On June 17, 2022, the residents and leaders of Poughkeepsie, New York celebrated the completion of a $23 million pedestrian-friendly affordable housing redevelopment, which repurposed and revitalized an ugly, underutilized surface parking lot from serving automobiles to serving people.
That former dead zone, now called Crannell Square, features 75 affordable apartments in an energy-efficient building, including 12 supportive homes and 26 with a preference for income-eligible artists.The building is designed to enhance the streetscape and increase pedestrian traffic downtown.
“My administration continues to be laser-focused on increasing the affordable housing supply in cities like Poughkeepsie with excellent access to jobs, transit and services,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said.
“This investment in Crannell Square will facilitate a more vibrant, safe and attractive downtown while providing 75 energy-efficient and modern homes for individuals and families. By creating new affordable housing options in cities all across New York, we will improve quality of life and stability for all New Yorkers,” she explained.
Crannell Square is part of Governor Hochul’s statewide plan to make housing more affordable, equitable, and stable.
State Senator Sue Serino said, “The completion of this amazing project could not come at a better time as our community is in great need of high quality, affordable housing. We are grateful to The Kearney Realty and Development Group, Inc. and Hudson River Housing for making such a strong investment in the City of Poughkeepsie and for their commitment to ensuring that our neighbors have access to such a unique local space.”
In the recently enacted State Budget, the Governor successfully secured a new $25 billion, five-year, comprehensive housing plan that will increase housing supply by creating or preserving 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “With the completion of the Crannell Square project, Poughkeepsie area residents will now have increased access to affordable housing that provides an energy efficient, healthy, and comfortable living environment with a low carbon footprint. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is proud to support projects like this as they advance Governor Hochul’s commitment to achieve two million climate friendly homes with a focus on equity to ensure all New Yorkers benefit from clean energy investments.”
The redevelopment consists of a single four-story building in Poughkeepsie’s Upper Mill Street Historic District.
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said, “Real estate investments have provided a solid return for the state pension fund and have benefitted many areas of upstate New York. We are proud that the state pension fund can help revitalize New York’s communities and bring much needed affordable housing to those who need it.”
Crannell Square is designed to recreate the historic stoop design that is prominent in the surrounding neighborhood and encourage pedestrian traffic along Mill Street. The development includes a new pedestrian plaza with benches and landscaping at the northeast corner of the site that follows the original path of Crannell Street.
The 75 apartments include a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units affordable to households earning at or below 100 percent of the Area Median Income.
Five apartments are reserved for individuals with mental health needs and seven apartments are reserved for individuals with physical disabilities. These residents will have access to on-site supportive services provided by Hudson River Housing. There is one apartment for an on-site superintendent.
The building was designed to meet the standards of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Low-Rise New Construction program and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. Energy efficient measures include high efficiency HVAC and domestic hot water systems, high performance spray foam insulation, and Energy STAR windows and appliances. The building is EPA Energy STAR Homes v3.1 Certified and EPA Indoor airPLUS certified.
Residential amenities include a community room, laundry facilities, pedestrian plaza, shared workspace, a tenant lounge, and interior and exterior bicycle storage.
Crannell Square is located within walking distance of Poughkeepsie’s Metro-North and Amtrak Train Station, the Walkway Over the Hudson, the Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, the Poughkeepsie Public Library, City Hall and Dutchess County Offices, and the historical Bardavon Opera House.
The project’s developers are Kearney Realty and Development Group, Inc., and Hudson River Housing.
Hudson River Housing Executive Director Christa Hines said, “Hudson River Housing believes in affordable housing as the critical foundation of thriving communities that provide opportunity for all. Our home is the foundation from which we all can achieve our full potential. Yet too many residents in Poughkeepsie are struggling to maintain this foundation, especially as the cost of housing continues to rise. We are proud to be part of bringing Crannell Square to fruition as an important step in ensuring affordability in the City of Poughkeepsie for the long-term.”
State financing for the development included Federal and State Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $11.5 million in equity and $1.7 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The Department of Environmental Conservation is proud to take part in helping bring affordable housing to Poughkeepsie and keep working under Governor Hochul’s leadership to revitalize and clean up communities across the state. This is what New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program strives to achieve and we thank the Homes and Community Renewal and local communities throughout the region who are working to restore and redevelop underutilized properties to benefit the Hudson Valley and all New Yorkers.”
The site was successfully remediated through the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Brownfield Cleanup Program and became eligible for $2.9 million in tax credits upon the project’s completion. NYSERDA provided $65,000 in support through the Low-Rise New Construction Program.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “As Poughkeepsie’s economy grows and attracts new residents, we must ensure that there are affordable homes to protect long-time residents, families, and individuals with special needs from displacement. This $23 million investment will bring 75 new apartments to Upper Mill Street neighborhood and help foster a more walkable and welcoming downtown, while also enhancing the city’s burgeoning artistic community. We are thrilled to partner once again with Kearney Realty and Hudson River Housing on another successful development.”
In the 2022-23 State Budget, Governor Hochul extended and expanded New York State’s thriving Brownfield Cleanup Program, which was set to expire in December 2022. The program is reauthorized for 10 years. The Budget improves the BCP by incentivizing cleanups in disadvantaged communities.
Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson said, “This is a great example of a public-private partnership and shows the Kearney Group’s commitment to providing quality, affordable housing in the city of Poughkeepsie.”
Additionally, the program expands the universe of affordable housing programs eligible for BCP property tax credits, providing vital benefits to incentivize the redevelopment of brownfields as much-needed affordable housing.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “With the cost of living rising across our region and nation, having more affordable housing to Dutchess County and the City of Poughkeepsie available is more important than ever. These apartments will help support local families, artists, and those living with challenges such as physical disabilities or mental illness. We are grateful to have this beautiful new building in our county seat and to Kearney Realty and Development Group, Inc., and Hudson River Housing. for their commitment to enhancing the neighborhood.”
Further, the BCP now encourages the development of certain renewable energy facility sites, with new tax credits, to help focus BCP-driven redevelopment and meet the State’s ambitious climate goals.
Community Preservation Corporation Senior Vice President and Regional Director Doug Olcott said, “We’re proud to have been able to help finance another project with our long-time partners at Kearney Realty to help continue the revitalization of the Poughkeepsie community. The transformation of this lot from a parking lot and former brownfield site into a beautiful, energy efficient building is something we should all be proud of. Crannell Square will be a vital source of quality affordable housing that will provide a safe and supportive environment to its tenants, and which will be an anchor of stability for the community. I’d like to thank Ken and Sean Kearney, Hudson River Housing, Governor Hochul and her team at HCR, and Comptroller DiNapoli and our lending partners at the State’s pension fund for their support.”
The Community Preservation Corporation provided $12 million in construction financing, as well as $5.5 million in permanent financing through its partnership with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. Dutchess County awarded $500,000 in HOME funds.
Kearney Realty and Development Group President Ken Kearney said, “Crannell Square is another successful example of New York State’s innovative Middle-Income Housing Program. Once an underutilized parking lot, is now home to a vibrant mixed-income community. We are so proud to bring this dynamic development to the City of Poughkeepsie, and we are grateful to our partners who helped bring this development to fruition; New York State Homes and Community Renewal; New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; The City of Poughkeepsie; and the Dutchess County Planning Department.”
Finally, Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison said, “The city is so pleased this project has come to fruition. We have a tremendous need for affordable housing in the city, and Crannell Square features an excellent mix of housing units that are infusing this area with activity and will be a boost to nearby business as well.”
Images courtesy of Hudson River Housing.