Canal Plaza Furthers Revitalization of the North Side - Delivers Affordable Homes and Commercial Space, and Supportive Services to Vulnerable New Yorkers
Investment Complements "Southern Tier Soaring" — the Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction on the $20.5 million Canal Plaza, an affordable housing development that will deliver 48 apartments and new commercial space to Binghamton's North Side. The new construction project will transform and revitalize land that is currently a brownfield and responds to a significant regional need for quality and affordable housing following the back-to-back impacts of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. It includes 12 apartments that will provide supportive services for New Yorkers with mental illness.
"Building new affordable homes is an essential ingredient to creating opportunity and revitalizing our cities," Governor Cuomo said. "With the addition of Canal Plaza, we are creating affordable housing opportunities while providing services that support our vulnerable neighbors as we work to ensure that the Southern Tier continues to soar."
"This project continues our efforts to ensure affordable housing for New Yorkers across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Canal Plaza in Binghamton will add 48 affordable apartments and commercial space to the city's North Side, continuing revitalization and economic growth in the Southern Tier."
Canal Plaza is being constructed in the Waterfront Revitalization Plan Area and also sits in the North Chenango River Corridor Brownfield Opportunity Area. Canal Plaza will provide housing to low-, very low- and extremely low-income households. Social services will be administered on-site to tenants of the supportive housing units.
The development will additionally include three commercial suites totaling about 15,000 square feet. One of these suites will be occupied by Catholic Charities of Broome County for the operation of Encompass Health Home, which will deliver assistance to Medicaid-eligible adults and children with chronic medical and/ or behavioral health conditions.
The project is being supported by a variety of funding and financing sources, including $1.1 million in Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery funding from the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery. New York State Homes and Community Renewal is providing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate more than $12.8 million for the development, and $1.3 million from HCR's Housing Trust Fund Corporation. It is also receiving approximately $2 million from the Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund, nearly $2.3 million in equity raised by brownfield tax credits allocated by the Department of Environmental Conservation, $100,000 from City of Binghamton HOME and a $48,000 incentive grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
On September 7, 2011, Tropical Storm Lee stalled over the Southern Tier and dropped more than 11 inches of rain during a 24-hour period. Torrential rains, compounded by saturated soil and a swollen Susquehanna River from Hurricane Irene, which occurred the week of August 28, 2011, led to record-high water levels. As a result, local communities were overcome by severe flash flooding that damaged homes, businesses and infrastructure. High groundwater levels caused basements and ground floors of homes, businesses and municipal facilities to flood, even though those structures were behind levees. And flooding closed many critical roads, leaving residents with no access to medical facilities, supplies or emergency services.
Funding for projects like Canal Plaza is provided in addition to the more than $1 billion GOSR has already disbursed to New Yorkers to repair and reconstruct their storm-damaged homes.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Canal Plaza's affordable homes and supportive services will contribute to the magnificent revitalization of Binghamton's North Side and help keep the Southern Tier's economy soaring."
Executive Director of Housing, Buyout and Acquisition Programs at the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery Thehbia Hiwot said, "Receiving $1.1 million in funding from GOSR alone, Canal Plaza reflects New York State's overarching commitment to building back better and stronger in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Guided by the holistic vision of Governor Cuomo, we are — one project at a time — restoring the state's housing stock so that New Yorkers of any income level or ability can have access to a safe, affordable and resilient home that will withstand the next big storm."
Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, "The supportive housing units in Canal Plaza will allow individuals with mental illness to live and thrive in their communities. With stable housing that supports their recovery, individuals living with mental illness or substance abuse are able to become valuable contributors to their communities."
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene, Governor Cuomo pledged to not only rebuild what was lost in these storms, but to create more resilient communities. This project delivers on the Governor's promise and will bring quality affordable housing opportunities, as well as essential support services to Binghamton's North Side. The State's Brownfield Cleanup Program is a powerful tool for putting blighted areas back into productive use, and we are proud to partner on the Canal Plaza project that is building on the momentum to revitalize Binghamton's North Side and strengthen this community for future generations."
President and Founder of 3D Development Group Bruce Levine said, The City has been making significant investments in the North Side neighborhood and Canal Plaza will further the revitalization. The collaborative effort between HCR, the Department of Environmental Conservation, City of Binghamton and the development team is what took this project from a concept to where we are today with the groundbreaking."
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, "This development is welcome news for an area of Binghamton that has some of the highest poverty rates in the region. These housing units, paired with the service agencies that will also be located here, will provide much-needed stability to residents. I appreciate the collaboration between local officials and state agencies that made this project possible."
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said, "Broome County is proud to support this project which brings much-needed affordable housing to the Northside of the city of Binghamton. This project shows the power of partnerships. The county took ownership of the property in 2014 and then sold the property to the city of Binghamton in 2015 for $1. Three years later, thanks to the investments of New York State, we are breaking ground on a huge housing project that will help revitalize this urban area of the city."
Mayor Richard C. David said, "We thank Governor Cuomo and New York State Homes and Community Renewal for their support of this project. 3d Development Group and Community Potential have been great partners and their behind-the-scenes work was critical to moving this project forward. For years, residents have voiced concern about the shortage of affordable housing options in Binghamton. I've made a commitment to focus on new affordable housing projects that provide safe, quality living environments for families. It's the key to stabilizing neighborhoods and Binghamton's continued revitalization. This project will have a transformative impact on the City's North Side, anchoring and supporting redevelopment on the State Street commercial corridor and beyond."
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 $6.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the 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 Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning 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.
Established in June 2013, the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery coordinates statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction, Infrastructure and Rebuild By Design programs — GOSR invests $4.5 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery funding to better prepare New York for extreme weather events. More information about GOSR and its programs is available online at: http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/.
NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) works to create, preserve and improve affordable homes, and to develop vibrant communities. HCR is executing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan, which is making housing accessible and combating homelessness by building and preserving more than 100,000 units of affordable housing, including 6,000 supportive apartments. The plan is a far-reaching approach to statewide housing issues, and includes investing in multifamily and single-family housing, furthering community development strategies, and preserving rent stabilization. For more information on HCR, its programs and its initiatives, please visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/.