Leviticus loan supports Far Rockaway’s revival

Once a popular beachfront community and commercial center, the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, New York, has, since the 1970s, struggled to maintain its population and economic vitality. But in 2016, New York City launched a $288 million initiative to redevelop the urban core of Far Rockaway, and now the neighborhood is coming back.

The latest evidence of progress includes a new project that will help meet the critical need for affordable and supportive housing in the community. With support from the Leviticus Fund, The Community Builders (TCB)—a leading nonprofit real estate developer established in 1964—is preparing to transform an underused parking lot into a 98,000-square-foot facility that will provide 120 new affordable apartments.

The eight-story building at 29-32 Beach Channel Drive will include 22 studio apartments, 50 one-bedroom units, 34 two-bedroom units, and 14 three-bedroom units. Sixty percent of the units will be reserved for households earning at or below 60% of the area median income (AMI) and 40% for households earning 80 to 100% of AMI. Eighteen units will be reserved for households transitioning from New York City’s homeless shelters into permanent housing.

Amenities for residents will include a landscaped rooftop terrace overlooking Jamaica Bay, a community room with access to the terrace, a fitness room, an on-site laundry, and garage accommodations for approximately 32 vehicles. The building has been designed to achieve Enterprise Green Communities certification.

Leviticus provided a $1 million loan to support the acquisition of the property and predevelopment activities related to the project. It was the tenth loan we have made to TCB. All ten have been made to TCB at the riskier, front end of their projects and fill a critical gap in financing while offering flexible terms and fixed, low interest rates.

TCB is committed to tackling large, complex projects that create stable homes and transform communities. We truly appreciate the opportunity to support their work in Far Rockaway and beyond.