Press Releases

NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Cornerstone Group, Partners Celebrate Historic Spa Apartments Renovation

$7.1 Million Redevelopment Preserves 109 Units of Senior Mitchell-Lama Housing as Affordable for 30 More Years

Rochester, NY, May 17, 2016 – New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, local officials, tenants, and others joined  to celebrate the renovation and preservation of the historic Spa Apartments, a State Mitchell-Lama development for seniors in downtown Clifton Springs. Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd. and Home Leasing, LLC were co-developers in this undertaking.

Located at 11 East Main Street, the Spa Apartments are among the thousands of units that form the foundation of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s new, $10 billion House New York 2020 program to create or preserve 100,000 affordable units over the next five years. First constructed in 1892 as the Clifton Springs Hospital and Sanitarium, in 1974 the building underwent a State-funded gut renovation and conversion to senior housing. The funding for the new renovation requires that the development be preserved as an affordable housing resource for the next thirty years.

HCR Commissioner James S. Rubin said: “This is an extraordinary building and an irreplaceable affordable housing resource – as the many people who have called this building home can attest. HCR is committed to preserving affordable housing and improving the fabric of communities across the state. Good quality architecture matters to us as much as it matters to the people who live here. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s wide-ranging affordable housing programs and agenda, we are grateful to our partners and proud to be able to play a role in giving Spa Apartments yet another fresh start.”

The Chapel

The renovation included new kitchens and bathroom finishes, flooring, interior doors, programmable thermostats, in kind replacement of electric heat, asbestos abatement, and new entry door hardware. Windows and roofs were completely replaced. Elevators were refurbished, while improvements were made to common areas. The building, which was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1979, includes a chapel that has a favrile glass mosaic of the Last Supper designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The chapel is also home to an historic Williams and Charles Pilcher organ. In 1974 the sanitarium was converted to a 109-unit senior citizens apartment building

Spa Apartments Developer and Vice President of Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd., Carol Oster, noted “Rochester’s Cornerstone Group and Home Leasing are pleased to be a part of the lineage of this historic building which has been such an integral part of the history of Clifton Springs.  The residents of Spa Apartments now experience a significant improved quality of living as their apartments and common space were enhanced.”

Funding for this $7.1 million renovation came from New York State Housing Finance Agency, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through its Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, M&T Bank and Citizens Bank.

“We are honored to have the privilege to participate in the restoration of such a historic and significant housing community,” said Spa Apartments developer, Nelson Leenhouts, Chairman and CEO of Home Leasing, LLC.


“The rehabilitation of this 19th century treasure provides Spa Apartments' senior residents with the quality homes they deserve while also recreating a place of pride for the entire Clifton Springs community,” said Holly Leicht, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “These 109 apartments are part of a nationwide success story: over 50,000 affordable units have been preserved since 2012 through HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration, which we hope to make a permanent part of our financing toolkit."

HUD’s RAD is a tool to modernize the financing of federally-subsidized affordable housing. Under RAD, building owners and public housing authorities can convert their funding to a long-term Section 8 contract, providing the stability necessary to leverage private equity for capital repairs. RAD has already leveraged over $2 billion in construction activity nationwide, and its strong tenant protections and guaranteed long-term affordability mean that these investments will remain targeted to those that need them most. RAD was authorized as a pilot in 2012, and requires further Congressional action to become a permanent option available to the entire federal housing portfolio.

If you would like more information about Spa Apartments, please contact Carol Oster at 585-424-1400 or email at


AUGUST 10, 2016 
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $11 Million Transformation of Vacant Land Into 45 Affordable Homes in JOSANA Neighborhood

2,600 Affordable Homes Constructed and Preserved in Monroe County Since 2011 and more than 700 in Progress

Project Complements Finger Lakes Forward, Region's Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of Stadium Estates, an $11 million, affordable housing development that is revitalizing Rochester's JOSANA neighborhood and creating 45 affordable homes. Stadium Estates is part of Governor Cuomo's unprecedented commitment to affordable housing and community renewal, which includes $20 billion for comprehensive statewide affordable housing and homelessness action plans.

"The creation of affordable housing is key to revitalizing Upstate communities and injecting new vitality into neighborhoods that lead to stronger local economies," Governor Cuomo said. "Stadium Estates is the latest example of these efforts and this administration will continue to support projects like this to help ensure that every New Yorker has a safe, decent and affordable place to call home." 

The three, four, and five-bedroom apartments are within 28 buildings constructed on formerly vacant lots. The mix of single family houses, duplexes, and triplexes serve low-income households with rents ranging from $600 to $785. All of the homes have Energy Star central air conditioning, washer/dryer hookups, outdoor sitting areas, and cable/internet hookups. 

The project was financed with $650,000 in annual Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and $3.4 million in New York State Housing Trust Fund program from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, $800,000 in City of Rochester HOME Funds, $540,000 from Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, and $112,000 from NYSERDA’s Low-Rise New Construction Program.

Stadium Estates helps JOSANA build on its existing resources to create a stronger neighborhood. Its close proximity to Downtown Rochester and an active neighborhood association are valuable assets to the 165-acre JOSANA community. Several of the project’s units are directly across from Rochester Rhinos Stadium and it was recently named a finalist by The Community Design Center Rochester for the 2016 Robert Macon Award for Urban Innovation.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James S. Rubin said, "Instead of vacant lots and abandoned houses, the JOSANA neighborhood is now a place where residents can find good, affordable, and attractive homes. Governor Cuomo knows that access to affordable housing makes a difference in the fabric of communities. Stadium Estates will complement other investments in Rochester and throughout the Finger Lakes that are growing strong local economies and improving quality of life."

Since 2011, HCR has financed the creation or preservation of more than 1,800 affordable homes in the City of Rochester and more than 1,600 in the rural and suburban areas of Monroe County. Monroe County families will continue to see quality affordable housing opportunities grow. More than 700 of these homes are currently in progress including:

  • Sibley building redevelopment in downtown Rochester, Phase I which will include 72 affordable apartments for seniors. 
  • Eastman Gardens, which is the adaptive reuse of an important historic building on East Main Street for seniors.
  • Alexander Street Apartments in Rochester, which will include the new construction of 60 affordable apartments, including 30 for individuals with special needs.
  • Wedgepoint, which will include the new construction of 60 mixed income units in the South Wedge.
  • Lake Ravine, the preservation of 111 affordable units on Lake Avenue in Rochester.
  • Cedars of Chili in the Town of Chili, which will preserve 320 affordable apartments.
  • Crerand Commons Phase II, which will include the construction of 33 new apartments in the high-preforming Spencerport School District in the Town of Gates.
  • Blossom Village, the preservation of 23 affordable units in Brighton.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said, "Today's announcement is a wonderful reminder of how public resources and private capital can combine to advance our community's well-being. Stadium Estates demonstrates how non-profits, the private sector and government at all levels can work together to improve our region’s quality of life. As a strong supporter of initiatives to improve our fellow citizens' access to safe, quality housing, I am so pleased to know that Stadium Estates will offer our neighbors a safe and dignified place to live."

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle said, "I am thrilled to see investments like Stadium Estates revitalizing the JOSANA neighborhood. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s commitment to affordable housing and community development, and look forward to continuing the partnerships that are building a better Rochester and a better region for families."

Senator Joseph E. Robach said, "Stadium Estates is an important part of the vision for the JOSANA neighborhood. When we remove blight and disrepair and replace it with attractive affordable homes, everyone wins. Thank you to Governor Cuomo, Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Charles Settlement, and Mayor Warren for collaborating to bring this neighborhood back to life."

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "Stadium Estates is an innovative development that will not only rejuvenate and utilize vacant lots, but also provide affordable housing for families. Our county and our region are only as strong as our cities and our neighborhoods. I’m glad to see investments in JOSANA and look forward to an improved quality of life for residents here in Monroe County."

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, "The JOSANA neighbors have proved by working together and believing that change is possible, the possibilities are limitless. The completion of Stadium Estates is a significant milestone in the turnaround of the Jay and Orchard streets neighborhood. Thanks to the partnership of all involved, 45 families will have a safe, affordable place to call home in a vibrant neighborhood, with more access to jobs and quality educational opportunities."

Charles Settlement House President and CEO Scott Benjamin said, "Stadium Estates is making a significant impact on the JOSANA neighborhood. Residents are proud of their affordable and high-quality homes and are working together to support ongoing neighborhood revitalization."

Stadium Estates Developer Roger Brandt said, "We are impressed with the community involvement in the neighborhood, plus the leadership by Charles Settlement House, as we have been working with the neighborhood leaders for a few years."