May 4, 2022 saw the successful completion of a $44.3 million affordable housing redevelopment for seniors, which revitalized the site of the failed Irondequoit Mall in Monroe County, New York.
Skyview Park Apartments features 157 homes for adults 55 and older with 78 apartments reserved for seniors in need of supportive services.
“Transforming the long-vacant Irondequoit Mall into new homes for seniors is an important investment that will benefit the community for years to come,” Governor Kathy Hochul said.
The development converted the former Sears department store into 73 apartments and constructed a new four-story building with 84 apartments. All apartments are for New Yorkers aged 55 and older earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income.
78 apartments are reserved for households at risk of homelessness who will receive on-site supportive services provided by Rochester General Hospital‘s ElderONE program. These services are funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the NYS Department of Health.
Services include identifying primary health needs of all individuals, legal and financial assistance programs, meal and nutritional programs, counseling programs, personal care and home care assistance, service coordination and facilitation of medical, behavioral health or social services, referral of eligible individuals for Medicare or Medicaid benefits, and transportation.
Residents have access to three open-air courtyards with community gardening space, two patios with grilling areas, a fitness room, and a community room. Apartments are equipped with an emergency pull cord system and grab bars.
The building was designed to meet the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority‘s Low-rise New Construction program standards for energy efficiency. Energy efficient features include Energy Star appliances, heating and air conditioning systems and Energy Star interior and exterior lighting.
Known as Skyview on the Ridge, the former mall is now home to the 41,000-square-foot Irondequoit Community Center for recreation and youth and senior programming, as well as Rochester Regional Health’s Isabella Graham Hart School of Nursing.
The developer of Skyview Park Apartments is Rochester-based PathStone Development Corporation, an affiliate of PathStone Corporation.
State financing for Skyview Park Apartments included $4.9 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $12.3 million in equity and an additional $23 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided $134,200 in support. The town of Irondequoit contributed a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant award and Monroe County contributed a $100,000 HOME award.
Public and private leaders were unanimous in their praise for the project:
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “By reimagining obsolete retail spaces like the Irondequoit Mall, we can eliminate blight and replace it with state-of-the art affordable homes that make our communities and neighborhoods more vibrant. Skyview Park Apartments provides a welcoming, dynamic, and comfortable home for 157 households with modern amenities, on-site supportive services for those who need them, and convenient access to a community center buzzing with activity for all ages. Congratulations to PathStone and other partners for the successful completion of this ambitious development that will benefit Irondequoit for generations.”
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO at New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said, “The completion of Skyview Apartments ensures that low-income seniors in Monroe County have access to supportive affordable housing that utilizes advanced energy efficiency technology for a comfortable well-insulated living space. This project is a metaphor for bridging the clean energy transition by connecting a repurposed existing building with adjacent new construction, demonstrating that the state’s building stock, both old and new, can support Governor Hochul’s commitment to achieving 2 million climate-friendly homes.”
Amy Casciani, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development at PathStone, said, “As an Irondequoit native, the redevelopment of the Sears Building within the former blighted Irondequoit Mall was very important to me as it was to many other members on our development team with Irondequoit roots. This was a very creative and unique endeavor but at the same time a very necessary approach to address the growing needs of Monroe County’s low- and moderate-income seniors. I commend our PathStone Development Corporation Board for their continued support of this development. Of course, this development could not have happened without the financial support of NYS through its many offices, as well as the Town of Irondequoit and Monroe County. Our supportive services partnership with Rochester Regional Health offers independent living options for 78 frail elderly senior households. This development provides quality housing options for 157 senior households who can truly age in place. To all involved in this development, thank you for the willingness to think outside the box!!”
Bridgette Wiefling, MD, Chief Physician Enterprise Officer and Executive Vice President for Rochester Regional Health said, “At Rochester Regional Health, we are proud to help the residents of Skyview access and coordinate important health care services. By helping people maintain stable housing and easily receive key services, Skyview helps to address some of our community’s most significant social determinants of health. We look forward to caring for more of our neighbors through this important work.”
Representative Joe Morelle said, “This is an exciting day for the Irondequoit community as we mark another step forward in the transformation of the former Irondequoit mall. Skyview Park apartments will give older citizens an affordable housing option that allows them to age in place in the community they love, filling a critical need in our town and bringing peace of mind to families. I’m grateful to Governor Hochul and the many partners whose hard work has made this project a reality and made good on Irondequoit’s motto of being a town for a lifetime.”
State Senator Samra Brouk said, “The transformation of this space into affordable housing for seniors demonstrates the ingenuity and resourcefulness that we can employ to transform spaces in our communities to better serve our friends, family and neighbors. Thanks to investments by New York State, our local community is able to benefit from innovative solutions that not only address vacant spaces but create a vital community resource. Our seniors deserve to be treated with dignity, and I look forward to championing additional efforts to make sure they have the support and resources they are entitled to.”
Assemblymember Sarah Clark said, “The former mall here in Irondequoit continues to find new purpose and the apartments at Skyview are one more exciting announcement. These apartments offer a unique solution to address the challenges facing our senior population by providing affordable housing as well as support through Rochester General Hospital’s ElderONE program to address our seniors’ health needs, financial and legal assistance, nutritional meals, home care assistance, transportation and so much more. I am reassured that our seniors will have access to this wonderful new facility as well as critical support services in their daily lives. I am proud to count New York State in as a partner to this project. Thank you as well to PathStone, all of our other partners in government, and in particular the town of Irondequoit for investing in the Skyview Apartments.”
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Our older adults deserve quality, affordable housing so they can enjoy their lives to the fullest near their loved ones – and I’m especially glad to see more of these housing options at the newly renovated space at the Skyview on the Ridge. Thank you to PathStone Corp. for your vision to transform this site into new housing for our residents. And, thank you to New York State Homes and Community Renewal, New York State Housing Finance Agency, New York State Department of Health, New York State Energy Research and Development and Gov. Kathy Hochul for your continued support for the residents of Monroe County.”
Town of Irondequoit Supervisor Rory Fitzpatrick said, “The new Skyview Park Apartments have turned an empty former department store into an affordable housing project for seniors in our community, bringing senior affordable housing to Irondequoit provides residents with the option to age in place in the town they call home, breathing new life into the former Irondequoit Mall.”
“The entire Skyview project underscores the potential that exists with under-utilized commercial properties and how they can be repurposed to benefit residents and businesses in our communities. Housing is a human right and we will continue supporting transformative projects like Skyview Park Apartments to tackle the housing crisis and make New York a more affordable place for all,” Gov. Hochul concluded.
Skyview Park Apartments is part of Governor Hochul’s plans to make housing more affordable, equitable, and stable. The Governor introduced and successfully secured (in the recently enacted State Budget), 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.
All images courtesy of Pathstone.