Lendlease and Morningside Heights Community Leaders celebrate $425,000 granted to local nonprofits
- 28 Jun 2023
(New York, NY, June 28, 2023) Lendlease, a global integrated real estate group, along with the Union Theological Seminary (UTS), a 180-year-old center of theological education; the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), a leading academic and spiritual center founded in 1886, and the Morningside Heights Community Coalition (MHCC), a leading neighborhood advocacy and community development organization based in Northern Manhattan, announced today $425,000 in grants distributed to local organizations through the Morningside Heights Community Fund (MHCF). To celebrate this milestone, Lendlease gathered with MHCC and other community leaders at the MHCF Community Impact Breakfast hosted at Barnard College.
MHCF consists of funds deposited by Lendlease; LMXD, an affiliate of L+M Development Partners; and Daiwa House Texas, Inc. under a joint community investment agreement with UTS, as well as a donation from the JTS. Since 2020, the New York Community Trust (NYCT), fund administrator, has awarded four rounds of grants to 29 local nonprofit organizations as part of an ongoing investment in the Morningside Heights neighborhood.
“Our collaboration with MHCC to help establish MHCF underscores our commitment to the Morningside Heights community. Through this partnership, we are excited to celebrate these impressive local nonprofits and their positive community impact,” said Monique Henley, Executive General Manager, Development, East Coast Region, Lendlease. “With our approach to development, we truly believe we have a responsibility to engage with neighborhood residents in a way that benefits the communities we serve.”
“Our organization exists to forge meaningful partnerships and advocate for the residents of Morningside Heights as the neighborhood evolves,” said Dave Robinson, President of the Morningside Heights Community Coalition. “This milestone is emblematic of a multi-year collaboration with Lendlease to support organizations providing vital and direct support to our neighbors through MHCF."
"This partnership aligns with our 'double bottom line' philosophy in which we measure success not only in financial returns, but also in positive community impact," said Ron Moelis, Chairman + Founding Partner, LMXD. “We have worked closely with MHCC and Lendlease to create a groundbreaking fund structure that offers essential resources to the array of organizations making valuable contributions to the Morningside Heights neighborhood. It's incredibly rewarding to see our vision come to fruition with this fourth round of grants."
During four rounds of funding, grants were made to 29 different organizations in Morningside Heights and West Harlem, for essential services such as food pantries, literacy, health, youth and senior programs, as well as advocacy on pressing neighborhood issues. These grants initially focused on immediate COVID-19 relief and programs addressing the devastating social and economic impacts of the pandemic on the community. As the pandemic alleviated, additional awards have been distributed to organizations addressing many of the same needs, as well as issues such as civic engagement in public housing, the multifaceted needs of immigrant workers, art programs for dementia patients, building community bonds and addressing climate change through enhancing a decades-old community garden.
"MHCF has established an organic and effective way to balance local construction and community needs," said New York City Council Member Shaun Abreu. "I applaud the benefits MHCF has facilitated through its financial support for 29 local organizations and encourage the initiative's sustainment through future funding to protect and improve the neighborhood we share with so many institutions.”
Lendlease’s partnership with MHCC emerged from their plans to develop Claremont Hall, a transformative 354,000-square-foot mixed-use academic and residential building adjacent to the Columbia University campus and immersed in the cultural and academic neighborhood of Morningside Heights. Iconic New York architecture firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects designed the 41-story Claremont Hall project in collaboration with UTS to integrate architecturally with the broader campus and surrounding neighborhood. Once completed later this year, Claremont Hall will provide approximately 54,000 square feet of modern classrooms, academic offices and faculty-designated apartments, as well as approximately 165 condominium residences.
An advisory committee composed of members of the MHCC Board of Directors and community residents has issued Requests for Proposals and evaluated each proposal submitted to make funding recommendations. Final decisions on grants and administration of the MHCF occur through NYCT, a leading foundation and grant manager.
“The MHCF grant we received has allowed us to support programming led by the Grant Houses Tenants Association, further deepening our working relationship,” said Tamara Tucker of Neighbors for a Greener Harlem.
MHCF is part of the development partnership’s $5 million pledge toward the Morningside Heights community to protect and support its neighbors. Over the course of the five-year pledge, $1.1 million will go to community groups based in Morningside Heights, including the MHCF and P.A.'L.A.N.T.E Harlem, a group that fights homelessness and the displacement of vulnerable tenants. The remaining $3.9 million pledged will be released at the completion of the project and will enable social justice programming to develop the next generation of community leaders.
In the US, Lendlease’s development business brings more than 60 years of global experience to bear in urbanization and social infrastructure development. Leveraging Lendlease’s placemaking expertise and integrated business model, Lendlease is committed to delivering transformational urbanization projects and investments in gateway cities that generate social, environmental and economic value.
Lendlease www.lendlease.com is a globally integrated real estate group with operations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States. We create places where communities thrive. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX:LLC), Lendlease has approximately 7,800 employees globally. Our core capabilities are reflected in our operating segments of Investments, Development and Construction. The combination of these three segments provides us with a sustainable competitive advantage in delivering innovative integrated solutions for our customers.
About the Morningside Heights Community Coalition (MHCC)
Founded by concerned local residents in 2016 to address real estate overdevelopment and other pressing challenges in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, MHCC has consistently advocated for a balanced approach to the neighborhood's ongoing evolution. This involves programming to protect and expand local affordable housing, advance the rezoning of Morningside Heights, and preserve the community's diverse character and unique quality of life. MHCC established the Morningside Heights Community Fund through Community Benefits Agreements with real estate developers and institutions to provide financial support to effective nonprofit organizations providing direct services and advocacy in Morningside Heights and West Harlem.
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