NYCity Officials And NYPL Announce New Inwood library And Affordable Apartments

Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Eric Enderlin, and the New York Public Library (NYPL) announce development plans for 175 deeply affordable apartments and a new public library to be owned and operated by NYPL. The development will also feature community programing through an onsite Activities, Culture, Training (ACTS) Center and a brand new Pre-K for All facility that will be operated by the New York City Department of Education (DOE). Informed by community input after months of community engagement and neighborhood planning exercises through the Inwood Affordable Housing and Library Planning Process, the development plan establishes the renewed Inwood Library Branch as the core of a new building.

“Through Housing New York, we strive to pair affordable housing development with the dynamic community spaces that neighborhoods need to thrive. The Eliza—fittingly named for one of the earliest supporters of the Inwood library and a champion of literacy and education—weds deeply affordable homes with a beautifully redesigned library and a new pre-K facility that will benefit the Inwood neighborhood for generations to come,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank the development team of CLOTH, Ranger Properties, The Children’s Village, and Alembic for their thoughtful proposal, and NYPL, DOE, and the Robin Hood Foundation for their partnership in creating an exciting plan that reflects the needs of the community.”

“Everyone deserves a secure place to call home and a high quality environment to gather and learn,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “I look forward to working with all our public and private partners to create affordable homes for 175 low-income families, while also infusing new life into the Inwood library so it will serve as a central hub for the neighborhood for generations to come.”

“The creation of a new, state-of-the-art library with a first-class UPK facility and 175 deeply affordable homes is a big win for the Inwood community,” said NYCEDC President James Patchett. “Through the Inwood NYC neighborhood planning process, residents have consistently identified a need for improved community spaces and educational programming, as well as housing that’s truly affordable for local residents. This project responds to that input and demonstrates the City’s commitment to ensuring Inwood remains affordable for working families.”

“Inwood is a diverse and vibrant community of passionate Library users — families who attend our popular early literacy events, students who need our after-school programs or ESOL classes, and readers of all ages” said NYPL President Tony Marx. “The new Inwood Library will provide patrons, young and old, with a larger library that supports the opportunities for success they deserve, offering greater access to books, technology, and programs that ensure the vitality of the neighborhood.”

“It is with humility, gratitude, and honor that CLOTH and the members of our team, embrace this opportunity to continue serving our community. We look forward to engaging with our neighbors and friends to create a valuable community asset that will positively impact the lives of thousands today and into the future,” says Yvonne Stennett the executive director of CLOTH.

Benjamin Warnke of Alembic added: “Alembic very much appreciates the opportunity to join our development partners, the City of New York and the New York Public Library in the design and implementation of this vital community project, transforming a beloved community resource to meet the needs of the 21st century and creating 175 units of quality housing affordable for the current residents of Inwood.”

“We are honored to be selected by the City of New York and the New York Public Library to be a co-developer of this important landmark project. Together with CLOTH and Ranger Properties we look forward to creating a beautiful space that is affordable, welcomes and provides opportunity for all who need it and offers support to families.” Dr. Jeremy C. Kohomban, President and CEO.

The Eliza, named in honor of Eliza Hamilton, will be developed by a joint venture between the Community League of the Heights (CLOTH), Ranger Properties, Alembic, and the Children’s Village. In addition to a new three-level library branch, the new fourteen story building will include a mix of studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom apartments that will be affordable to extremely low-, very low-, and low-income households. Housing will also be available to formerly homeless households. Building residents will have access to an onsite gym, tenant lounge, a kid’s playroom, a terrace, a roof garden, a bike room, and a laundry room.

The new library will maintain existing services such as early literacy and ‘storytime’ programs, technology classes for adults and families, bilingual materials and resources, while providing additional space for computers, classes, a community room, and more. The new library will be funded through capital funding from HPD and a $5 million dollar grant from the Robin Hood Foundation.

Feedback from the extensive community visioning process incorporated into the development plan includes:

Library Updates

The renewed library will include an extensive collection of books and circulating material, digital resources, publicly accessible computers, and Wi-Fi access. The design will incorporate collaborative work spaces of varying sizes, quiet reading spaces for all ages, as well as open flexible space to accommodate classrooms for education programs. A large community room will be accessible both from the library and from a separate exterior entrance, so that it can continue to be available to the community outside of the regular library operating hours.

Guaranteed Deep Affordability

The development will be financed under Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York plan under the Extremely Low and Low-income Affordability (ELLA) program. The site is subject to the requirements of Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) which will guarantee that approximately 25-30% of all homes will be permanently affordable through the MIH program. HPD will guarantee future control of the land through the use of a remainder interest—a legal tool that will give the City ownership of the property at the end of the initial affordability period, unless the owner agrees to extend the affordability period.

The new building will be designed to serve extremely low-, very low-, and low-income families with income caps set between $20,040 – $40,080 for individuals and $34,360 – $51,540 for a household of three according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2017 calculations. Over 20% of all apartments will be affordable to a family of three earning less than $26,000. Apartments will also be reserved for formerly homeless households.

Curated Community Spaces and Services

The new development will feature a mix of services for the community including an ACTS Center which will provide community facility space for education, health and wellness related programs, jobs training and cultural activities. The Pre-K for All facility will be a 4,030 square foot center accessible via a private corridor off of Broadway. The three classrooms will be connected to a 2,100 square foot exterior play terrace that will overlook the nearby public school athletic fields. The generously sized class rooms will have a full wall of windows and suite bathrooms.

Feedback from the extensive community visioning process incorporated into the development plan includes:

Library Updates

The renewed library will include an extensive collection of books and circulating material, digital resources, publicly accessible computers, and Wi-Fi access. The design will incorporate collaborative work spaces of varying sizes, quiet reading spaces for all ages, as well as open flexible space to accommodate classrooms for education programs. A large community room will be accessible both from the library and from a separate exterior entrance, so that it can continue to be available to the community outside of the regular library operating hours.

Guaranteed Deep Affordability

The development will be financed under Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York plan under the Extremely Low and Low-income Affordability (ELLA) program. The site is subject to the requirements of Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) which will guarantee that approximately 25-30% of all homes will be permanently affordable through the MIH program. HPD will guarantee future control of the land through the use of a remainder interest—a legal tool that will give the City ownership of the property at the end of the initial affordability period, unless the owner agrees to extend the affordability period.

The new building will be designed to serve extremely low-, very low-, and low-income families with income caps set between $20,040 – $40,080 for individuals and $34,360 – $51,540 for a household of three according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2017 calculations. Over 20% of all apartments will be affordable to a family of three earning less than $26,000. Apartments will also be reserved for formerly homeless households.

Curated Community Spaces and Services

The new development will feature a mix of services for the community including an ACTS Center which will provide community facility space for education, health and wellness related programs, jobs training and cultural activities. The Pre-K for All facility will be a 4,030 square foot center accessible via a private corridor off of Broadway. The three classrooms will be connected to a 2,100 square foot exterior play terrace that will overlook the nearby public school athletic fields. The generously sized class rooms will have a full wall of windows and suite bathrooms.

Via Community Board 12

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