The largest affordable housing development in the heart of Downtown Flushing welcomed new residents with a festive opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.
Officials from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HDP) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) joined project managers and community leaders on Feb. 21 to celebrate the completion of One Flushing.
The innovative 231-unit intergenerational residential project, located at 133-45 41st Ave. adjacent to the Flushing-Main Street LIRR Station, was developed by Monadnock Development and two non-profit organizations with deep community roots: Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) and The Hellenic Neighborhood Action Committee (HANAC).
“We are thrilled to welcome the first residents to this transformational project in a neighborhood that AAFE has served for so many years,” said Thomas Yu and Jennifer Sun, AAFE co-executive directors. “One Flushing not only addresses a critical need for affordable housing in our community, it will enable Asian Americans for Equality to expand services for empowering immigrants and low-income families to realize their full potential, and supporting the wellness of our multigenerational community.”
The city awarded a contract to the developers in 2015 to transform city-owned land into a vibrant new community resource. One Flushing was the first project to incorporate the city’s pioneering Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program (MIH), which was enacted in 2016 and creates permanently affordable housing in designated areas that are rezoned for increased density. The 285,000 square foot state-of-the-art complex was completed by Monadnock on time and on budget.
It was designed by Bernheimer Architecture with SLCE Architects serving as executive architect.
“At One Flushing, we created a new model for building affordable housing in which diverse communities support themselves and each other,” said Monadnock Development Vice President Frank Dubinsky.
The 10-story complex includes apartments ranging in size from studios to 3-bedrooms and serves very low-, and moderate-income individuals and families, and includes 66 units reserved for very low-income senior residents (age 62 or older). A total of 117 units will be permanently affordable, in part due to the development’s participation in the city’s MIH Program.
Additionally, One Flushing features 22,000 square feet of ground floor retail space for local Flushing businesses, 15,000 square feet of community facility space, a 24-hour doorman, children’s playroom, gym, landscaped rooftop terraces and a rooftop farm, with programming coordinated by GrowNYC and building residents. There are also 156 public parking spaces located in an underground garage.
The roof features a 134kW solar array, one of the largest in any multi-family project. The facility includes offices for AAFE’s array of immigrant and social services, as well as a branch of the AAFE Care Senior Center, which provides adult day care and other support services for senior residents of One Flushing, as well as for the general public. One Flushing will also serve as a new home for Renaissance Economic Development Corp., AAFE’s small business affiliate, which offers low-interest loans and training to immigrant entrepreneurs.
According to City Councilman Peter Koo, a staggering 84,000 applications were received for only 231 units, clearly demonstrating the critical need to build affordable housing units, especially for seniors.
“One Flushing is a prime example of a development that is responsive to community needs,” said Koo. “This is the second 100 percent affordable development we’ve built in Flushing during my term, and I am extremely grateful to AAFE, HPD, and all the stakeholders who stayed focused on the ultimate goal of this project, which was to build community-oriented affordable housing in Flushing.”
The project was financed through nearly $116 million in public and private investment utilizing HPD and HDC’s Mix & Match program. HDC provided more than $23 million in tax-exempt bonds, almost $32 million in recycled bonds, $14.5 million in corporate reserves, and HPD provided approximately $15.4 million in city subsidy.
The project benefits from low-income housing tax credits that generated more than $21 million in tax credit equity. Goldman Sachs was the tax-credit investor and Citi provided the construction financing via a back-to-back loan structure. In addition, valuable Reso A funding was dedicated to the project, with $647,000 attributed to Council Member Koo and $300,000 from Borough President Katz.
“We are honored to work with great partners who have created an inclusive community for hundreds of families,” said Sherry Wang, managing director in the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. “Not only will One Flushing provide homes that are permanently affordable, it will also connect residents with pathways to financial stability and economic opportunity.”
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said the new development is a “superb new community resource.”
“The name ‘One Flushing’ symbolizes the fact that while people come from all over the world, we celebrate our traditions, but take pride in our unity,” said Stavisky.