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Sass Plaza to house homeless families.

New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins and many other local dignitaries ere on hand September 28 at an "Opening Day Celebration" at Phase II of the newly completed Reverend Doctor John J. Sass Plaza, the first new construction project in the New York City/New York State "Permanent Housing for Homeless Families."

Formerly homeless families, how income families and persons residing within Harlem's Community Board 10 will reside at 2852 Frederick Douglas Blvd. (between 152nd and 153rd Streets). Sass Plaza, Phases I and II, is the cornerstone of the Bradhurst redevelopment Project.

"Before our citizens can contribute to the economic growth of New York City, we've got to provide them with the basics -- food, clothing and most of all shelter," says Mayor Dinkins. "The Rev. Dr. John J. Sass Plaza - Phase II will provide the stability our families need in order to rebuild their lives and become active contributors to the growth of great city. I applaud all of the entities, public and private, that joined together to revitalize one of the city's most vibrant neighborhoods."

Sass Plaza is named in honor of Dr. John J. Sass, pastor of St. Matthew's Baptist Church, in recognition of his 50 years of community service. Sass Plaza - Phase I, which opened in 1992, consists of a 26-unit, rehabilitated complex. The newly completed Sass Plaza - Phase II os a 69-unit, eight-story apartment building. The units consist of two, three and four bedrooms with one and a half and two baths. The amenities include two elevators, indoor/outdoor recreation areas, laundry facilities, parking, and a community center.

Fifty-one percent of the units are to be filled by formerly homeless families and 49 percent by low income families. Thirty percent of the low income units are reserved for eligible persons residing in Community Board 10.

Both Phases of the Sass Plaza complex involved the successful collaboration of city, state, private and community organizations, to revitalize one of Harlem's impoverished communities. The $15 million project was funded by the New York City Housing Preservation & Development Agency and the State Housing Finance Agency, under the auspices of the "Permanent Housing for Homeless Families Program" (aka "85/85"). The program seeks to develop permanent housing for homeless families and those at risk of becoming homeless in New York City.

Sass Plaza was developed by the New York Urban Coalition Housing Group. For more than 15 years, the Housing Group has been one of the New York City's leading not-for-profit organizations focused on the development, rehabilitation, weatherization and management of low-income residential properties.

The Procida Construction Corporation of the Bronx, in a joint venture with the New York Urban Coalition, constructed Sass Plaza. Geoffrey Freeman Associates of Manhattan and Morgan Architectural design of Brooklyn designed the complex. Their combined efforts ensured the careful planning and construction of Sass Plaza, which will serve the needs of the community in many important ways -- in sheltering families and in offering much needed social services and recreational facilities -- for many years to come.

Sass Plaza will be owned and operated by the Harlem Churches for Community Improvement (HCCI), an interfaith organization of more than 52 Harlem Christian and Muslim congregations. On the cutting edge of Harlems' revitalization, HCCI is empowering families and the community through the development of affordable housing as well as through commercial, educational, cultural and spiritual renewal. HCCI also is responsible for the occupancy of Sass Plaza.
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Title Annotation:Reverend Doctor John J. Sass Plaza building at 2852 Frederick Douglas Boulevard, Harlem, New York to house former homeless families as part of Bradhurst Redevelopment Project
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 13, 1993
Words:567
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