Construction Begins on $36M Affordable Seniors Housing Project in White Plains

Real Estate In-Depth | March 30, 2021

The Kingsley House, located in Downtown White Plains, was constructed in 1968 under the state’s Mitchell-Lama program.

WHITE PLAINS—The New York State Homes and Community Renewal, MDG Design + Construction LLC, Smith & Henzy Advisory Group, Inc., and partners announced on March 29 the start of a $35.8-million rehabilitation of Kingsley House, a 164-unit affordable, Mitchell-Lama housing development for seniors in White Plains. The project will preserve affordability for residents while modernizing and improving the development, state officials said.

“This $35.8million investment in Kingsley House will outfit all apartments with modern, energy-efficient amenities and ensure long-term affordability for 164 senior households,” said RuthAnne Visnauskas, commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal. “The rising cost of housing in Westchester County means that we must take great care to preserve and protect our existing housing stock, especially buildings reserved for older New Yorkers. Mitchell-Lama developments are incredibly valuable housing assets in communities across the state and we thank MDG Design + Construction and Smith & Henzy for moving the Kingsley House rehabilitation project forward.”

“All New Yorkers deserve a safe, secure place to call home for the long term, yet many older adults living on fixed incomes face the difficult decision of paying rent or paying for other necessities,” said Matthew Rooney, CEO of MDG. “Through this project, we’re not only preserving affordability for the residents of Kingsley House, we’re also providing a safe environment to call home and age in place. We are grateful to our partners who make projects like this possible and incredibly successful.”

Located at 41 Barker Ave. in White Plains, the development serves seniors earning up to 50% of the Area Median Income. The 12-story building consists of 33 studios, 115 one-bedrooms, 15 two-bedrooms, and one superintendent unit.

Kingsley House was originally constructed in 1968 under the New York State Mitchell-Lama program, which provides housing to middle-income residents across the state. HCR works with owners as they near the end of their 20-year affordability requirements to provide low-cost financing tools that help maintain and improve the developments, while also extending their affordability.

Through these refinancing efforts, all apartments will receive improvements such as new cabinets, sinks, backsplash tile, interior doors and hardware, new flooring, updated bathrooms with new medicine cabinets, toilets, faucet aerators, and shower heads, as well as Energy Star rated appliances and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems.

Common area amenities include a communal outdoor patio, library, community room with kitchen area, laundry room, mail room, and ample parking in the adjacent multilevel garage. Shared space upgrades will include new flooring, porcelain tile for the lobby, new finishes in the library and community room, updated LED lighting, new mailboxes, security cameras, elevator modernization, balcony and façade repairs, a new roof, and a wheelchair-accessible entryway. The scope of work also includes various green building requirements to improve efficiency, including installation of new energy efficient windows and balcony doors.

Kingsley House also includes one commercial space occupied by Diamond Chiropractic & Wellness.

Financing for the project includes a combination of tax-exempt bonds, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and a subsidy from HCR. HCR has committed 53 Project Based Section 8 vouchers, which will significantly reduce existing and future tenant rent burdens.

“Smith & Henzy commends the Kingsley House Inc. Board of Directors and the White Plains Presbyterian Church for their 50-year commitment to providing essential affordable housing for seniors in White Plains. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with them in this great redevelopment project. We also wish to thank the city of White Plains for their continued support. Finally, we are thankful for NYSHCR and the agency’s staff for all their hard work and assistance,” said Hannah Cedermark, vice president of development for Smith & Henzy.

In addition to Smith & Henzy Advisory Group and MDG Design + Construction, partners include Concord Management; architects Newman Design; and Nixon Peabody LLP as borrower counsel.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “The Kingsley House and other developments like it address a critical need for our senior citizens, who are some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe, affordable housing should be a basic right for everyone living in Westchester, and we are thrilled to see an existing property become rehabilitated to preserve its affordability, while modernizing and improving the development.”

White Plains Mayor Tom Roach said, “I am pleased to see this investment by NYSHCR in Kingsley House, which has served as an important affordable senior building in our city for many years. Maintaining a diverse housing stock in White Plains is a priority for me as well as our City Council. This project will help ensure that there are viable living options for seniors in our city for years to come.”

MDG Design + Construction specializes in the moderate rehabilitation and new construction of residential apartment buildings in New York, New Jersey, and Florida, and is the industry leader in occupied rehabilitations. To date, MDG has created or preserved more than 20,000 units of affordable housing and is responsible for over $2 billion in construction and development.

Smith & Henzy has served as both a developer and advisor and has successfully created or preserved more than 3,000 affordable apartments since 2014. The firm currently has an ownership portfolio of more than 1,000 apartments with another 1,000 in development.