Construction is now complete on Tree of Life, a new affordable housing project at 89-46 164th Street in Jamaica, Queens. Developed in collaboration by First Jamaica Community and Urban Development Corporation (FJCUDC) and Bluestone Organization and designed by GF55 Architects, the 12-story building comprises 174 affordable units for a range of incomes from extremely low to moderate- and middle-income households. A total of 53 apartments will be permanently affordable under the city’s inclusionary housing program.
The amenity spaces occupy around 1,500 square feet and include a fitness room and a flexible community room.
Tree of Life is the latest Passive House-designed affordable housing development to debut in the five boroughs. Passive House refers to a rigorous construction standard that helps minimize energy consumption and carbon emissions. These structures also feature façade components that mitigate the transfer of heat and cold, which means occupants will spend less to maintain an ideal internal temperature.
The building will also house over 25,000 square feet of community facility space and 63 parking spaces. The community facility will be split between a 15,000-square-foot healthcare practice and a 10,000-square-foot education and training center with a library and computer area, a conference room, and individual counseling rooms.
“No family deserves to spend the night in a homeless shelter, and we must work with unprecedented urgency to ensure that each individual in our shelter system has a home to call their own,” said Queens borough president Donovan Richards Jr. “That’s what we’ve accomplished here in Jamaica today with the Tree of Life, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work of all our partners who made this facility a reality.”
Total construction costs are estimated at $83 million. In addition to private donations, project funding included more than $28 million in total New York City subsidies, over $30 million in tax-exempt bonds issued by HDC, approximately $12.2 million in low-income housing tax credit equity provided by Raymond James and a standby letter of credit provided by Citibank, and $2 million in Reso A funds. The latter was provided by the office of former Queens borough president Melinda Katz and the New York City Council, including $1.5 million and $500,000, respectively.