The historic Park 79 Hotel on Manhattan’s Upper West Side will soon be home to a new deeply affordable senior housing property following the successful acquisition of construction financing to complete the project. Located at 117 West 79th Street near Columbus Avenue, the seven-story building will eventually comprise 77 housing units with on-site supportive and social services administered by Project FIND. The property will remain affordable for seniors for at least 60 years through a regulatory agreement with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Fairstead purchased the hotel in 2016 for $22.5 million and has partnered with Project FIND to redevelop the property.
“At a moment when the need for high-quality affordable housing for New York’s seniors couldn’t be more urgent, we are beyond proud to break ground on creating 77 deeply affordable residences for seniors right in the heart of the Upper West Side,” said Will Blodgett, founding partner of Fairstead. “We pride ourselves in creating and preserving high-quality affordable housing in high-opportunity areas, and it’s so gratifying to provide these homes for seniors just steps from Central Park, the Museum of Natural History, and the JCC.”
The project is funded through a $51 million construction loan from Merchants Capital and a $28.4 million permanent financing commitment from Freddie Mac originated by Merchants Capital, as well as a nine-percent Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity investment from Boston Financial.
Construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
“Obtaining financing is a step forward in the planned conversion of the Park 79 Hotel into senior affordable housing,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I look forward to the day when Project FIND can welcome scores of older adults into a beautifully restored facility.”
The original structure debuted as ‘The Indiana’ around 1899 and was designed by New York architect Neville & Bagge. As a Renaissance Revival, the understated façade is comprised of light brown brick and stone masonry, ornamental window casings and lintels, and an elegant front entrance along West 79th Street.
Fairstead has selected CTA Architects to oversee gut renovation of the property, to deliver a fully electric building that does not rely on the use of fossil fuels to heat or power the property. Other sustainable retrofits include energy-efficient lighting and kitchen appliances and high-quality ventilation. The renovation will also include the addition of meeting rooms, a communal kitchen, and a community space with indoor and outdoor areas.
No construction timetables have been announced.