Lettire and Jonathan Rose Companies Receives Organization’s Highest Honor for Tapestry Residential Development in East Harlem, NY

New York, NY – November 22, 2011 – Lettire Construction Corporation and partner Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC were the recipients of Urban Land Institute’s 2011 Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence award. The firms were honored for their work on Tapestry, East Harlem’s first LEED Gold Certified mixed-income rental development, for which they are co-developers. Nicholas Lettire, CEO of Lettire Construction, and Jonathan Rose, CEO of Jonathan Rose Companies, accepted the award on September 21, at the ULI Terwilliger Center Workforce Housing Awards Gala in Washington, D.C.

The Jack Kemp Awards are given to workforce housing developments that represent outstanding achievements in several areas, including innovative financing, unique construction methodologies, strong public/private partnerships, and replicability to achieve workforce housing affordability. Tapestry was selected from 30 national submissions, and won the award for utilizing a successful private public partnership that brought together HPD subsidies and the contribution of city-owned land.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Urban Land Institute for our important work in creating workforce housing of the highest quality and environmental standards for the East Harlem community,” said Nick Lettire, president and chief executive officer at Lettire Construction Corporation, whose firm has been headquartered and active in East Harlem for 30 years. “We were proud to deliver Tapestry on time and on budget, and provide this community with an environmentally-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing housing option.”

Tapestry, located at a site where there were once vacant lots and a temporary storage facility, is East Harlem’s first mixed-income residential building to receive a Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating program. Lettire purchased the land based on its close proximity to the planned 125th Street rezoning area, and with the vision that city owned adjacent parcels could be incorporated into the development.  The company’s foresight and roots in the community enabled it to identify and conceptualize a property that has a positive economic and aesthetic effect on the neighborhood.  Tapestry became one of the first projects to be developed as part of the 125th Street River to River Rezoning, a multi-city agency rezoning effort to infuse the area with cultural, retail, entertainment and more affordable housing for Harlem residents.

As part of a private and public partnership, Tapestry utilized New York’s 50/30/20 program, through which the city’s housing development corporation provides low-interest loans to multi-family rental buildings in which half of the units may be rented at market rates if 20 percent of the apartments are restricted for low-income tenants (40 percent to 50 percent of AMI), and 30 percent are reserved for middle-income tenants (175 percent to 200 percent of AMI). The project’s low acquisition cost and the key role played by the city in providing all the long-term financing were instrumental to ensuring the project’s affordability.

Mr. Lettire was also honored with 2010 Private Sector Partner of the Year Award by The Supportive Housing Network of New York for his commitment to building high quality supportive housing for New Yorkers as they work to rebuild their lives.

“We are thrilled to accept this award with our partner Jonathan Rose, and to play a role in creating strong urban communities that support green, transit-oriented development,” Mr. Lettire said.

Held in memory of Jack Kemp, the late HUD Secretary and member of the U.S. Congress, the gala was part of the ULITerwilligerCenter’s ongoing efforts to position workforce housing as a critical component of vibrant communities.

The ULITerwilligerCenter’s recognition of extraordinary achievements in workforce housing is among many successful activities the center has underway to keep the issue of workforce housing at the forefront, said ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick Phillips. “Through the ULI Terwilliger Center, we are committed to raising awareness of the nation’s workforce housing shortage, exploring solutions to the problem, showcasing best practices, and ultimately, making a measurable increase in the workforce housing supply,” he said.

Tapestry is a 185-unit, mixed-use and mixed-income, sustainable affordable multifamily and retail development in East Harlem.  In addition to the environmentally friendly residences using sustainable building practices, the property is a full-service building featuring a gym, common roof deck, green roofs, over 8,000 square-feet in ground-floor retail space and a parking garage. Tapestry meets the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria dedicated to supporting the health of its residents and of the natural environment, to promote community improvement.

Tapestry has already leased space to several retailers including Little Sicily Pizza, Metro PCS, and First Choice Pharmacy. For more information about Tapestry, visit the development’s website at http://www.tapestry124.com/.

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About Lettire Construction Corporation:

Lettire Construction Corporation, headed by brothers Nicholas and Gerard Lettire, is one of the largest, premier builders and developers of affordable and supportive housing in the region. Headquartered in East Harlem since 1980, the company’s founders are actively participating in the economic rebuilding of the City, and creating local jobs in these communities. By working closely with government agencies, development partners and neighborhood leaders and coalitions, Lettire has been able to further its mission, and dramatically increase the supply of affordable and supportive housing in the New York area.