Trinity, White Plains Housing Authority Break Ground On Next Phase of Brookfield Commons Development

Real Estate In-Depth | November 2019

A rendering of The Overture at Brookfield Commons

WHITE PLAINS—The White Plains Housing Authority and co-developer Trinity Financial were joined by a host of dignitaries on Nov. 15 to officially break ground on the second phase of the revitalization and redevelopment of the existing Winbrook Houses public housing campus.

The Overture at Brookfield Commons will consist of the construction of a nine story, 146,115 square foot mixed-use building with 129 apartments and 2,074 square feet of community facility space. The project will also include 77 at-grade parking spaces (75 for residents and two for the community facility space). This multi-family building will have 40 one-bedroom apartments, 63 two-bedroom apartments, 23 three-bedroom apartments, two four-bedroom apartments and one superintendent’s unit. The building will also provide a fitness room, children’s playroom and tenant lounge with outdoor terrace

When constructed, the building will include 90 apartments set aside for existing Winbrook residents. The remaining apartments will be affordable to low- or moderate-income households. A vacant existing building (located at 135 South Lexington Avenue) will be demolished, clearing the way for the construction of The Overture building. There will be no displacement of existing Winbrook residents as part of the Brookfield Commons development.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) is providing $15.3 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $26.3 million in equity and an additional $16.6 million in subsidy.

Additional financing is being provided by the City of White Plains, the County of Westchester and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Capital One Bank and Chase provided the Letter of Credit. Capital One Bank and RBC Capital Markets are the tax credit investors and RBC Capital Markets is the tax credit syndicator.

“Our masterplan is active and alive. The new Overture is a much larger replacement building with 129 units (25 more units than the Prelude’s 104 units). All residents who qualify from our existing resident pool will be able to move into this new, modern, and environmentally friendly building,” said Mack Carter, executive director of the White Plains Housing Authority. “Each successive building phase will bring another new building with exciting amenities. It gives me great pride and joy to deliver this new building. We have just begun our quest to replace the old Winbrook community with the new Brookfield Commons.”

“We’re excited and proud to break ground on this vital redevelopment effort that will continue the work of creating a vibrant mixed-income community at Brookfield Commons,” said Kenan Bigby, managing director of Trinity Financial. “We are grateful for the hard work and commitment of the development team and our community and funding partners, who are playing an integral role in this important project.”

The entire project will be built to achieve Enterprise Green Communities designation for energy-efficiency and healthy environments and will participate in NYSERDA’s Multifamily New Construction Program. The building will reduce its residents’ projected energy use by 15% and conserve water through the use of low flow plumbing fixtures.

White Plains Mayor Tom Roach said, “I am very pleased to see this transformative project enter into Phase II. White Plains has always been a city where people of all socio-economic levels have lived together. We value affordable housing in White Plains and the opportunity to provide affordable housing of this quality is very exciting.”

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The multi-phase redevelopment of the outdated Winbrook Houses will transform Downtown White Plains by breaking up the public housing superblock and reconnecting residents to the surrounding community.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “Westchester County is at a cross-roads—and the path forward includes more affordable housing options for all income levels. What makes this project even more promising are the green technologies being utilized. This is what the future of housing in Westchester’s urban settings looks like.”

Operational funding (in the form of Tenant Protection Vouchers and Project Based Vouchers) was provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 2009, the White Plains Housing Authority completed the initial master plan work for the transformation of Winbrook Houses, a 450-unit public housing development built in 1949. In the first phase of the redevelopment, the White Plains Housing Authority partnered to construct The Prelude. Built in 2014-15 on the corner of South Lexington Avenue and Quarropas Street, The Prelude includes 104 affordable housing apartments and the 13,500-square-foot White Plains Education and Training Center.