NYCHA towers undergo renovations to enhance living conditions

New York  – New York City has been experiencing ongoing success in its private partnership program aimed at revitalizing old Housing Authority properties.

Three towers in Washington Heights exemplify the significance of the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) investment.

Renovations transform trio of NYCHA towers in Washington Heights

Shakeema Brockett, a long-time resident of Audubon Houses in Washington Heights, starts her workday from the comfort of her own home. Having spent her entire life in her apartment, she now serves as the office manager for the building. As she diligently attends to her work responsibilities, something remarkable unfolds on the floors above.

“When we finally return home at the end of the day, all we have to do is a quick clean-up. We simply mop the floors to get rid of any dust and that’s it,” Brockett shared.

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Brocket’s building, as well as the neighboring Bethune Gardens and Marshall Plaza, are included in NYCHA’s partnership with the Dantes Partners development group. Buwa Binitie, the founder and CEO, provided a glimpse into their ongoing progress and highlighted the driving force behind their work: creating social impact through real estate.

Binitie emphasized the importance of creating an inclusive and inviting environment, regardless of people’s income. “We aim to achieve the same level of comfort and ambiance that you would find in a market rate building,” Binitie explained.

During the initial stages, Brockett and her team were faced with a daunting task of addressing over 2,000 unresolved work orders. Additionally, they had to contend with the resistance to change exhibited by some community members. However, through extensive meetings spanning two years, Brockett effectively conveyed the idea that enduring a minor inconvenience in the present would lead to a lifetime of unparalleled luxury in the future.

Brockett reassured his clients that the challenging part of the process would soon be over and that they would ultimately be satisfied with the final outcome. He acknowledged that it was a tough task, but emphasized that they were able to overcome the difficulties and find a successful solution.

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The vibrant vision brings the neighborhood together with a burst of colorful harmony. The buildings, once in a state of disrepair, required extensive renovations, with most rooms being completely stripped down to the studs.

During construction, the elevator is temporarily unavailable. However, the movers efficiently remove and replace the tenants’ belongings, seamlessly restoring their living spaces.

According to Binitie, we are currently assisting 900 families in three different buildings.

The project, which amounts to a total of $166 million, is divided into approximately $300,000 of work per apartment, alongside the common and outdoor spaces. The interest paid by tenants’ rent goes towards repaying the investors, including Binitie.

Brockett is eagerly anticipating the installation of security cameras in the halls, as it will provide her with a renewed sense of safety. Additionally, she is excited about the revitalization of the gardens that she cherished during her childhood.

Brockett expressed his enthusiasm for the positive impact the event will have on the community, stating, “It’s going to bring the community together.”

The construction of all three properties is expected to be finished in approximately one year.

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