Phase II of Project Creates 76 Modern Homes in Arbor Hill Neighborhood
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the $26.8 million second phase of the Ida Yarbrough Homes Redevelopment initiative is complete, with 76 apartments now available for families with a mix of income levels. The new development, officially known as 280 North, involved the demolition of a portion of the outdated Ida Yarbrough public housing complex, replacing it with modern affordable homes for families and continuing the revitalization of the Arbor Hill neighborhood.
"As Albany and the Arbor Hill neighborhood continue their resurgence, it is critical that we create new affordable housing to ensure that all residents can share in the renewal efforts," Governor Cuomo said. "With the addition of these new affordable apartments, we are committed to building a more vibrant and economically diverse downtown Albany."
"The Ida Yarbrough Homes Redevelopment in Albany will be a significant boost for the Arbor Hill neighborhood, adding modern housing options for local families," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This project continues revitalization efforts in the community, adding new housing stock and enhancing quality of life in the area. The investment is part of our $20 billion, five-year housing plan to add and preserve affordable housing to ensure all New Yorkers have a great place to call home."
The Ida Yarbrough Homes Redevelopment is part of the Governor's commitment to provide all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing through his unprecedented $20 billion, five-year housing plan to build or preserve more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 homes with supportive services. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues that includes multi-family and single-family housing and community development initiatives to make housing accessible and combat homelessness. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) has financed the creation or preservation of more than 4,700 affordable multifamily homes in Capital Region with nearly 1,900 homes in the city of Albany, made possible with more than $130 million in HCR resources.
The 280 North project includes two components at the corner of North Pearl Street and Lark Drive - a seven-story multifamily building with 62 apartments and a three-story building with ten apartments. The complex also includes two duplexes at 531 Lark Street. There are 12 units set aside for homeless families and an additional 12 will be accessible and fully adapted for those living with mobility, vision and hearing disabilities.
The project is designed to accommodate large families with a mix of one, two, three, four, and five-bedroom apartments. The development was built to Enterprise Green Communities and ENERGY STAR standards, and boasts ample green space including a community garden and a playground made with reclaimed and recycled materials. Among the amenities for 280 North tenants is access to both on-street and off-street parking, and proximity to public transportation. In addition, an on-site fitness center equipped with cardiovascular machines and weight training equipment is available to tenants free of charge through Capital District Physicians' Health Plan (CDPHP).
The original Ida Yarbrough Homes were built in the 1970s and managed by the Albany Housing Authority (AHA). By demolishing the pre-existing and obsolete buildings, the AHA reconfigured the property to add more units and allowing for more green space and recreational use.
When complete, the four-phase project will include 335 apartments and up six to eight homeownership opportunities for families. The third phase recently received a $200,000 award as part of Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, announced in July to develop up to 10 new home ownership units at Ida Yarbrough Homes.
The state's investment in Ida Yarbrough joins developments such as Sheridan Hollow Village and Academy Lofts that are supporting the city's strategic plan for Arbor Hill—transforming vacant structures, injecting new energy into the community, and improving housing options and quality of life.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided federal and state Low-Income Housing Credits that generated $18 million in equity an additional $2 million in subsidy. HCR funds leveraged a $3.2 million investment from Key Bank, $1.1 million from the Albany Housing Authority, and additional funding from the LISC Housing Stabilization Fund and the City of Albany.
Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The transformation taking hold here is nothing short of remarkable. In the short space of three years, we've brought more than 160 new apartments online to help anchor and improve this newly emerging Arbor Hill neighborhood. And true to Governor Cuomo's conviction that affordable housing should encourage diversity, opportunity and inclusion, 280 North is deeply affordable and wonderfully configured for large households - a place to put down roots and grow."
Senator Neil Breslin said, "This affordable housing development will help further transform Albany's growing Arbor Square neighborhood. Along the varying types of apartments there is also ample green space, a community garden and access to numerous amenities nearby. I applaud the New York State Homes and Community Renewal for their efforts in helping to make our communities a better place to live, work and raise a family."
Assembly Member John T. McDonald III said, "I am excited to see the completion of the 280 North affordable housing development in Albany's Arbor Square neighborhood. I appreciate the ongoing support of New York State Homes and Community Renewal and Governor Cuomo on this project. Albany continues to see major investments for affordable housing options for our residents throughout the city and this funding is an example of how to utilize public funds for a public purpose."
Assembly Member Patricia Fahy said, "I commend the Albany Housing Authority for their commitment to replacing existing, outmoded public housing with new, affordable units for residents. This new housing development will help to foster the Arbor Square neighborhood's sense of community with a new garden and playground, and provide residents with modern and affordable living."
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "Affordable housing is an integral component of vibrant communities. The completion of the Ida Yarbrough Homes Phase II redevelopment initiative ensures state-of-the-art housing will be available to low- and moderate-income individuals and families for years to come. Thank you to the Albany Housing Authority and Governor Cuomo for their commitment to enhancing affordable housing in New York's Capital City."
Albany Housing Authority Executive Director Steve Longo said, "The Albany Housing Authority is proud to continue with the redevelopment of Ida Yarbrough, having finished Phase I last year, and now turning the keys over to new residents of Phase II, the stunning and energy efficient 280 North building. We may be designated as the primary developer of this project, but efforts like these are the result of collaboration among many partners within the private sector, city of Albany, New York state, and federal agencies. We are also excited to have our redevelopment efforts in concert with multiple recent neighborhood investments and developments from The Proctors Collaborative, Albany Distillery and Death Wish Coffee. We look forward to moving on to Phase III and Phase IV as part of the multi-year integrated Arbor Hill Neighborhood Plan."
Jolie Milstein, President and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing said, "We are thrilled to see initiatives like 280 North expand affordable housing opportunities to Albany residents. This development is an exceptional example of mixed-income housing for low- and moderate-income families, including housing set aside for the formerly homeless. The project represents yet another example of how the combined efforts from HCR and Governor Cuomo can expand affordable housing, and this partnership should serve as a model for projects across other states in addressing the national housing crisis head-on."
The Proctors Collaborative CEO Philip Morris said, "The Albany Housing Authority has made the redevelopment of the Ida Yarbrough housing and neighborhood a priority for a number of years. The results are coming in quickly now with hundreds of market rate, as well as affordable housing options, new attractions like Albany Distilling and Death Wish coffee, and the new complex for Capital Repertory Theatre. Looks like a home run!"
Capital District Physicians' Health Plan President and CEO Dr. John D. Bennett said, "Founded by physicians, CDPHP understands the role that physical fitness plays on a person's overall health. We are thrilled to partner with the Albany Housing Authority on the opening of our latest Fitness Connect location, located inside 280 North, providing residents with a free and convenient place to work out."
KeyBank, Capital Region President Ruth Mahoney said, "This project is an example of KeyBank's community development lending commitment and focus to help people thrive across upstate New York. Through these new housing units and the education and resources AHA provides to people of all backgrounds, AHA is doing important work in the effort to tackle the affordable housing issue in our region. KeyBank is proud to be a partner."
Phase One of the Ida Yarbrough Homes Redevelopment was completed in 2017 and included 11 newly constructed buildings with 61 townhomes and garden apartments. Located at 270 North Pearl Street, the complex features 17 two-bedroom homes; 22 three-bedroom homes; 19 four-bedroom homes and three five-bedroom homes. Ten units have been set aside for formerly homeless families. Phase One construction began in July 2016 and involved the demolition of five of the original Ida Yarbrough Homes low-rise buildings. All of the new homes are occupied.
About the Albany Housing Authority:
Since its creation in 1948, the Albany Housing Authority has evolved to provide leadership in meeting the needs and aspirations of its residents and their communities. More than just housing, today the Authority offers families a foundation from which to build successful lives, inspiring investment in self and community through quality rental, homeownership, employment and small business opportunities. We are an able partner for those who wish to transform their future, and that of their community, into one of choice. Visit us at www.albanyhousing.org.