Monday, May 10, 2010

Work on Queens Senior Residence Will Have to Wait a Year by Stephen Geffon - Leader-Observer

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Seniors will have to wait a while longer for apartments at the Howard Beach Housing Residence on Crossbay Boulevard now that the groundbreaking has been rescheduled from spring of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011.

That's according to John Tynan, director of Housing for Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. Tynan said that due to the current economic conditions, it has taken the group longer than expected to secure the financing needed for the project.

However, financing is now in place and closing on the project is scheduled for the end of the year. Construction is expected to take two years. The non-profit organization was selected in June of 2009 to construct affordable senior housing at the site.

Tynan, in his presentation to Community Board 10 members last June, said Catholic Charities believes the project will help address the critical local need for affordable senior housing while reusing an important community asset.

The senior residence, which will occupy 111,000 square feet and sit on 3.4 acres, will provide 81 units of affordable housing for seniors and individuals with developmental disabilities. The $26.6 million project will rehabilitate the former Bernard Fineson Developmental Center and will consist of 30 studio and 51 one-bedroom apartments, laundry facilities, a community space, resident lounges and offices. The main entrance will be upgraded and a new entrance will be added.

Parking will be maintained at 106 spots. The grounds will be landscaped with additional passive recreation areas and raised tenant gardens specifically designed for seniors. All tenants will be supported by Catholic Charities’ network of community and social services.

The apartments, which are expected to rent for between $700 and $800, are targeted for seniors over the age of 60 and individuals with developmental disabilities and will be made affordable to incomes up to 80 percent of the area median income – about $40,000 for a couple. Fifty percent of the senior units will go to residents of Community Board 10.

The senior residence will be constructed as an eco-green building to make it as energy efficient as possible, according to Tynan.