MacQuesten Development holds lottery for furnished apartment at Mother Arnetta Crawford Houses

(l-r) Contest winner Gloria Velez; Rella Fogliano, president of The MacQuesten Companies and Velez’s daughter Nicole Fino.
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

A unique lottery drawing saw one lucky new tenant get $5,000 in apartment furnishings for free.

MacQuesten Development, the developer and contractor of the new 84-unit, eight-story Mother Arnetta Crawford Houses in Crotona Park East, held the drawing on Tuesday, August 18 for a fully-furnished apartment decorated free-of-charge by the head of the company.

Rella Fogliano, MacQuesten president, sticking to a budget of about $5,000, chose the apartment’s furnishings to showcase what could be done in 800-square-feet. The apartment’s furnishings had to be functional and attractive, she said.

The drawing in the furnished apartment brought together tenants and those who plan on moving into the 100% affordable housing building.

The winner, selected at random, was Gloria Velez, who will be living in the furnished-for-free digs with her daughter Nicole Fino.

Velez said she might have had to buy all new furniture because of the configuration of her previous apartment, and that having a fully-furnished start in the building was a big help.

“I did not expect (to win),” she said. “It was God’s plan.”

Velez let out a large, jubilant cheer when she was announced the winner.

Fino said that she and her mother did not expect to win the drawing, held inside unit 3G.

The contestants, just before the drawing, stand with Rella Fogliano, president of The MacQuesten Companies.
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

“This year has been very rough for us,” said Fino, citing financial difficulties, and adding that the win was a blessing.

The selection of the furniture was done over a weekend, said Fogliano, who added that even for the tenants who did not win, the new building pushes the envelope in terms of building materials that blur the line between luxury and affordable housing.

“We used extraordinary materials,” said Fogliano, who went on to explain that the materials used are sustainable and may soon be LEED Silver-certified, a certification from the Green Building Council.

For tenants in the all-rental building, there will be bamboo flooring, anti-microbial Flexco® corridors and also Italian-made kitchen cabinets and fixtures with high quality wood and hardware like those that are usually found in more expensive, upscale apartments.

“We went a little bit above and beyond because I do believe in not only sustainability, but also beauty,” she said.

Fogliano added: “My hope is that everyone who moves into our newest affordable housing building will find a happier life here.”

According to MacQuesten, 80% of the building, located at 1500 Hoe Avenue, is already leased.

The 78,000 square-foot building includes two recreation areas, an outdoor play area, a ground-floor parking garage, and views of the Manhattan skyline.

Gloria Velez’s (c) win was an emotional one. Her daughter Nicole Fino (l) and Rella Fogliano, president of The MacQuesten Companies (r) joined her in the celebration.
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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