– North Hempstead and the Town’s Community Development Agency (CDA) joined with the team of Conifer Realty, LLC, the Community Development Corp. of Long Island (CDCLI) and a host of other partners to officially unveil an affordable rental complex in New Cassel, one of the milestones in the hamlet’s model revitalization.
Occupying a 1.25 acre parcel at 1020 Prospect Ave., the three-story, 36-unit Cathedral Place Apartments will house low- to moderate-income families who meet special income guidelines and were selected through a lottery drawing. The complex consists of 18 one-bedroom, 14 two-bedroom and 4 three-bedroom units. It also features community space, a fitness room, as well as on-site parking and a management/leasing office.
The October 29, 2013 ribbon cutting marked one year to the day that Superstorm Sandy devastated the region.
The roster of guest speakers representing a broad coalition of partners on the project including North Hempstead and its CDA, Nassau County, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, TD Charitable Foundation, NeighborWorks® America, Capital One Bank, Community Preservation Corporation, Redstone Equity Partners and National Grid.
Most all of them agreed that the coincidence of the ribbon cutting with Sandy’s first anniversary was poignant in that the storm, one of the most destructive in recent memory, underscored one of Long Island’s most bothersome concerns: the glaring shortage of affordable rentals.
North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Viviana Russell, a longtime New Cassel resident, said the completion of Cathedral Place touched her personally.
“When I moved here over a decade ago, plans for New Cassel’s revitalization were just being formalized,” she said, acknowledging former Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman for his leadership in helping orchestrate the rebuild and fostering the collaboration of entities that made it possible. Most of all, she said, “I thank all you residents working with government on all levels to make this happen.”
Rent will be $962 for a one-bedroom, $1,153 for a two-bedroom and $1,327 for a three-bedroom unit. A lottery for residency was held in August.
Nassau County, a key stakeholder in New Cassel’s $80 million reconstruction, contributed $720,000 in HOME funds to ensure long term affordability of the units.
Nassau County Legislator Robert Troiano said, “Having lived in this community practically my entire life and having served on the North Hempstead Town Board and in my present capacity as County Legislator, I know first-hand about the dire need for affordable low to middle income rentals in this community. The addition of these apartments to the rental pool adds another component to New Cassel’s revitalization that has injected so much new energy into the community.”
North Hempstead’s CDA acquired the 1.25 acre parcel occupied by Cathedral Place, issued the Request for Proposal and was instrumental in coming up with a design with input from the Town Board and former Supervisor Kaiman, said Lamont R. Bailey, chairman of the board.
“I am thankful to all the residents and community leaders for giving us the opportunity to support your vision for the community,” Bailey said.
As the president of the non-profit Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corp, Bishop Lionel Harvey, pastor of the First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury was also instrumental in helping create the vision for New Cassel.
“This critically needed housing,” he said, “is the culmination of so many people giving of themselves to help provide a basic necessity we all have a right to: decent, safe housing. I am overwhelmed.”
Nicole Bradley, the mother of a six-year-old son, said she was overjoyed at being one of the lucky ones to land a two-bedroomed unit at Cathedral Place. Bradley, 29, said she had been moving back and forth between New Cassel, where she stayed with family and Syracuse, where she is originally from for two years.
“New Cassel felt like home so I decided that I wanted to settle down here,” she said. “I felt safe and it felt like a community. I’m so happy I was fortunate enough to overcome the one big hurdle, finding affordable housing.”
From left, front row: Greg Watson, New York State Homes & Community Renewal; Allen Handelman, Vice President, Conifer Realty; Marianne Garvin, President/CEO, Community Development Corporation of LI; Town Councilwoman Viviana Russell; New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine; Bob Bernard, Senior VP- Capital One Bank; and David Fearon, HCR Project Manager. From left, back row: North Hempstead CDA Member Sid Nathan; Kenneth Daly, President, National Grid; Nassau County Legislator Wayne Wink; Richard Conley, Senior VP and Chief Credit Officer, The Community Preservation Corporation; Lamont Bailey, Chair of North Hempstead Community Development Agency; Dermot Kelly, Executive Director of North Hempstead Community Development Agency; John Sarcone, Director of Housing & Community Development, Nassau County; Bishop Lionel Harvey, United New Cassel Community Revitalization Corporation; Richard Roberts; Kevin Law, Long Island Association President/CEO
Councilwoman Viviana Russell (right) and County Legislator Wayne Wink (left) speak with Nicole Bradley, a new occupant of the Cathedral Place apartments.
The 36-unit Cathedral Place Apartment Complex.