Organization Name: Fairstead
Project Title: Dunbar Apartments
Project Location: 226 West 150th St, Central Harlem, Manhattan
Dunbar Apartments is a 538-unit historic residential community located in Central Harlem. Built in 1928, the 10-building complex occupies an entire city block enclosing a private courtyard and is designated on the National Register of Historic Places. Fairstead, an empathetic, innovative and purpose-driven real estate developer committed to the creation and preservation of affordable housing, took over the building in July 2018 and soon after enacted a comprehensive rehabilitation plan that restored the building to its former glory. Understanding that this a period of unprecedented hardship for many families, Fairstead has worked to ensure that every Dunbar resident has access to the help they need as part of a robust community outreach program. Guided by their mission to deliver high-quality housing regardless of income and their belief that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, Fairstead’s COVID relief program is grounded in the strong relationships they’ve worked to develop with residents over the last year. In recognition of the heightened need, Fairstead has donated approximately $250,000 dollars to local nonprofits, following $200,000 in charitable contributions the year prior.
Fairstead’s social services department has adopted a holistic approach to supporting their resident population in the pandemic; tailoring rent relief to meet individual tenant needs, connecting residents to a range of services from healthcare to safety and security, and ensuring everyone has access to the food they need. At the height of the crisis, Fairstead organized monthly meetings with the tenant association on eviction prevention and COVID safety. With food insecurity on the rise, Fairstead again partnered with the tenant association as well as Baldor Specialty Food and local nonprofits on a range of food assistance and PPE donation programs. In one instance, Fairstead bought meals for seniors from Jacobs Restaurant, supporting local business as well as vulnerable residents. In another, Fairstead partnered with State Senator Benjamin and Harlem Hospital to buy 500 Pulse Oximeters, 10 BiPAP machines and other PPE for frontline healthcare workers. To date, Fairstead has donated approximately 300 meals, 500 face masks, and 300 hand sanitizer and disinfectant sprays. Together with local groups, Fairstead identified the most urgent neighborhood needs and creative ways to solve them.
Fairstead is an empathetic, experienced and purpose-driven real estate developer committed to the creation and preservation of high-quality affordable housing founded in 2014. Over the last six years, Fairstead has grown to more than 350 employees, 175 buildings and 12,800 units across 14 states – with a goal of reaching 25,000 total apartments in their portfolio by 2025.
Will Blodgett, Founding Partner
Robert Dunn, Vice President of Asset Management
Victoria Gousse, Associate, Acquisitions and Development
Franchel Mendoza, Social Services Coordinator