$160 million plan preserves Michelangelo Apts

A renovated kitchen in a Michelangelo Apartment unit.
Photo courtesy of MDG Design + Construction

A plan to preserve affordable housing units at a Melrose apartment building has been fulfilled – and renovations are underway.

Earlier this month, Michelangelo Preservation LLC, which consists of MDG Design + Construction, BSR Management and Cary Fields announced an $160 million plan for the preservation of units at Michelangelo Apartments in Melrose for the next 40 years, after the original 40-year subsidy contract for the complex expired in 2014.

Future additions and improvements include newly designed entrances, lobbies and public hallways, eight new elevator replacements, new LED lighting throughout the site, as well as a new key entry system, that includes an intercom and a high tech security system.

The renovated apartments will also feature a newly landscaped 71,000 square-foot courtyard equipped with a new playground, park and sitting areas, walkways and planting areas.

The residents of this apartment complex will share the courtyard with the nearby Shelter Arms Early Childhood Education Center, a local non-profit organization.

Kitchens will receive new cabinets, sinks, lighting, flooring and paint jobs, along with other appliances. Bathrooms will receive new tub bath fitters, flooring, medicine cabinets, lighting and paint jobs.

The complex’s electric heating system will also be converted to a new hydronic heating system with hydronic boilers.

Other improvements for the 43-year-old apartment complex include facade repairs, lobby modernization and public hall beautification.

The complex, located at 225-253 E. 149th Street, consists of 494 rental units that are a mix of studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments.

The project’s four towers top out to 27 stories, 12 stories, as well as two 11-story buildings.

Long Island-based contracting company MDG Design + Construction, which has been active for over 30 years and has created or preserved 17,000 affordable housing units to date, will renovate the apartments.

“With city costs rising each year, developments like this serve as a safe-haven from the threats of displacement in a rapidly gentrifying area,” said Michael Rooney, Sr., principal of MDG Design + Construction. “Housing & Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program enables Mitchell-Lama housing to remain in the city’s affordable housing as well as receive the necessary repairs to ensure a quality home for low-income New Yorkers.”

The Michelangelo Apartment complex was able to secure its preservation through Housing & Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, which allows residents to live in safe, healthy home while paying no more than 30% of their income in rent.

This project is also a part of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion House NY initiative, which intends to transform nearly 9,000 state-financed Mitchell-Lama apartments, which are in desperate need of improvements, repairs and upgrades, into quality, safe homes by 2018.

Michelangelo Apartments was originally built in 1974 as part of the Mitchell-Lama Housing Program, a government-sponsored subsidized housing plan. The complex also consists of 50,000 square feet of retail space and underground parking.

The renovations, which will occur with the tenants in place, are expected to be completed by February 2019.

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