City and State Leaders Break Ground on Affordable Housing Development

In a groundbreaking ceremony attended by state and local officials, Governor Kathy Hochul celebrated the commencement of construction on a transformative $60 million affordable housing development known as The St. Clair.

This development is a partnership between the State of New York’s Homes and Community Renewal Program, Westchester County, and the City of Yonkers. It signals a collaborative effort to address the pressing need for affordable housing in the region.

The development

The St. Clair development endeavors to revitalize a vacant site near Getty Square. Spanning approximately ten-thousand square feet, the lot stands on the southwest corner of Riverdale Avenue and Main Street in the Downtown Mixed-Use Zoning District.

Rendering of The St. Clair development
Rendering of The St. Clair development – credit: MacQuesten

This project will feature a 10 story, 76 unit building that is 100% dedicated to affordable housing. The unit mix comprises 12 studios, 36 one bedroom apartments, 23 two bedroom residences, and 5 three bedroom units. The project includes a parking structure designed to accommodate 77 parking spaces. However, only 28 are provided on-site. A fee in lieu of sub-standard parking is being paid to comply with the requirements of the D-MX District.

The development goes beyond residential spaces and will encompass a 3,260-square-foot commercial area on the ground floor. Situated within walking distance of the Metro-North train station, it’s a prime location for shoppers and commuting residents alike.

Financing for this ambitious project comes from a variety of sources.

  • $25.2 million in Federal and State Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.
  • $10.6 million in subsidies from New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
  • $9.7 million in tax credits issued by the New York State Department of Tax and Finance due to its fulfillment of the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Brownfield Cleanup Program
  • $8.4 million in permanent tax exempt bonds.
  • $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from Westchester County.
  • $1.1 million in HOME funds from the City of Yonkers.

Wells Fargo’s Community Lending and Investment group is providing debt and equity financing to MacQuesten Development.

The ceremony

The groundbreaking ceremony hosted a variety of distinguished guests. These included Assembly Members Gary Pretlow and Nader Sayegh, Commissioner Ruthanne Visnauskas of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, and State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

St. Clair groundbreaking
St. Clair groundbreaking – credit: Governor Kathy Hochul

Governor Hochul highlighted the importance of developing affordable housing while emphasizing a balanced approach. This includes both market rate and affordable housing being built to create opportunities for all residents. She lauded The St. Clair as a “transit-oriented development” that expressed her commitment to addressing the housing affordability crisis.

Hochul’s overarching goal is to increase housing supply and reduce living costs. The St. Clair development offers hope and progress for Yonkers towards this goal.

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Follow the discussion

  1. Affordable Housing in New York State and the City of Yonkers.
    As of 2022 the City of Yonkers has 40% of all the County of Westchester’s Low income housing. These units are 98% in the 3 West side political districts 1, 2, and 3. Each of Yonkers 6 districts contain approximately 35 thousand people. This means that 10% of Westchester’s low income housing is being hosted by 10% of the population of the County. We recently met with Mr. Nightingale, the Director of Westhab, a well respected low income developer. They do a very good job of running and managing their projects. He informed us that he builds in Yonkers and will continue to since we as a city allow him to do what most other areas of the county of Westchester will not. Build Low income housing.
    This housing is “sold” as workforce housing and the need for people to take lower skilled jobs is always emphasized in their presentations. This is done by all developers, even Market rate developers claim to be supplying “WorkForce Housing” since that phrase kicks in the ability to apply for Zoning Variances and will allow them to apply for loans funded by the taxpayer.
    The problem the City of Yonkers is designing in and not for the first time.
    They are allowing the building of massive amounts of Market Rate housing and massive amounts of low income housing in the same 3 densely populated districts on the west side. The Market rate housing is priced well above the income levels of most Yonkers Residence and will be populated with people who come in from outside Yonkers and like most renters have little connection to the City other than a place to lay their heads. Market Rate housing is targeted at an income level of $150,000 and the Average income in Yonkers is $75,000.
    The Low income housing will draw Yonkers residents out of their present housing and that will allow the Developers to purchase more properties and erect more buildings. This is a well tested technique often used to change the demographics of areas.
    The Yonkers Zoning board of Appeals is the key to this change by approving every variance that a “Favorable” developer brings in front of them no matter how much they need to stretch Chapter 43 of the Yonkers Zoning Code. One would believe that the Zoning code was being written on a project by project basis and that depends on how influential the Developer is in Yonkers Politics.
    So the Question is
    “Are we the Citizens of Yonkers allowing City Of Yonkers to once again fall into the issues that brought about the 1980 law Suite”
    The 3 districts (1, 2 and 3) are 75% or more minority and the intentional building of excess amounts of low Income housing in that dense a community would be Economic segregation if not Racial segregation.
    Philip Armstrong
    Rockledge Neighbors

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