By Michelle Deal Winfied
On Thursday, October 27 at 10:30 a.m., a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the opening of Carmel Place, formerly referred to as Micro Apartments. Carmel Place is located at 335 East 27th Street next to Bellevue South Park.
Residents, elected officials and Community Board Six members attended the ceremony.
Kirk Goodrich, senior vice president and director of real estate development, Developer of Monadnock Development, LLC gave the opening remarks by saying, “This project was an opportunity to introduce choices while delivering fulfilling creative styles.”
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen provided a brief history of the NYC’s efforts in constructing affordable housing units.
In her remarks she noted that Mayor Bill de Blasio has financed 55,309 affordable since taking office.
“We are on budget and ahead of schedule: 144,691 more apartments to go!” she said. “By changing outdated housing codes we can have safe, decent, high-quality homes that are smaller than traditional apartments. These apartments cost less to build, are easier to maintain, and are in many ways better suited to the lives of our younger people and elders living in our city. This is a template for the future.”
Dario Luciano, a Carmel Place resident and former veteran who is now a fashion designer, said he was happy to live there.
“I go to exercise at 4 in the morning and then walk to work,” he said.
Council Member Rosie Mendez shared her immediate reaction to the proposal of the Micro Units, when she was not convinced they were the answer.
“I said, ‘you have to know I want permanent housing in this community.’ I was not a fan of standalone developments,” she said. She added that working alongside Claude L. Winfield, vice chairman, Community Board Six, she was able to assist veterans who needed a place close to the V.A. Medical Center.
“After reviewing the plans, I was on board because apartments would be designated affordable, eight set aside apartments would be for veterans, affordable apartments are guaranteed for 40 years and the apartments were placed across from a public park,” Mendez said.
Also in attendance at the event were: Herman Hewitt, board chair, Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association, Inc.; Joe Pizzutelli, vice president, M&T Bank; Mark Ginsberg, president, Citizens Housing & Planning Council; Robert Wenzel, HUD/VASH coordinator Veterans’ Health Administration; and Rick Eggers, chairman, CB6.
A reception was then held on the eighth floor of Carmel Place.