Preserving Affordability – March 22

 Hosted by Historic Districts Council 


Pratt Institute’s Historic Preservation Graduate Program

Co-sponsored by AIA Brooklyn, AIANY Historic Buildings Committee, and Higgins Quasebarth & Partners LLC

Wednesday, March 22, 2023
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
via Zoom

Everyone agrees that New York City is facing an affordable housing crisis. Adaptive reuse and rehabilitation of historic buildings has in many cases proven to be an effective way to preserve both affordability and built fabric. What are the policies, strategies, and funding opportunities available to achieve this beneficial “double bottom line”? This half-day symposium for developers, architects, and other housing and preservation practitioners, will take an in-depth look at successful examples where historic buildings have been rehabilitated for new affordable housing. 

Panel 1:  9:15-10:00 a.m.

Mark Zimet, Director of Development at Dunn Development Corp. will present on the award-winning conversion of the T Building in Jamaica, Queens, an art deco, former tuberculosis hospital, into a 200 unit supportive and mixed income development.

Ward Dennis, Partner at Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, and Christoph Stump, Vice President of Design & Construction for Trinity Financial, will present on the rehabilitation and restoration of the A. Philip Randolph Houses, 36 five story Old Law tenement buildings, which saw the gut-rehabilitation of the existing units into three interconnected buildings with central circulation, elevator access, and new community amenities.

Chris Cirillo, Executive Director/President of Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation and HDC Board Adviser will moderate this panel.

Panel 2: 10:10-11:10 a.m.

Al Shehadi, principal of Shehadi Advisory, will discuss using historic tax credits to finance adaptive reuse projects.

Lindsay Peterson, Associate at Higgins Quasebarth & Partners will discuss determining eligibility of historic buildings for the National Register of Historic Places, a key part of the process in securing historic tax credits for rehabilitation.

Daniel Magidson, Vice President, Syndication, at Enterprise Community Investments, will discuss examples of historic buildings which were rehabilitated into affordable housing using both Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits.

Tim Karp Managing Director for the Chase Community Development Tax Credits (“CDTC”) Group at Chase will moderate this panel.

Panel 3: 11:15am-12 p.m.

Mark Ginsberg, principal at Curtis + Ginsberg Architects and nationally recognized expert on sustainable design, resiliency, and mixed-income housing; Gita Nandan, architect, designer, educator, leader in community resilience and design, and co-founder of thread collective; and Robert Fuller Principal and Studio Lead in Gensler’s New York office specializing in large, complex projects that include planning, urban design, building repositioning, and mixed-use development, will examine emerging trends in the field including climate change, commercial-to-residential conversions, and possible changes in policy to encourage more of this type of work.

John Shapiro, a full-time professor at Pratt Institute, teaching in multiple urbanism programs, following eight years as chair of the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment will moderate this panel.


List of Panelists and Moderators: 

Chris Cirillo became the Executive Director/President of Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation in July 2012. Based in East Harlem, Ascendant has preserved and developed over 800 affordable rental apartments in Northern Manhattan. The organization currently has an additional 2000+ affordable rental apartments in its preservation and development pipeline. Since arriving at Ascendant, Mr. Cirillo has expanded the organization’s work to include neighborhood planning, historic preservation, and asset management. Before joining Ascendant, he spent 6½ years as Vice President for Development at The Richman Group Development Corporation. Mr. Cirillo also held several positions at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) over a ten-year period. He received a BA in Urban Studies from Brown University and an MS in Historic Preservation from Pratt Institute. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Historic Preservation and Real Estate Practice programs at Pratt. Mr. Cirillo serves on the Boards of Directors of Friends of La Marqueta and the Boards of Advisers of the Historic Districts Council.

Ward Dennis, a partner with Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, has a background in architectural conservation, urban planning and architectural history.  Mr. Dennis’s work at HQ centers on projects requiring governmental review at the federal, state and local levels, and specializes in projects requiring complicated land-use reviews, transfers of development rights and special zoning permits.  His recent tax credit projects include the rehabilitation of NYCHA housing developments at Boulevard Houses, Fiorentino Plaza and Harlem River Houses; rehabilitation of Buildings 127 and 128 (New Lab) at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; rehabilitation of the pavilions at St. Luke’s Hospital; and the conversion of the Temple Court Building to the Beekman Hotel. Mr. Dennis received a BA in Geography from Columbia College and an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University.  He is a co-author of The Maintenance and Repair of Architectural Sandstone, a technical publication of the New York Landmarks Conservancy (2003) and he has lectured extensively on historic preservation theory and practice, preservation tax credits, and on Brooklyn’s architecture, history, industry, and waterfront. Mr. Dennis is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Historic Preservation program of Pratt Institute.

Robert Fuller, AIA, LEED® AP Studio Director and Principal at Gensler has a background in architectural design and city planning. He leads a studio in Gensler’s New York office specializing in large, complex projects that include planning, urban design, building repositioning, and mixed-use developments. His holistic approach comes from a keen understanding of macro- and micro-level perspectives. Whether imagining a new greenfield development, a building repositioning, a town’s master plan, or adapting an older building for new uses, Robert guides his clients toward informed and creative solutions, making him a trusted advisor to developers and corporate clients alike. A registered architect, Robert earned his Bachelor’s of Architecture from the Pratt Institute.

Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, LEED AP, a partner at Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, has over 35 years of professional experience in planning, urban design, institutional, and housing projects. A native New Yorker, his leadership in sustainable design, resiliency, and mixed-income housing has been nationally recognized through his many public speaking engagements. His work with C+GA is community and policy focused and has resulted in over 20,000 units of housing, much of it designated low-income and affordable. Mr. Ginsberg has a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University. He serves as the President of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council and is a Board Member and Policy Committee co-chair of NYSAFAH.

Tim Karp serves as a Managing Director for the Chase Community Development Tax Credits (“CDTC”) Group at Chase. In this role, he manages origination activities for Historic Tax Credit (“HTC”) equity investments throughout the country.  During his time leading the team, they have used HTCs to preserve or create almost 10,000 housing units.  Mr. Karp utilizes HTCs as a flexible financing tool, helping clients offset the additional costs associated with historic rehabilitation, thereby enabling the preservation of important historic structures.  He has committed his career to financing community development projects that marry significant community benefits and financial success. Tim holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and German from Claremont McKenna College, where he was also a three-year letterman in baseball.

Daniel Magidson is vice president of acquisitions at Enterprise Housing Credit Investments, an Enterprise Community Partners affiliate. He manages acquisitions activity in the New York City metro area. He originates and underwrites affordable housing investments using Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and works closely with development partners to provide technical assistance on housing and community development initiatives. Previously, Mr. Magidson directed the lending activities of Enterprise’s New York City office and co-managed the New York-based finance staff. Daniel joined Enterprise in 2003 as an asset manager before transitioning to lending activities in 2006 and tax credit syndication in 2009. He has more than 25 years of experience in accounting, commercial and residential real estate finance, vendor relations and property management. Mr. Magidson holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Syracuse University.

Gita Nandan is an architect, designer, educator, and leader in community resilience and design. She is co-founder of thread collective; and teaches at Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts. Ms. Nandan believes in regenerative and adaptive design as an elastic and supple approach, integrating social, cultural, and economic issues with high design principles to create innovative net-positive environments. Her work is at the nexus of where design meets the ecology of place, and future proofing communities, driven by finding creative solutions to complex problems; weaving social justice with the built-environment. Ms. Nandan seeks to bleed disciplines in all projects, bringing the exterior to the interior and approaching exterior spaces with the detail and sensitivity of interior design. Credentials: M. Arch, UC Berkeley / licensed practitioner in NY + NJ.

Lindsay Peterson is an associate at Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, where her work on local, state, and federal rehabilitation projects is informed by her background in architectural and urban history. Ms. Peterson has significant experience writing National Register nominations, both for individual buildings and historic districts.  She holds a doctorate in architectural history from the Institute of Fine Arts (NYU), and a M.S. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University.

John Shapiro is a full-time professor at Pratt Institute, teaching in multiple urbanism programs, following eight years as chair of the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment. For the prior 25 years, he was a partner in Phillips Preiss Shapiro Associates, a leading planning consultancy in the northeast. He is the former President of the local chapter of the American Planning Association and remains active in civic affairs. Mr. Shapiro and his work have received over 20 awards, including the first Presidential Award of the national American Planning Association. Mr. Shapiro has advised on over 100 adaptive reuse projects for virtually every use; in all types of urban, suburban, and rural locales; originating with his work on the Public Buildings Inventory for the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

Al Shehadi is the principal of Shehadi Advisory, a financial advisory firm serving the community development sector. Shehadi Advisory provides services to lenders, investors and borrowers, with a particular expertise in historic and new markets tax credit transactions. Mr. Shehadi has 30 years of experience in housing, healthcare and community development finance. Previous to Shehadi Advisory, he ran the originations side of Enterprise Community Investment’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program and expanded Enterprise’s work in twinned historic-tax credit (HTC) – NMTC transactions in urban neighborhoods. Prior to Enterprise, he was a senior originator for the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, where he structured more than $100mm of HTC and HTC-NMTC investments, including the first twinned HTC-NMTC investment in the country. Mr. Shehadi started in community development finance more than 20 years ago at the National Equity Fund, a leading national syndicator of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC).

Christoph Stump, AIA, Vice President Design and Construction, joined Trinity in 2014 and currently manages due diligence, permitting, and construction activities in Trinity’s New York office. Additionally, he provides technical assistance for prospecting. Mr. Stump is a registered architect with more than 15 years of experience in the design and construction of mixed-use and residential developments. Prior to joining Trinity in 2014, Mr. Stump worked at Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC for 8 years, overseeing the quality control department and planning, design, permitting and construction of multiple mixed-use affordable family and senior housing and educational projects. Mr. Stump is a registered architect with a focus on energy efficiency and accessibility and holds a Master’s-equivalent degree in Architecture from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany.

Mark Zimet has been the Director of Development at Dunn Development Corp. since 2004. Prior to that, he was the Director of Capital Projects for Volunteers of America – Greater New York, where he worked for eight years. Back in the 1990’s Mark spent a year in the management training program at the Port Authority of NY/NJ after getting a Masters of Public Administration at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). It was in graduate school that Mr. Zimet was first introduced to affordable housing development, taking part in an affordable housing competition sponsored by Chase Bank to secure grant funding for PAES (a non-profit supportive housing group, now Brooklyn Community Housing and Services). Mr. Zimet went to college at Washington University in St. Louis.


Fee: $75 general, $65 for individuals affiliated with co-sponsoring organizations

Continuing Education credits for architects will be available

Sponsorship: Support begins at $250 and includes logo and listing on event materials, mention at the event, and discounted tickets offered to anyone who is affiliated with a co-sponsoring organization.






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