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Homes and Community Renewal

New York State Homes and Community Renewal and Home Leasing, LLC Cut Ribbon on Eastman Gardens, 52 Affordable Apartments for Seniors in Former Landmark Eastman Dental Dispensary

Development Complements Finger Lakes Forward, Region's Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities

ROCHESTER, NY (September 28, 2016) – Home Leasing, LLC and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) joined Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, Senator Joseph Robach, representatives from The Landmark Society of Western New York and Edgemere Development, and others to celebrate the opening of Eastman Gardens Senior Housing Community in Rochester’s Marketview Heights neighborhood. The $20.7 million project preserves the Eastman Dental Dispensary, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and on The Landmark Society of Western New York as one of their “Five to Revive.” The substantial rehabilitation of the building produced 52 apartments for seniors, including 43 affordable and nine market-rate units.

According to Senator Joseph Robach (56th District), “This is an exciting day for the Rochester community as we are able to cut the ribbon on Eastman Gardens, which will provide safe, affordable housing for area seniors and preserve this historic building near our city’s downtown. I would like to personally thank and congratulate Nelson Leenhouts and Home Leasing LLC, and the Landmark Society of Western New York for their collaborative work on this project.”

James S. Rubin, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “Developments like Eastman Gardens, and many others throughout this city, are setting a standard. They’re making Rochester a model for innovative housing and community development solutions. Today’s announcement accelerates Finger Lakes Forward, the Governor’s Urban Revitalization Initiative that is the region’s blueprint to economic growth and community development.”

Constructed in 1917, the Eastman Dental Dispensary provided affordable dental care to the people of Rochester, but especially to those under the age of 16 unable to otherwise pay for private care. It was also a school for dental hygienists, opening a new vocation for women, as it was the first school in the United States licensed for this purpose. The organization, now called the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, relocated to Elmwood Avenue in 1978, and the building has been vacant ever since.

“Formerly the Eastman Dental Dispensary at the gateway to our Downtown, this unique and iconic building is an important part of Rochester's history and the identity of the Marketview Heights neighborhood in which it stands,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “I am grateful for the vision and transformative work of our development partner, Home Leasing in re-creating this building as the Eastman Gardens to provide a healthy and affordable housing option for seniors. This project will help us create safer, more vibrant neighborhoods, more jobs and better educational opportunities for our children.”

Nelson Leenhouts, Chief Executive Officer of Home Leasing, LLC. said, “The rehabilitation of Eastman Gardens has the potential to become one of the catalytic projects for the surrounding South Marketview Heights neighborhood. We are pleased to make this innovative, quality affordable housing development available to Rochester’s seniors. We look forward to continuing to work with New York State and partners on more developments that make communities and neighborhoods stronger.”

Eastman Gardens is funded with HCR Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits in the an annual amount of $946,000, State How Income Housing Tax Credits in an annual amount of $449,356, and a $1.2 million loan from HCR’s Housing Trust Fund. HCR’s investment leveraged $1.2 million in HOME Program resources from the City of Rochester.

Eastman Gardens has 52 apartments for people 55 years and older. The gross rents (rents plus utilities) for the affordable apartments will range from $583 to $750 per month and will be affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% of area median income. Eastman Gardens is centrally located on Rochester’s East Main Street with easy access to the Rochester Public Market, downtown Rochester, and the RTS bus line. The building has onsite laundry, storage, a computer lab, exercise room, and community room.

Eastman Gardens is now leasing. To retain the historic character and significance, the rehabilitation was completed through guidelines given from the National Park Service and the State Historic Preservation Office. The beautiful exterior of the building was rehabilitated to contribute to the revitalization the South Marketview Heights Neighborhood. For additional information on the Eastman Dental Dispensary, please call (585) 242-0052.


Ex-Eastman Dental Dispensary opens as senior housing
Democrat & Chronicle

Officials mark opening of Eastman Gardens
Rochester Business Journal