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Homes and Community Renewal

NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Cornerstone Group, Partners Celebrate Historic Spa Apartments Renovation

$7.1 Million Redevelopment Preserves 109 Units of Senior Mitchell-Lama Housing as Affordable for 30 More Years

Rochester, NY, May 17, 2016 – New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, local officials, tenants, and others joined  to celebrate the renovation and preservation of the historic Spa Apartments, a State Mitchell-Lama development for seniors in downtown Clifton Springs. Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd. and Home Leasing, LLC were co-developers in this undertaking.

Located at 11 East Main Street, the Spa Apartments are among the thousands of units that form the foundation of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s new, $10 billion House New York 2020 program to create or preserve 100,000 affordable units over the next five years. First constructed in 1892 as the Clifton Springs Hospital and Sanitarium, in 1974 the building underwent a State-funded gut renovation and conversion to senior housing. The funding for the new renovation requires that the development be preserved as an affordable housing resource for the next thirty years.

HCR Commissioner James S. Rubin said: “This is an extraordinary building and an irreplaceable affordable housing resource – as the many people who have called this building home can attest. HCR is committed to preserving affordable housing and improving the fabric of communities across the state. Good quality architecture matters to us as much as it matters to the people who live here. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s wide-ranging affordable housing programs and agenda, we are grateful to our partners and proud to be able to play a role in giving Spa Apartments yet another fresh start.”

The Chapel

The renovation included new kitchens and bathroom finishes, flooring, interior doors, programmable thermostats, in kind replacement of electric heat, asbestos abatement, and new entry door hardware. Windows and roofs were completely replaced. Elevators were refurbished, while improvements were made to common areas. The building, which was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1979, includes a chapel that has a favrile glass mosaic of the Last Supper designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The chapel is also home to an historic Williams and Charles Pilcher organ. In 1974 the sanitarium was converted to a 109-unit senior citizens apartment building

Spa Apartments Developer and Vice President of Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd., Carol Oster, noted “Rochester’s Cornerstone Group and Home Leasing are pleased to be a part of the lineage of this historic building which has been such an integral part of the history of Clifton Springs.  The residents of Spa Apartments now experience a significant improved quality of living as their apartments and common space were enhanced.”

Funding for this $7.1 million renovation came from New York State Housing Finance Agency, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through its Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, M&T Bank and Citizens Bank.

“We are honored to have the privilege to participate in the restoration of such a historic and significant housing community,” said Spa Apartments developer, Nelson Leenhouts, Chairman and CEO of Home Leasing, LLC.


“The rehabilitation of this 19th century treasure provides Spa Apartments' senior residents with the quality homes they deserve while also recreating a place of pride for the entire Clifton Springs community,” said Holly Leicht, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “These 109 apartments are part of a nationwide success story: over 50,000 affordable units have been preserved since 2012 through HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration, which we hope to make a permanent part of our financing toolkit."

HUD’s RAD is a tool to modernize the financing of federally-subsidized affordable housing. Under RAD, building owners and public housing authorities can convert their funding to a long-term Section 8 contract, providing the stability necessary to leverage private equity for capital repairs. RAD has already leveraged over $2 billion in construction activity nationwide, and its strong tenant protections and guaranteed long-term affordability mean that these investments will remain targeted to those that need them most. RAD was authorized as a pilot in 2012, and requires further Congressional action to become a permanent option available to the entire federal housing portfolio.

If you would like more information about Spa Apartments, please contact Carol Oster at 585-424-1400 or email at


About New York State Homes and Community Renewal:
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) includes the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. 2016 marks the fourth year of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion statewide House NY program, whose goal is to create or preserve 14,300 affordable units by 2018. In 2015, HCR set a record for financing the creation or preservation of more than 11,000 affordable homes and apartments and was the #1 bond issuer in the nation with $2.5 billion issued. The agency stands ready to make good on the Governor’s new $10 billion 100,000 unit House NY 2020 commitment. For more information on HCR programs and initiatives, please visit: