Spring is traditionally a busy time for realtors in Rye, when dozens of homes are put on the market. This spring, there’s a block of condominium housing joining the real estate mix. But there won’t be any bidding wars driving up the prices. That’s because these 22 units are designated as “affordable housing.”
By Bill Lawyer
Spring is traditionally a busy time for realtors in Rye, when dozens of homes are put on the market. This spring, there’s a block of condominium housing joining the real estate mix. But there won’t be any bidding wars driving up the prices. That’s because
these 22 units are designated as “affordable housing.”
The condos will all be sold for pre-designated, below-market prices to eligible buyers, based on their income level and other related factors. The terms are set by the US Deptartment of Housing and Urban Development.
The 22 units comprise a five-building complex of condos being marketed as “Cottage Landings.” Located at the intersection of Cottage Street and Edgar Place, the site is just barely on the Rye side of the boundary with Port Chester.
The project was first presented to the City of Rye in 2007. After two years of negotiations and many changes, the City approved a project that would create a 22-unit condominium complex, 18 of which would be available to seniors with household incomes at 80% of the County area median income. This was modified because the County would only support the project if the units were available to eligible persons of all ages.
The City and developer Lou Larizza agreed to these terms, and he proceeded to negotiate with local banks to secure “up-front” funds to get the project underway. Provident Bank in Yonkers came to the rescue in the spring of 2011.
Work started in July, but was delayed by the heavy rain in August and September. A mild winter allowed them to get back up to speed and on track. As of mid-April, the interiors are 95% complete. An average of 15 to 20 workers per day are finishing the interior electrical work, sanding, finishing the floors, and getting ready to install the appliances.
On the exterior, some landscaping and planting has begun, the sewers and storm drains are installed, and work on connecting to the water lines will be finished within the week.
Three of the buildings have four units, each with a bedroom, a den and two bathrooms. The other two buildings have one-bedroom, one-bath units – one with four, and the other six.
“We will be 100% finished by June 15,” says Larizza. He urges people interested in “what good quality affordable housing looks like” to drive by and see for themselves.
As for who will be living in the condos, that’s being determined by the Westchester-based Housing Action Council (HAC). Staffer Rose Noonan carried out the marketing and lottery process that resulted in selecting a first-round of 85 potentially qualified owners in January. They are now verifying income levels, and determining the applicants’ ability to obtain mortgages.
According to Larizza’s project manager, Michael Martino, the final step in the selection process will be getting the approval of the State Attorney General.
Larizza is confident owners will start to move in by late June, and all 22 units will be occupied by mid-July.