ST. GEORGE — A development team plans to pump more than $30 million into an affordable housing building on St. George, the group announced on Thursday.
CAMBA Housing Ventures and Stellar Management — which has a history of buying subsidized apartments and moving the tenants out to get higher paying residents in — acquired the Castleton Park building, at 165-185 St. Marks Place, and will use tax exempt bonds from the city's Housing Development Corporation to refurbish it, the group announced.
“We’re proud to be able to restore one of Staten Island’s largest affordable housing developments and to maintain rent affordability programs for the tenants,” Francine Schiff, vice president of residential leasing at Stellar Management, said in a statement.
“Together with CAMBA and the City of New York, we look forward to providing tenants with the safe, well-maintained and well-managed housing they deserve.”
In 2008, the tenant's association at Castleton Park boycotted the sale of the building to Larry Guck's Stellar Management because of its history of aggressively raising rents, but this time developers promised they would keep the property in the federally subsidized Mitchell-Lama housing program.
Members of the tenant's association did not respond to a request for comment.
Stellar and CAMBA plan to refurbish the 40-year-old building's facade, elevators, all mechanicals inside and the parking garage. They plan to start construction next month and complete it in two years.
The Department of Buildings has received numerous complaints because of the building's non-working elevators and issued violations for the concrete ceiling of the garage crumbling, records show.
Of the 454 units inside the building, 139 will still be covered under the Housing Assistance Payment, with developers promising to work with the tenant association to help the remaining residents qualify for Section 8 and other programs to retain affordability.
"Thanks to a close relationship between Stellar Management, CAMBA and the Castleton Park Tenants Association, this plan will address Staten Island's need for affordable housing,” Councilwoman Debi Rose said.
“I look forward to working with all parties to maintain affordability for residents and ongoing oversight."
The developers did not say how much they purchased the building for.