Bronx Affordable Housing Complex Breaks Ground With $78M in Financing

Construction on the B&B Urban-L+M Development Partners project is expected to take two years


B&B Urban and L+M Development Partners have secured $78.05 million in financing to start construction on Williamsbridge Gardens, a 170-unit, affordable rental housing complex in the northeastern Bronx enclave of Williamsbridge.

The bulk of the financing — $53.8 million — is coming from tax-exempt bonds that the New York State Housing Finance Agency provided through its Homes and Community Renewal program (HCR). Another $11.75 million is from HCR’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program, and a further $11.75 million from the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development‘s Supportive Housing Loan Program. There’s also $750,000 from the Bronx borough president’s office.

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What’s more, financial services firm Raymond James is investing $40 million in the project in the form of low-income housing tax credit equity, and Citi Community Capital is providing the bond credit enhancement during construction, according to the developers.

Williamsbridge Gardens will include 30 studios, 55 one-bedrooms, 57 two-bedrooms, and 27 three-bedrooms in a pair of eight-story buildings along East 211th and East 212th streets. Designed by MHG Architects, it will feature a large, landscaped interior courtyard; a computer lab; a children’s library; and rooftop solar panels.

The 170 units will be available to low- and moderate-income families, with 85 set aside for the formerly homeless. These units will come with support services that the nonprofit Center for Urban Community Services will provide. The groundbreaking was Dec. 21, and construction is expected to take two years, B&B and L+M said.

The financing for the complex comes at an auspicious time for affordable housing in general. A dearth of federal funding and guidance, as well as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the state and the city’s ability to finance projects, has brought such development to a crawl this year. It’s a reality the backers of Williamsbridge Gardens acknowledged in a statement regarding the start of construction.

“Williamsbridge Gardens directly addresses NYC’s most urgent needs with 100 percent new affordable housing, including 50 percent of the units set aside for formerly homeless families, in two buildings at a location offering immediate subway access and an array of vital retail services” Alan Bell, principal of B&B Urban, said.