CPC Helps to Redefine the South Bronx With Focus in McKinley Square Neighborhood

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McKinley Square

A significant CPC accomplishment can be seen with the development of the McKinley Square neighborhood in the South Bronx.

February 13, 2009

A significant accomplishment of CPC’s can be seen with the development of the McKinley Square neighborhood, located in the South Bronx and named in honor of President William McKinley. At the turn of the 20th century, this neighborhood evolved from a desolate area to one bustling with small multi-family walk-up apartment buildings.

The Decline of the Bronx
In the 1960s & 1970s, the Bronx, particularly the South Bronx, experienced a steep decline due to several contributing factors, including a sharp decrease in population, inflation, the energy crisis and rising operating expenses. These issues created a domino effect, causing changing demographics, the removal of the Third Avenue “El,” subway line, a decline of housing and quality of life and an overall disinvestment in the community. Banks stopped financing Bronx-based buildings and walked away from buildings they had invested in. Countless structures that had thrived with residents became abandoned and boarded up. An epidemic of arson plagued scores of Bronx buildings – caused by landlords who wanted the insurance money as profit.

CPC’s History in the South Bronx
CPC’s founding mission was to be active in lending to neighborhoods on the verge of abandonment. CPC began lending in the South Bronx in 1989, during a time when three out of every five buildings were vacant and abandoned. CPC worked with then Mayor Edward Koch to put together a 10-year plan to build low- to middle-income housing in New York City’s deteriorating areas, such as the McKinley Square neighborhood. With an intense focus and concentrated development, CPC has since invested more than $35 million in the McKinley Square immediate area, financing over 500 units of housing.

CPC Partnerships
CPC has worked with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) since CPC was first founded in 1974 to refinance debt and finance buildings in distressed neighborhoods. CPC has often partnered with organizations such as Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), Enterprise and the New York City Housing Partnership, to turn blighted communities into sought after neighborhoods.

About McKinley Square
Thanks to CPC and its pioneering partners, scores of deserted buildings in McKinley Square have been gut renovated and transformed into affordable two-family homes and rental apartment buildings for low and moderate income families. The neighborhood is bustling with ethnic diversity and is home to scores of hardworking families. The McKinley Square neighborhood also features many tax credit buildings, which provides units that have been set aside for formerly homeless families or very low-income households.

The borrowers for the McKinley Square project are longtime CPC borrowers, who have partnered with CPC on the development of thousands of affordable units throughout New York City.

McKinley Square is just one example of CPC’s commitment to transform distressed neighborhoods into thriving and vibrant communities.