Work starts on turning brewery into senior housing

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Work gets underway today on transforming the former Rheingold
Brewery Building in Bushwick into am affordable senior housing development.

Developed jointly by Southside United HDFC — better known as
Los Sures— and Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH),  Rheingold Senior Residences will be located at
15 Montieth Street on a site that was once part of the Rheingold Brewery.

Supported by the New York City Department of Housing
Preservation and Development’s (HPD) Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA)
program, Rheingold Senior Residences aims to set a new standard for deeply
affordable housing for seniors and is designed to be age-friendly, both inside
and out.

The development was the recipient of a NYSERDA Buildings of
Excellence Award and its sustainable design reflects the project team’s
commitment to improving the safety and environmental quality of the
neighborhood’s streets and buildings.

The total development cost for the project is approximately
$67 million. The eight story, 94-unit building will feature studio and
one-bedroom apartments. A day-lit lounge will be built on each floor where
residents can gather and connect to the outdoors. Additionally, apartment
entrances are recessed from the corridor with a shelf for convenience and to
encourage individualization so that seniors can easily identify their own and
others’ units.

Los Sures will manage the property and offer activities such as gardening, art, poetry and healthy cooking classes, as well as more traditional social services.

Outdoor space will include a landscaped rear yard, an
accessible rooftop with raised beds for gardening, and a seating area at the
building’s entrance.

Amenities for the wider public include a separately
accessible multipurpose room with a warming kitchen that will be open for use
by local community groups, as well as several classrooms and an adjacent office
space for programming.

Juan Ramos, Executive Director of Los Sures, said: “This
development will provide affordability and direct services needed to protect
the aging and vulnerable population in our city and its energy saving design
will help preserve the planet for their grandchildren.”

Rob Solano, Executive Director and Co-Founder of CUFFH, added:
“Our hope is that these residences, with their sustainable design, will remain
a standard in the continuation of providing affordable supportive housing for
our aging communities.”

Rockabill Consulting and Development is serving as financial
advisor for the project, which has been designed to passive house standards.

A 39-kwh solar panel system will occupy the roof of the
building with centralized heating and cooling powered entirely by an electric
heat pump system. This eliminates the need for residents to buy AC units.
Energy recovery ventilation will also be used to provide dedicated, filtered
fresh air throughout the building. Overall, the project anticipates a 44
percent energy‐cost savings. The architect for the project is Magnusson
Architecture and Planning PC.

Financing was secured by Rockabill Consulting and includes a
$29.5 million construction loan from Chase, a subsidy loan for $11.2 million
through HPD’s SARA program and an allocation of $1.6 million in Low-Income
Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), also awarded by HPD. CREA LLC and Bellwether Real
Estate Capital are providing $16.3 million in tax credit equity, which is
facilitating the permanent loan to be held by Freddie Mac for $17.4 million.

Mayor-Elect Eric Adams and Brooklyn Borough President-Elect
Antonio Reynoso also contributed a combined total of $7 million in Reso A funds
for the construction of the project.

Additional participants in the financing are Local
Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provided a predevelopment loan
and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA),
which provided an award through the Buildings of Excellence program and the New
York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which has awarded Rheingold a Project
Based Section 8 award for all 93 residential units (exclusive of the
superintendent’s unit).

Per SARA requirements, 30 percent of the units will be
reserved for formerly homeless persons. 
The remaining units will be for older adults with incomes up to 60
percent of AMI.  All of the residential
units will be covered through a project-based Section 8 Housing Assistance
Payments (HAP) contract.

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