Basketball City USA, a $13 million project that includes the conversion of city-owned warehouse space on Pier 36 in Lower Manhattan into a first-class recreational sports and special events facility has secured financing through the New York City Economic Development Corporation and United Fund Advisors and is currently on its way to creating 50-full time jobs targeted to low-income residents of the area.

Construction on the approximately 63,000 sq ft space that will host youth basketball instruction, camps, leagues, tournaments, and free court time along with a “home court” for 28 basketball teams in the New York City Public Schools Athletic League is being performed by Structure Tone of  New York with Cetra Ruddy of New York as the architect on the project. Demolition on the site has already taken place but it is currently undergoing permit processing with main construction of Basketball City scheduled to begin within the next 30 to 60 days.

Funding for the project comes from the closing of New Market Tax Credits in conjunction with NYCEDC and provided by National Community Fund I, LLC, an affiliate of United Fund Advisors and USBCDE, LLC, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. The NMTC financing will permit Basketball City to build a more energy-efficient, high-tech facility that will include solar panels, composite wooden floors as well as energy-efficient lighting and insulation. In addition, NYCEDC executed a nearly $2.7 million funding agreement with Basketball City USA to further the project’s development and help it to establish itself as a leader in developing environmentally-conscious projects in partnership with New York City.

Since 2008, the collaboration of NYCEDC and UFA has financed over $500 million of development costs utilizing $89 million in NMTC allocation from NCF and resulting in other New York City projects such as the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, the Museum for African Art and the Gateway School of New York to name a few. These projects located throughout Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan have led to the creation of over 1,450 construction jobs and 1,485 permanent jobs.

Construction on Basketball City, part of the city’s East River Waterfront Esplanade Project is expected to be completed by summer 2011.

-Carolina Worrell