West Harlem, NY
In 2007, The Fortune Society and the Jonathan Rose Companies, a private partner, approached Hudson regarding a unique investment opportunity in West Harlem. The proposed new development’s tenant mix would include formerly incarcerated individuals as well as families.
This unique blend of tenants presented concerns, but Hudson was interested in considering the development’s viability. If successful, it would present an unprecedented solution to the challenge of reintegrating former prisoners into society. This development could potentially ease the transition, providing a safe place to live within a diverse community of neighbors.
As a first step, Hudson researched the Fortune Society’s suitability as a social services provider. Did the organization have an exemplary track record in successfully dealing with this constituency? Was their judgement sufficient to create and maintain a safe, secure environment? After much discussion and analysis, Hudson concluded that Fortune Society was the right New York organization to mainstream this tenant base.
Second, Hudson needed to identify a client with the creativity and ambition to take on this unusual, challenging project. A proprietary syndication company focused on understanding its client base, Hudson engaged one of its long-time investors as the right fit for the development.
Finally, Hudson worked closely with the Fortune Society and the Jonathan Rose Companies to develop a set of management guidelines that reassured the equity investor (and the construction lender), while also fulfilling the project’s social goals.
The investment closed in December 2008. Construction was completed in July 2010. Stable occupancy was achieved by December 2010, with 56% tenancy by formerly incarcerated individuals, and 44% by families.
Six years later: 97% occupancy.
A successful investment? Yes.
An opportunity for social impact? Absolutely.