Related Companies is best known for high-end developments, including Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, but the New York City Housing Authority announced Dec. 1 that a joint venture of Related and Essence Development was selected to make $366 million in repairs across 2,054 public housing units.
As part of the deal, the companies will take over management of the Fulton, Chelsea, Chelsea Addition and Elliott houses through a Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program conversion, which allows the developers to access federal Project-Based Section 8 money to fund the repairs. PACT will cover more than two-thirds of the total project cost, officials say.
The renovations will include upgrades to kitchens, bathrooms and floors; the addition of hydronic boilers to replace steam heat systems; updated plumbing, elevators, windows, roofs, security systems and pest management; and repairs of building exteriors. The developers will also expand community spaces, such as health centers, lobbies, mail rooms and laundry facilities.
After finishing the renovations, the developers will construct a mixed-use building with 100 apartments, half of which are slated as affordable housing.
Selection Led By Tenants Associations
Related and Essence were selected for the partnership through a process led by the tenant associations of the Fulton Houses and Elliott-Chelsea Houses. NYCHA officials say it’s the first time its residents have led a project review and developer selection.
Housing authority officials say the developers were picked for their previous experience with affordable and public housing projects. While Related gets attention for its high-profile office and luxury housing projects, it says it has more than 55,000 affordable units across the U.S.
As ENR previously reported, Related Midwest partnered on Chicago’s Julia C. Lathrop Homes redevelopment. Many of the buildings were uninhabitable because of years of deferred maintenance, ENR reported in its Best Projects profile of that project, which includes a mix of unit types: 36% for public housing; 22% affordable housing; and 45% market-rate housing.
Essence has built or repaired nearly 5,000 affordable housing units, and is a minority-owned business founded by Jamar Adams, a former vice president at Related.
“Through our partnership with Essence Development, we will address not just the physical needs, but also complete a suite of community enhancements to ensure this comprehensive rehabilitation will deliver quality homes for residents,” Bruce Beal Jr., president of Related Companies, said in a statement.