WPCNR WINBOOK NEWS. By John F. Bailey. November 12, 2015:
WPCNR HAS LEARNED WINBROOK RESIDENTS ARE MOVING INTO THE NEW “PRELUDE” BUILDING ON FISHER AVENUE NOW IN THE FINAL STAGES OF INTERIOR CONSTRUCTION BEFORE THE SCHEDULED OPENING IN JANUARY.
SOURCES SAID THE MOVE-INS BEGAN APPROXIMATELY TWO WEEKS AGO.
ONE SOURCE FAMILIAR WITH THE PROGRESS SAID 40% OF THE BUILDING APARTMENTS HAD BEEN MOVED IN.
ONE OF THE FIRST RESIDENTS TOLD AN ACQUAINTANCE WPCNR SPOKE WITH THAT HER NEW APARTMENT WAS “VERY NICE.” THIS ACQUAINTANCE SAID ABOUT 40 TO 50 PERSONS HAVE MOVED IN,
A MEETING WAS OBSERVED GOING ON IN THE FIRST FLOOR OF THE PRELUDE OFFICES THIS MORNING BY WPCNR. Finishing construction was going on. Meanwhile decorations in the windows on apartment floors could be seen.
The project was originally aproved in 2006. And due to HUD withdrawing its promise of financing for complete rebuild of 7 buildings. The rebuild is proceeding one building at a time. The Prelude is the first, and was begun in 2013, after HUD agreed to finance half the $5 Million cost of the first floor training center. The building was built and financed for $42 Million by Jonathan Rose Associates.
At the time that change in plan, that occurred in 2011, WPCNR reported:
” The Common Council approved the first step in the ongoing Winbrook Revitalization Project, approving a 10-story building,housing an Education Center , which will be built first, however funding is only available for the first floor housing the education center on the first floor.
The city is funding $1.5 Million of the project and the Housing and Urban Development, $3,500,000 as of this spring. The Housing and Urban Development press office in New York confirmed to WPCNR, HUD is still funding the $3.5 Million “only for the education facility,” the spokesman explained.
During the 2012 hearing on the Winbrook project, William Null, the attorney for the enterprise said in response to a question by Council President Beth Smayda that plans for subsequent buildings in the project would be submitted on a project-by-project basis and built individually according to the individual’s financial model, and not as part of a connected project.
Design, Null said would depend on whom the Housing Authority was working with to develop each building in the future, so, Null suggested that it was somewhat impossible to present the kind of comprehensive (building)plan that Smayda suggested.
The architect for the project (Dattner Architects) stepped up to say that the Authority had not applied for the financing yet, because it needed approval to do so and would be applying to state agencies for tax credit financing after approval. The Housing and Urban Development agency in Washington told the authority in the spring of this year (2012), its funds were no longer available for financing the entire project.
Previously, a delay in applying for HUD financing for the entire rebuilding fell through in part because the White Plains Housing Authority missed the deadline to apply for HUD financing, which might have secured the financing before the financial crisis of 2008.
The Winbrook Revitalization plan began almost 10 years ago in the Joseph Delfino Administration when a coordinated design vision of the project from the White Plains Housing Authority envisioning a mixed subsidized housing and market rate housing, consisting of 7 new buildings with a coordinated design was displayed. The 450 tenants of Winbrook were assured at the time new buildings would be built one at a time and no tenants would be displaced during construction.
The city rezoned the Winbrook/Lexington Avenue site as mixed use, allowing retail on the street level of the complex. An agreement was struck where the Department of Housing and Urban Development would finance the project.
As economic conditions deteriorated beginning in 2008, HUD informed the Housing Authority it would no longer fund the project.