Thursday, April 30, 2009

State Will Choose Developer for Fineson Center

By Patricia Adams

In January the New York State Housing Finance Agency issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Designation of a developer for the Construction of Affordable Senior Housing at the Bernard Fineson Center. Responses from interested parties were due to the State on February 27. According to Community Board 10 Chair, Betty Braton, no decision has been made as to a designated developer as of yet.

Several of the applicants contacted CB 10 prior to the submission of their responses to the State. Among them are Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in a joint venture with The Arker Companies, Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development and PSCH Inc.

Allen AME Housing Corp. & the D &F Development Groupand CMC Development subsequent to submitting their re-sponses to the State also contacted the Board.

While CB 10 has no vote on the matter however, according to Braton, the Board is appreciative of the fact that the Metropolitan Council/Arker group contacted the Board immediately after the release of the RFP to solicit input from theBoard before developing its response to the RFP. It was alsothe first group to provide detailed information about their pro-posal prior to its submission to the State. The Board also stated that Catholic Charities provided detailed informationprior to its submission and made some changes based on theBoard’s input.

There is no confirmation as to when the State will actually make a decision about awarding the bid. Sources say that thestart of the process could begin within a month, but there is noannounced deadline for the selection process as of now.

The process will follow the basics outlined in the Request forProposal (RFP). Generally, after the designated developer is selected that developer is required to perform any alterations and renovate the building according to plans and permits, as well as get all the financing in place.

According to the RFP, the current population of residents will be moved to new living facilities no later than June 30, 2009. The application process for new residents will begin once a marketing strategy is set into place. Residents of CB 10will have preference on 50% of the unassisted units. That does not necessarily mean that all residents of the other 50% will be from elsewhere. Depending on who is in the lottery pool, it’spossible for more residents of the local area to be among the winners. The new facility will also include a component for 20 residents served by the state Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD). The residents of these units will be seniors selected by the agency that serves them.

Estimates on the completion time for the project is probably well over a year considering the amount of work needed to be done on the building.

The Forum will continue to advise our readers about the progress of this project as developments unfold.

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