MacQuesten Cuts Ribbon on $95M Affordable Housing Project

Real Estate In-Depth | September 2020

A host of state and city dignitaries joined MacQuesten Development in the ribbon cutting of its $95-million affordable housing project in Downtown Mount Vernon.

MOUNT VERNON—Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joined MacQuesten Development LLC Founder and CEO Rella Fogliano and other city, county and state leaders at a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of “22 South West” on Tuesday, Sept. 29th.

The $95-million mixed-use/mixed income project features 4,200 square feet of street level retail/office space along with 189 affordable housing units that offer up luxury living right at the base of the Mount Vernon West Metro-North Station.

The building includes an elegant outdoor rooftop event space, an indoor recreation area with a stage for children, a full-service laundry facility for large capacity laundry needs, a clubhouse with a fireplace, an extensive resident gym and an attended lobby with a secure area and Amazon hub for packages and shipping needs.

Overall, the 17-story building features 189 apartments and 149 underground parking spaces. Many of the apartments have sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline to the south and the Hudson River to the west. A total of 32 of the units will be rented to individuals and families at the 50% AMI. Ninety-nine of the units will be rented to individuals and families earning 60% AMI, 27 units to individuals and families earning 80% of the AMI and 30 units at 110% AMI. There is also one revenue free super’s unit.

“This project blurs the lines between luxury and affordability. I am proud to be leading transit-oriented development and transformational projects that will continue our company’s long tradition of investing in Mount Vernon,” said MacQuesten Development CEO Fogliano. “’22 South West’ has it all: affordability, luxury, and easy commuting. Along with the State of New York and our other partners in government and the private sectors, we are helping to prove that Mount Vernon’s best days are still ahead.”

“I am so proud of our city that we can shepherd a project of this nature into existence and truly begin the renaissance that Mount Vernon deserves,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Shawn Patterson-Howard. “Bringing new jobs, new residents, and transit-oriented development to our city is going to improve the quality of life for every Mount Vernon resident. We are proud to see people taking advantage of the incredible opportunities that we have here, particularly our new Transit Oriented Zoning District.”

The site was a former auto mechanic shop, gasoline station and parking lot and is at the core of the Mount Vernon West Revitalization Plan. Prior to the construction of The Modern, MacQuesten’s other affordable housing project at the southeast corner of MacQuesten Parkway and Mount Vernon Avenue, the neighborhood was mainly industrial with low density residential to the north and northeast of the site.

The 22 South West project was accepted into the NYS Brownfield Clean Up program as a volunteer in March 2015 in partnership with the NYSDEC. Under the approved RIWP (Remedial Investigative Work Plan) significant clean-up activities were performed, including UST removals, contaminated soil removal and asbestos removal, as part of the demolition of the original buildings. The building also has a LEED Silver Certificate for 2021.

Financing from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal for the project included $26 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, state and federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated nearly $32 million in equity and approximately $26 million in subsidy. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided more than $133,000 through its New Construction Program and nearly $180,000 through its Combined Heat and Power Program. Other funding includes a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with the city.

The building is within walking distance of the center of Mount Vernon, Gramatan Avenue shopping corridor as well as bus stops to the Cross County Shopping Center and theatres in Yonkers. In addition, Empire Casino is only one mile to the west of this project.

22 South West will also compliment the newly constructed Horizon Luxury Rentals on MacQuesten Parkway at the north end of Mount Vernon near Fleetwood. This in turn will create a sustainable neighborhood in which people can live, work, shop and have easy access to services. The development will also encourage the use of public transportation by reducing the number of new parking spaces created without compromising street parking.