic building into safe and affordable apartments for Hornell’s senior population to live and thrive in the community they call home.”
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Hornell as a destination in which to grow and invest.
Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.