RENOVATION ENSURES PROJECT REMAINS CENTER OF AFFORDABLE SENIOR HOUSING, CULTURE AND COMMUNITY SPACE FOR YEARS TO COME
DEVELOPER LAUDS GOVERNMENT PARTNERS FOR TAX CREDITS AND OTHER SUPPORT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DECEMBER 1, 2016
SKA Marin, a leading woman-owned and operated developer of low-income and affordable housing in the metropolitan area, today welcomed state and local officials to a ribbon cutting commemorating the $14.6 million renovation of Port Washington’s historic Landmark on Main project, a 108 year old building that is home to 59 units of affordable senior housing and the Jeanne Rimsky Theatre, along with a day-care, after-school care and teen center.
SKA Marin was the original developer of the project in 1994, when community activists saved the former school from being torn down. It has been owned and managed since that time by Landmark on Main, LLC, which was vital to the renovation that was performed with the residents living in place.
“We are so excited to have been able to ensure that Landmark on Main can continue to serve as an affordable residential community for senior citizens, including units for the developmentally-challenged, while ensuring the future of the childcare and after-school care centers, a teen center and the 450-seat Jeanne Rimsky Theatre for the entire Long Island community,” said Sydelle Knepper, the founder and President of SKA Marin. “The support from Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Rubin was critical in showing that when communities and the state work together with providers of affordable housing, all can succeed in protecting the vital resource that allows some of our most vulnerable citizens to enjoy the continued quality of life they deserve.”
The project’s successful completion drew praise from Governor Cuomo and James Rubin, the Commissioner of New York State’s Division of Homes and Community Renewal, which made the project possible through provision of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which were used both in its initial redevelopment in 1994 as the first project on Long Island to utilize them, and in the renovation. The LIHTCs are managed and issued by the New York State Housing Trust Fund. Homes and Community Renewal managed the project on behalf of the state.
“Preserving affordable housing for seniors, and engaging a woman-owned business enterprise such as SKA Marin in the complex renovation, underscores Governor Cuomo’s commitment to investing public resources wisely and improving quality of life for New Yorkers,” said Rubin. “With enhancements to the community center that include child and after-school care, a teen center, and a theatre—Landmark on Main offers something for the entire community. This is a win-win for Long Island and its residents.”
Knepper thanked local, state and county officials, including State Senator Jack Martins and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, for their support.
"Landmark on Main Street is a special place that preserves the past while building towards the future,” said State Senator Jack Martins. “What was once a closed schoolhouse has been restored and reinvented into a vibrant center providing affordable housing, programs and services to the Port Washington community. The continued revitalization of this unique and valuable community center will build upon the past success and deliver further benefits to Port Washington. Congratulations to everyone involved as this next exciting phase of Landmark on Main Street begins."
"Since Landmark opened its doors it has been a jewel in Port Washington offering wonderful activities for all ages, said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel. “Now, thanks to SKA Marin's vision, the building has been revitalized and will continue to serve the community as a vibrant center for senior housing, cultural, and community activities."
“My administration has worked tirelessly to increase new housing opportunities for senior citizens and young families,” said County Executive Ed Mangano. “Together, we advanced this project to revitalize the Landmark on Main Street and breathe new life into the downtown community.”
“Landmark on Main Street brings our local residents together by providing world class art and cultural programs as well as affordable housing, said North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “The Town of North Hempstead is proud to be joining with them to celebrate their new renovation as they continue to offer affordable living options for seniors and preserve a building that is a historic landmark for the Port Washington community.”
“This rehabilitation and refinancing of the Landmark building will ensure it for the foreseeable future,” said Robert Schanzer, President of the Board of Landmark on Main Street LLC, the owner and operator of the building.
SKA Marin is the developer and prime sponsor of the redevelopment, as it was for the original project 22 years ago. Dattner Architects, a leading designer of sustainable affordable, senior and special needs housing, served as architect. Lipsky Enterprises Inc. served as general contractor.
The design team’s subcontractors included Rodkin Cardinale MEP Engineers, and Abel Bainnson Butz LLP as landscape architects. The renovation team worked closely with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to ensure renovations were sensitive to the landmarked nature of the building.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation, or LISC NYC, provided technical consulting services to facilitate financing of the project, which included Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity syndicated by LISC's affiliate National Equity Fund, with Bank of NY Mellon as the investor.
Additional support came through Nassau County’s management of funds under the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which supports the development and preservation of affordable housing.
The project faced the challenges of renovating the building while residents continued to live in their apartments as well as respecting the requirements of historic preservation of the 108 year old former school.
Dwelling unit bathrooms were gutted and received new floors and wall tile, new fixtures, including a step-in shower. Kitchens were upgraded with new cabinets, counters and appliances. Five handicap accessible units received full renovations to enhance visitability. Public corridors were painted and security cameras installed in stairwells.
Exterior renovations included replacement of roofing, masonry repointing, the repair of glazed terra cotta ornaments, and the repair and repainting of ornamental sheet metal. Existing single-glazed windows, some of which were heavily degraded and inoperable, were replaced with new insulated double-hung windows with sashes matching the historic muntin configurations. Several large original windows were painstakingly restored by historic building renovation specialists.
Site and landscape improvements include replacing the residents’ parking lot and walkways, repairing retaining walls and installing new planting. Two damaged concrete site stairs were replaced with new curving cast stone stairs to match the original design.
Together, these interior and exterior renovations will extend the useful life of the building, save energy and improve safety and assure that senior residents can age in comfort for years to come.