Scattered-site redevelopment to revitalize historic Rochester neighborhood with 75 affordable & supportive homes + green space

On September 24, 2020 in Rochester, New York, construction began on Pueblo Nuevo I, a $25 million redevelopment in Rochester’s El Camino neighborhood.

Pueblo Nuevo I will transform 20 vacant, underutilized or dilapidated lots across a five-block area around North Clinton Avenue and just south of St. Michael’s Church in El Camino. The project’s developer is the Ibero-American Development Corporation, the development arm of the Ibero-American Action League, Inc.

St. Michael’s Church. Photo courtesy of Ibero-American Development Corporation.

Monroe County Executive Adam J. Bello said, “All residents of Monroe County deserve a safe and affordable place to call home. The $25 million Pueblo Nuevo I project will breathe new life into an historic neighborhood in dire need of redevelopment, bringing new stability to some of our community’s most vulnerable families and individuals. I commend Ibero-American Development Corp. for their tireless commitment to our community and am grateful to Gov. Cuomo, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority and all other community and government partners for the support that made this transformational project possible.

The initial phase of construction will create 75 new affordable homes across 16 residential buildings with new community green space at the center of the development area. Nineteen apartments will be reserved for adults with developmental disabilities.

NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Transforming underutilized sites to create efficient, affordable housing opportunities here and in communities throughout the state demonstrates Governor Cuomo’s unwavering commitment to ensure that every family has access to safe, comfortable, and reliable housing. We are proud to support this development and look forward to implementing energy efficiency measures into more new construction projects like these around the state.

The Pueblo Nuevo I development is part of Governor Cuomo’s $20 billion, five-year affordable Housing Plan administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The $20 billion plan reflects a commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing, making housing more accessible and combatting homelessness by building and preserving more than 100,000 affordable apartments and 6,000 units of supportive housing.

There will be 16 buildings in total: a newly constructed multifamily building with 16 units on Sullivan Street; 13 newly constructed three-family homes across the development area; and one existing two-family home on Hoeltzer Street that will undergo renovations. In addition, a Romanesque brick building on Clifford Avenue originally constructed in 1905 will be adapted into a multifamily building with 18 units.

Seventy-one of the apartments will be affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income and the remaining four units reserved for households earning up to 80 percent of the AMI. Eight households will receive project-based Section 8 vouchers from the Rochester Housing Authority. Nineteen of the homes will be set aside for adults with developmental disabilities who will have access to support services provided by the Ibero-American Action League.

In the center of the neighborhood development, a city-owned lot at 12 Hoeltzer Street will be transformed into a community green space with gardens, walking paths, a playground, and a picnic pavilion. The green space will tie directly to the City-funded La Marketa currently under construction.

Pueblo Nuevo I is certified by the international Climate Bond Initiative, which helps finance the construction of healthy, energy-efficient homes for New Yorkers, while reducing the State’s carbon footprint. The buildings will have high efficiency heating and cooling systems, LED high efficiency lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures and Energy Star appliances. The development aligns with New York’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act which requires the State to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

A second phase of Pueblo Nuevo is expected to begin construction in early 2021. This next phase will create an additional 29 affordable homes as well as the El Camino Community Center. Previously, HCR has financed the construction of El Camino Estates, which offers 50 homes for families, and Buena Vista Manor, with 30 homes for seniors, both in the El Camino neighborhood.

HCR’s investment in the $25 million development includes $12.5 million in permanent and construction tax-exempt Climate bonds, $11.5 million in federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity and $6.3 million in subsidy. The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is providing $2.8 million in financing and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is providing funding through its Low-rise Residential New Construction program. Additional financing is being provided by the City of Rochester and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.

Since 2011, HCR has invested more than $627 million to create or preserve nearly 7,500 affordable homes and apartments in the Finger Lakes Region, including over $278 million in Rochester to support nearly 2,900 homes for more than 7,000 people.

Many state and local leaders expressed their enthusiasm for the project:

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The Pueblo Nuevo I development is part of a larger effort to revitalize Rochester’s El Camino neighborhood by filling in empty lots with high-quality, energy-efficient affordable housing that residents will be proud to call home. With a mix of new construction and renovation, we will ultimately create 75 homes for families and adults with special needs, as well as a beautiful new park in the heart of the neighborhood. As we move forward on our path to economic recovery, Governor Cuomo’s holistic approach to neighborhood revitalization has never been more important or needed. We are grateful for our strong partnership with the Ibero-American Action League who are doing so much to lift up the Latino community in Rochester.

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Theodore A. Kastner said, “With 19 apartments at the Pueblo Nuevo development dedicated to people with developmental disabilities, this housing complex will help open up doors to community living that once were closed, ensuring that the people we support have more options to live an integrated lifestyle while receiving services tailored to their individual needs.”

Eugenio Marlin, IADC’s Executive Vice President, said, “Pueblo Nuevo not only provides quality affordable housing, but it is also a transformative project that will propel the neighborhood to a future highly benefits its residents, as part of a larger strategy of building neighborhoods.

Charlie Oster, Edgemere Development, Inc, Consulting Developer, said, “We are pleased to be working with IADC, IIAL, and NYS agencies to address issues identified through NYS ESD Opportunity Agenda. At a time when affordable housing is even more critical for families to survive and succeed, this transformative project implements the El Camino Neighborhood’s revitalization vision.

Senator Joseph Robach said, “This development will not only provide great housing options but will also provide a positive ripple on the entire neighborhood. I am delighted that New York State can assist in this win-win opportunity.”

Mayor Lovely Warren concluded, “The availability of safe, quality, affordable housing is essential to the vitality of any neighborhood. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Pueblo Nuevo housing development brings us one step closer to ensuring that residents in Northeast Rochester will have access to excellent housing that meets their needs. I want to thank Ibero-American Development Corporation for their outstanding work on this project, as well as for their continued vision to showcase our city’s rich Latino culture, and their ongoing commitment to develop and enhance the El Camino neighborhood. I also want to thank N.Y. State Homes & Community Renewal for its commitment to Rochester.

Featured rendering courtesy of Ibero-American Development Corporation.

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