Encompassing 61 affordable homes, Endicott Square is the product of a transformation - one which turned an underutilized educational facility into a thriving community asset enjoyed by dozens of neighborhood residents.
“If it wasn’t for this program, I don’t know where I would be today with my family,” said Rashonda Kareem, Endicott Square resident. “It has taught me a lot and to not be afraid to ask for help. I’m very thankful for the program and staff that has worked with me.”
In an area of New York known as the Southern Tier, nestled alongside the Pennsylvania border, lie the communities encompassed within the Binghamton Metropolitan area. Located in a large valley near the joining of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers, the story of this area has not always been a linear one. Having experienced alternating eras of great prosperity and economic insecurity, its path offers a fine example of the impact that public service and community cooperation can achieve.
In one period of economic downturn, a public service project by the name of Facing the Future committed itself to revitalizing local areas that had fallen into disrepair or disuse. The mission of that project is reflected across Broome County even to this day; the creation of an affordable housing complex with updated features and amenities in what was first conceived as a school building is a perfect example of this.
Developer Housing Visions has a deep understanding of the area they’re serving through Endicott Square, being founded and based in the surrounding region of the state. With dozens of properties nearby, Housing Visions have proven themselves to be indispensable community advocates over the years.
“Housing Visions is elated to utilize our housing and community revitalization expertise to transform the formerly underutilized Henry B. Endicott school into Endicott Square,” said Ben Lockwood, President & CEO of Housing Visions. “Our partnership with the YWCA of Binghamton and Broome County assisted to meet the housing needs of the community in Endicott and the larger Broome County. We are pleased to be part of the revitalization efforts underway in the community. Endicott Square preserves an important part of Endicott’s past while providing high-quality, energy-efficient, rental units for area residents.”
Historically, and due to investments by technology giant IBM as well as military contractor Lockheed Martin, there was a high-level of job and economic security in the mid-20th century which led to the area being coined the “Valley of Opportunity”. Though a variety of factors caused a gradual downturn of these steady jobs in Endicott and its neighboring communities over time, communities like Endicott Square Apartments are keeping the spirit of the moniker alive.
"Endicott Square exemplifies the community-wide impact that accessible and affordable housing can create when designed with residents in mind," said Neala Martin, SVP, Originator at CREA, LLC. "At CREA, we entrust those most familiar with a community to deliver results that can transform lives and create new and exciting opportunities, something we've already seen happen at Endicott Square."
Safe and consistent homes function as a hub for opportunity and open paths to employment, personal development and fulfillment that are otherwise unavailable. At Endicott Square, 15 homes are intended for those experiencing homelessness and domestic violence, offering safety and services specifically to support them through and out of their circumstances. In addition, the local chapter of the YWCA is using its long involvement assisting those experiencing homelessness to serve these residents, as well as the entire Endicott Square community. Having the expertise of a community-oriented organization like YWCA of Binghamton and Broome County to lean on in difficult times will only bolster the ability of these residents to seek out and succeed in new opportunities.
“Endicott Square not only provides beautiful homes for families; it also builds a foundation for a better community, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive,” said Theresa Bovier, COO of YWCA Binghamton and Broome County. “Strengthening our community is accomplished by reducing homelessness and the associated social and economic costs. Stable housing promotes the growth of safer communities, stronger social connections, and better educational outcomes.”
Further, the YWCA will utilize longstanding partnerships with other organizations in the area to connect those with specific issues related to addiction, crime and beyond with those most suited to help them. With Endicott Square at the center, this network of community cooperation will serve to strengthen bonds and create meaningful change.
“Overall, Endicott Square’s housing opportunities have positively impacted the health, well-being, and economic prosperity of this community,” Bovier said.
Besides the support outlined above, Housing Visions has also ensured that residents of Endicott Square enjoy amenities and features designed with quality of life in mind. These include:
7 homes designed to be fully accessible and adapted for those with mobile impairments
3 homes designed to be fully accessible and adapted for those with hearing and/or vision impairment
Dedicated case manager delivering individualized care plans
Dedicated community rooms
Endicott Square is an affordable housing community made possible by investments from, among others, Prudential Financial. Through Prudential’s contribution to community development and the creation of affordable housing, homes like Endicott Square are being made possible across the country.
Adam Berkowitz, Managing Director, Head of Real Assets at Prudential Financial, spoke highly of Endicott Square’s impact on the Binghamton area:
“Prudential is proud to be part of this redevelopment project that will serve the local community by providing affordable housing for the residents of Broome County as well as safe housing opportunities and support services for individuals navigating the challenges of homelessness and domestic violence.”
Over time, every community is faced with challenges that test bonds and strain resources. Though inevitable, the strengths inherent to a cooperative and caring community are key to overcoming such challenges and coming out of the fray even stronger. Those who call the Binghamton Metropolitan Area home can be certain of their neighbors’ ability to provide transformative aid in times of need, as has been done for decades. CREA is proud to support the latest of these efforts in the form of Endicott Square Apartments.
“I really love this program and I don’t know where I would be without it,” said Shaheita Bing, Endicott Square resident. “They help my daughter and I a great deal and I’m very grateful.”
Endicott Square Apartments were developed using LIHTC equity provided through CREA Corporate Tax Credit Fund 74, LLC and Prudential STC proprietary fund. Additionally, this community is funded with the $5.9MM sale proceeds of certificated State Low Income Credits, a $12MM construction loan from Citizens Bank, a $5.4MM in soft loans from Homes and Community Renewal and Empire State development.