YONKERS, NY (May 22, 2023) – City, county and state officials joined with the Yonkers Housing Authority (YHA) and The Community Builders (TCB) on May 22 to dedicate a state-of-the-art playscape at The Ridgeway. The playscape, which features a safe rubberized surface and a variety of play equipment geared to children ages 5 to 12, will serve children in the Ridgeway community.
“In the very near future we will see children playing here,” said Mayor Mike Spano, who cut the ribbon at the dedication. “Quite a difference from the crumbling and abandoned buildings and gas station that once stood here. It’s public/private partnerships like these and the belief in a shining future for this city, for all its residents, that has made this day possible. Today we are building on the tremendous progress we have already made in transforming our city.’’
The $57 million project at 178 Warburton Ave is phase 5 of the redevelopment of Cottage Place Gardens, an obsolete public housing complex built in the 1940s. It replaces three outdated public housing buildings and a former gasoline service station with a new, energy efficient building containing 81 housing units and an early childhood education center.
Children aren’t the only ones who benefit from open space. In addition to the play equipment, The Ridgeway features approximately 33,000 square feet of centrally located open space with adult fitness equipment, a fully accessible meandering path from the west to east sides of the park, picnic areas, and green space. Other amenities include a common laundry room, a rooftop resident center with a community room, fitness room, and outdoor terrace, and 61 parking garage spaces at 172 Warburton provided to residents free of charge. Apartments include dishwashers, microwaves, and air conditioning.
“The Community Builders is thrilled to cut the ribbon at the brand new playscape at The Ridgeway with our partners at the Yonkers Housing Authority,” said Jesse Batus, vice president of development at The Community Builders. “My deepest thanks and a sincere congratulations to Mayor Spano and the City of Yonkers, County Executive Latimer and our partners at Westchester County, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and the many partners, stakeholders and neighbors who made this remarkable playscape a reality. With this safe and accessible space, our residents and children can play, learn, and thrive in this vibrant neighborhood. We’re proud of our partnership with the Yonkers Housing Authority as we fulfill our commitment to develop and preserve high-quality housing and amenities for the people of Yonkers.”
Wilson Kimball, President and CEO of the Yonkers Housing Authority and President of the Mulford Corporation, said, “I want to thank our TCB partners as well as our partners in New York State, Westchester County and the City of Yonkers for making the renaissance of this neighborhood possible. In the last decade hundreds of high-quality affordable housing has replaced the old, out-of-date cottage place gardens. We look forward to working with these same partners to bring Ridgeway VI to fruition.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “This new playscape is the perfect capstone to the progress we have made in transforming the old Cottage Place Gardens public housing development into the Ridgeway — 500 new affordable homes right here in Yonkers. Governor Hochul’s housing plan builds for the future, and there is no better example of that than right here. It took commitment, imagination, and a deep sense of purpose to make this a reality — and those are exactly the traits this playscape and the early childhood education center at 178 Warburton will foster in the children of this thriving community.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “Children will soon be able to slide, swing and play at this new state-of-the-art playground in the Ridgeway community. This facility is the end result of a strong partnership between New York State, Westchester County and the City of Yonkers, and I want to offer my sincere congratulations to everyone who helped bring this project to fruition.”
Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, who attended the event, said: “The new, brightly-colored play structure at 178 Warburton Ave is a stark contrast to the public housing buildings and gas service station that once stood there. This playground will drastically improve the lives of the children who live in this community and represents one more step towards the revitalization of Yonkers.”
Financing for 178 Warburton included the following:
NYS Homes and Community Renewal / Housing Finance Agency & SONYMA: $35,100,000 in permanent financing, construction financing, and subsidy.
Regions Affordable Housing: $26,438,098 in tax credit equity and $4.6 million in construction financing
City of Yonkers: $500,000 HOME
NYS Empire State Development: $250,000 Restore NY
FHLB-NY (Sponsored by M&T Bank): $738,639 AHP
MHACY: $104,432 Sponsor Loan
TCB and Mulford Corp: $3.2 million Deferred Developer Fee
Community Capital New York: $800,000 Predevelopment Financing
Financing for the playscape included the following:
City of Yonkers: $500,000 CDBG
Westchester County: $5,000,000 HIF
About The Community Builders:
The Community Builders’ mission is to build and sustain strong communities where all people can thrive. Our mission-driven businesses work with partners to develop, finance and operate residential communities, neighborhood amenities and opportunity programs for families, seniors and adults with disabilities. Since 1964, we have advanced housing equity through award-winning affordable and mixed-income communities and our pioneering Community Life model for resident success. Today, our ownership and management portfolio include over 14,000 apartment homes. Anchored by offices in Boston, Chicago, Columbus, New York and Washington D.C., we operate across 15 states.
Yonkers Housing Authority:
Yonkers Housing Authority is the largest provider of affordable housing in the City of Yonkers and the fourth largest public housing authority in New York State. YHA has an unparalleled commitment to redeveloping, managing and administering its housing stock to provide low-income families, the elderly and disabled individuals with access to good, sustainable housing that improves the quality of the residents’ lives, fosters their economic success, and allows them to serve as integral members of communities in which they live. For more information visit www.mhacy.org