Three HSE Projects Named as Finalists for ULI New York Awards for Excellence in Development

HSE is pleased to announce that three of the firm’s have been named finalists for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) New York Awards for Excellence in Development. Winners will be announced from 15 total finalists at the Awards for Excellence Gala on October 18.

The Awards “honor outstanding development projects in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors across New York State that best exemplify ULI’s commitment to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide.”

Two of the three projects are in the “Excellence in Affordable Housing Development” category. Downtown Far Rockaway Village, developed by Phipps Houses, is a 537-unit affordable housing development created on the site of a former surface parking lot and failed shopping mall in Far Rockaway, Queens. Far Rockaway is a transit-oriented development, sited near the A subway train terminus and a Long Island Railroad stop. Amenities include rooftop solar panels and green space, community courtyards, concierges, and playrooms. The development also features 10,000 square feet of retail space and a new public library. The Peninsula, developed by The Hudson Companies, Gilbane Development Company, and Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY), is a 183-unit affordable housing and multi-use development located on two parcels where the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center once stood in the Bronx. Peninsula 1A includes a shared commercial kitchen for local entrepreneurs, and Peninsula 1B includes multiple subsidized rehearsal, studio and gathering spaces for commercial artists. The Peninsula is currently pursuing LEED GOLD certification, bolstered by features like solar panels, green roof, heat island reduction, rooftop rainwater harvesting, and New York City’s first aerobic food waste-to-fertilizer digester.

One Clinton is a finalist in the “Excellence in Market-Rate Housing Development” category. Developed by The Hudson Companies, One Clinton was created to meet community and housing needs on the site of the original Brooklyn Heights library. When the library grew too expensive to maintain, developers and the community worked together to create a plan that would provide not only a new library but also new housing stock and additional community resources. One Clinton is now home to the new Brooklyn Heights library (the largest library in Brooklyn), as well as 134 market-rate condos with unparalleled views and sustainability features like high-performance exterior walls. Additional proceeds from the sale of the Brooklyn Heights library land helped finance 114 affordable homes at 60 to 125% of AMI at two other sites, one new DUMBO library and $40 million for nine libraries’ deferred capital needs.

Winners will be announced at the Awards for Excellence Gala on October 18, 2023.


121 W. 125th St. Development Will Include Commercial Office Space

As reported by the New York Post, the development at 121 W. 125th Street in the Bronx that has already become home to the National Urban League headquarters, the Urban Civil Rights Experience Museum, and the first Trader Joe’s in Upper Manhattan is now making 90,000 square feet of commercial office space available for lease. Amenities include an 8.000 square-foot roof terrace; a temporary certificate of occupancy is expected this summer.


NY Governor Announces Construction of $416M Mixed-Income Development in Inwood

Construction on a $416 million, 698-unit mixed-income development in Inwood has begun, as announced today by New York Governor Kathy Hochul. The development’s two interconnected residential buildings will include a mixture of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, of which 40% will be reserved for residents earning at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). Additionally, 10% of the units will be rent-stabilized with rents restricted up to 30% of 120% of AMI. As part of an effort to help bridge the digital divide, free broadband will be provided to all residents.

The project is being developed by a joint venture of L+M Development Partners, MSquared, and Taconic Partners. The Community League of the Heights (CLOTH) is the community sponsor and Beyer Blinder Belle Architects are the project architects. HSE represents the joint venture.

Financing for the affordable portion of the new development includes nearly $70 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity and nearly $82 million in tax-exempt bonds along with almost $182 million in taxable bonds provided by New York State Homes and Community Renewal. In addition, developers have applied for an estimated $39.5 million in tax credits following work completed to investigate and clean up contamination under Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) oversight as part of the state’s successful Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP).

The bonds were purchased by Wells Fargo Municipal Capital Strategies and Wells Fargo Bank. Credit enhancement will be provided by Fannie Mae at conversion. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credits were purchased by the Urban Investment Group within Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Additional sources include nearly $87 million in equity from the joint venture and the Urban Investment Group.

With all-electric heating and cooling, the project meets New York State Homes and Community Renewal sustainability standards and supports the goals set by the New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The project is pursuing a LEED B+C Silver certification.

Amenities will include landscaped courtyards, multiple roof decks, a fitness center, lounge and co-working spaces, and music rehearsal rooms.

In addition to the residential component, the 405 and 407 West 206th Street development will also include a supermarket, neighborhood retail space, parking, and a performing arts center owned and operated by the People’s Theatre Project.

Renderings and more details are available on Patch, 6sqft, and


Alabama Avenue Supportive Housing Development Celebrates Opening with Resident Housewarming

The team behind the new supportive housing complex at 461 Alabama Avenue in Brooklyn decided to celebrate recently completed construction by honoring residents with a housewarming. On May 10, representatives from Services for the UnderServed (S:US), CB-Emmanuel, and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) welcomed residents and members of the community to the new 71-unit building. Approximately 60% of the units will be supportive homes for formerly homeless single adults living with a severe mental illness or substance use disorder, and the remaining units will be set aside for low-income New Yorkers.

The site for 461 Alabama Avenue was previously a vacant lot and was developed through HPD’s first Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises Building Opportunity RFP. HSE represented S:US and CB-Emmanuel, which comprise the joint venture that served as project developer.

The development includes a landscaped courtyard, computer lab, 24-hour front desk attendant/security, and live-in superintendent. S:US will provide full wraparound services for residents of the supportive homes, including case management, substance abuse and recovery counseling, medical and symptom management, and leisure and recreation support.


HSE Partner Oliver G. Chase Moderates NYC Bar Panel on Affordable Housing for Seniors

HSE partner Oliver G. Chase moderated the panel “Senior Housing Today: Successes, Challenges, and Looking to the Future” at today’s New York City Bar Association CLE “Current Issues in Affordable Housing in New York City.” Sarah Leitson, Director of the Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) program for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development; Jenna Breines, Director of Real Estate Development for the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. (WSFSSH); Jeff Fox, Co-Owner of Foxy Management; and Mohini Mishra, Vice President for Senior Communities at Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. served as panelists.


Hilton Hotel Will Be Redeveloped Into Affordable Housing

A Hilton hotel near John F. Kennedy International Airport will be redeveloped into 318 units of affordable housing, as reported in the New York Times. The project will cost approximately $150 million, 32% of which will come from a New York State program that was created in 2021 by the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act.

Hotel conversions are a cost-effective and relatively quick way to create more affordable housing, and the Hilton’s relatively large rooms and lobby area made it a good candidate for conversion. Renovations are estimated to take two years and are slated to include upgraded building systems.

Approximately 60% of the units will be set aside for individuals experience homelessness. The remaining units will be available to lower-income households.

HSE represents lead developer Slate Property Group.


Construction Completed on Gotham Point’s North Tower

Construction has been completed on the North Tower of the Gotham Point residential development in Hunters Point South, Queens, according to New York YIMBY. When completed, Gotham Point will provide 1,132 new rental units, 75% of which will be affordable housing with age-restricted homes for seniors with Area Median Incomes (AMIs) between $15,806 and $85,920. Gotham Point will also feature a 1,100-set intermediate high school and a five-acre waterfront park. More details and construction photos are available on the New York YIMBY website.


Breaking Ground Closes Deal for Affordable Senior Housing Development in Jamaica, Queens

Non-profit organization Breaking Ground has closed on a $140 million deal for an affordable senior housing development in Jamaica, Queens. As reported in Crain’s New York Business, the 15-story building will span 151,000 square feet at 97-10 Sutphin Boulevard and will provide 173 units of housing for seniors at or below 50% of Area Median Income (AMI); 30% will be reserved for individuals currently experiencing homelessness. The development also will include an ambulatory health facility. HSE served as deal counsel.


Construction Progress on 550 Tenth Avenue Skyscraper

As reported in New York YIMBY, significant construction progress has been made on 550 Tenth Avenue, the new 47-story residential skyscraper developed by the Gotham Organization and Goldman Sachs Asset Management IV. Excavation is now complete and the construction crane that will erect the 520-foot-tall building has been erected.

Located in Hell’s Kitchen, 550 Tenth Avenue will create 453 rental units, 137 of which will be set aside for moderate – and middle-income residents. The development will also include 9,000 square feet of commercial retail space and 26,764 square feet of office space for non-profit Covenant House. Construction was financed with a $212 million construction loan from Wells Fargo and US Bank, and $35 million in mezzanine financing from Lionheart Strategic Management. Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP served as deal counsel.

More details and progress photos are available on New York YIMBY‘s website.


$414M in Construction Financing Secured for Inwood Affordable Housing Development

As reported in The Real Deal and New York YIMBY, $414 million in construction financing has been secured for an affordable housing development at 3875 Ninth Avenue in the Inwood neighborhood of New York City. Developed by Maddd Equities and Joy Construction, the planned 30-story tower will deliver over 600 units of below-market-rate housing. Eligible residents will be those earning 20-90% area median income (AMI) and formerly homeless individuals. HSE served as deal counsel.


Daniela J. Feibusch and Gill Benedek Promoted to Partners

Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP (“HSE”) is proud to announce that Daniela J. Feibusch and Gill Benedek have been promoted to firm partners.

Ms. Feibusch practices in the area of real estate and not-for-profit law with an emphasis on mixed-use and multi-family affordable residential, supportive housing and transitional housing development. Her clients include not-for-profit and for-profit developers involved in the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation and preservation of mixed-use projects that are financed with low-income housing tax credits, municipal bonds and/or private, federal, state and local debt financing. Ms. Feibusch provides counsel on transactional real estate matters including purchase and sales, corporate structuring, commercial financing, government subsidy programs for housing and social services, tax credit equity investment, regulatory regimes, construction and design professional contracts and tax incentives. She has most recently been involved in the development and implementation of the Purpose Built Shelters program created by the NYC Department of Homeless Services which allows not-for-profit organizations to acquire, construct and operate transitional housing projects. Prior to joining HSE, Ms. Feibusch worked at JDF, LLC, a law firm focused on tax credit syndication and development of affordable housing. She was a Legal Fellow at Enterprise Community Partners and a Ginsberg Graduate Fellow at Citizens Housing and Planning Council. Ms. Feibusch also held a position at Local Initiatives Support Corporation as a Community Development Associate. She received her Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Boston University and her law degree with a specialization in the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy from UCLA School of Law, where she participated in the Skid Row Housing Clinic and held internships at Public Counsel and Inner-City Law Center in Los Angeles.

Mr. Benedek represents for-profit and non-profit real estate developers, non-profit organizations, and owner-operators in their real estate development matters. Mr. Benedek’s practice focuses on the acquisition, financing, construction and/or rehabilitation of multifamily affordable housing and mixed-use projects in New York City and New York State. Mr. Benedek counsels clients on all stages of the real estate lifecycle, helping clients realize their goals by identifying interconnected considerations in the varied property ownership, financing, construction and/or regulatory structures. He advises clients on site acquisition and ownership, negotiating purchase and sale agreements, ground leases, multi-member joint venture ownership, HDFC ownership, and “no-action” condominium regimes. Mr. Benedek assists clients optimize debt and equity financing for new projects through private activity bond financing, senior construction loans and forms of credit enhancement, governmental agency loans, acquisition bridge loans, federal low-income housing tax credits, and brownfield redevelopment tax credits. He provides guidance on rent regulations and property tax exemptions, such as inclusionary housing, tax credit, various rental and social service subsidy programs, and real property tax exemptions. Mr. Benedek advises on and negotiated on behalf of clients with respect to construction and land use matters, including construction and design professional contracts, adjoining property owner license agreements, as well as shared facility and easement agreements for project amenities.

Mr. Benedek is admitted to practice law in New York. Mr. Benedek is recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers magazine 2017 to 2022 as a New York-area “Rising Star” in real estate. Mr. Benedek is a former Voting Member, and presently an Affiliate Member with the Housing and Urban Development Committee of the New York City Bar Association. He received his law degree in 2014 from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he graduated cum laude, and was the President of the Real Estate Law Association.

Prior to joining Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP, Mr. Benedek worked in New Orleans from 2006-2010 as a programs manager with the Neighborhoods Partnership Network, a not-for-profit formed in response to Hurricane Katrina to facilitate civic engagement and training on urban planning, development, and quality-of-life issues. Mr. Benedek received a Master’s Certificate in Urban Development in 2010 from the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence (“CUREx”) as a Rockefeller Fellow and received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2006 from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.


55 Suffolk Street Amenities Revealed

As published in New York YIMBY, The Gotham Organization has released new renderings of the amenities that will be available to residents at 55 Suffolk Street. The 30-story tower is part of the Broome Street Development, which, when completed, will include 493 new rental units and a new 40,000 square-foot community facility for the Chinese-American Planning Council. Amenities at 55 Suffolk Street will include a rooftop pool deck and outdoor terrace, as well as a full-floor indoor amenity suite with co-working spaces, chef’s kitchen, and conference rooms. Renderings can be viewed on New York YIMBYReal Estate Weekly, and Multi-Housing News.


$66M Secured for First Phase of Greenpoint Hospital Campus Redevelopment

A planned revitalization of the former 54,000 square-foot Greenpoint Hospital campus will transform it into a community hub that provides affordable housing, outdoor open spaces and community spaces, health clinic, senior center, workforce development center, and cafe. Two existing buildings will be rehabilitated and two new buildings will be constructed.

As reported in BKReader, $66 million in financing from Prudential Private Capital and a predevelopment loan from the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation was secured for the first phase of the redevelopment. The developers are The Hudson Companies, St. Nicks Alliance and Project Renewal. Project partners include the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS), the New York City Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD), and the New York State Historic Preservation Office. HSE served as deal counsel.

Phase One will focus on creating a 200-bed men’s homeless shelter in the former nurses’ residence. Project Renewal, one of the project’s developers, will provide and manage client coordination and services for the residents. Phase Two will create 311 affordable homes at 30-80% Area Median Income (AMI).