NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The success or failure in developing New Rochelle's Heritage Homes will affect hundreds of families who had been promised they would have a place to live.
A success so far, the project, which aims to replace a rundown public housing development (known as Hartley Houses) with townhouses and apartments on Brook Street, broke ground for Phase II on Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Rella Fogliano, who is the president of MacQuesten Development LLC, took on the $72 million, three-phase housing project in partnership with the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with New York State Homes and Community Renewal, are also cooperating on the development.
MacQuesten was given $1.5 million by the Housing Trust Fund, and $1.024 million annually from the NYS Homes and Community Renewal department to complete the project. Tax credits are estimated to generate more than $10.5 million in equity for the project.
Westchester County also contributed $990,000.
Deputy Westchester County Executive Kevin Plunkett said the county was excited to be a part of the project, as they are with similar projects in Yonkers and Peekskill.
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said the city is not providing financial backing for the project, but is helping to supervise the execution.
"This will bring better housing opportunities to the people of New Rochelle," Bramson said. "We've been working closely with the housing authority and MacQuesten in order to ensure all the financing sources and all the different processes are moving forward."
Phase I of the development completed 131 units which are now fully occupied. Phase II will add 56 affordable apartments, 77 parking spaces and other amenities. It is expected to be completed by June 2015.
Construction is being tailored to make sure residents of Hartley Houses are not displaced, and can move into the new development as soon as possible.
Rent and utilities combined on the units, which range from studios to three-bedrooms, will not exceed $1,500.
Phase III of the project will start in Fall 2015 and add 41 three-bedroom apartments. After its completion, a baseball field will be built on the site of the old project.