“Thanks, Christopher Community and Catholic Charities, for really showing some dedication.” – Andrew D’Agostino, vice president and mortgage officer, Community Preservation Corporation
“Christopher Community was in right from the git-go. Fabulous people to work with; we’ve been a team since the very start.” – Marie Walsh, executive director, Catholic Charities of Cortland County
“This model is cost effective for the state, and more importantly, it serves people in an environment that’s integrated and inclusive. The tenants who live here will be neighbors, and they will be a part of life here in Cortland as this city grows and prospers.” –Daniel Buyer, assistant commissioner, New York State Homes & Community Renewal

‘Coach Byrne’ calls the legal plays for Riverview Project

Every team has to have a coach, and Doug Reicher votes for Matt Byrne. The team not only hit a home run in its first at-bat, it might even have grooved the perfect swing for grand slams in the future.
Reicher’s housing charity, Christopher Community, Inc., put together a squad of experts who brainstormed ways to finalize the Riverview Project for low- to moderate-income families in Cortland. Byrne, of Byrne, Costello & Pickard, P.C., helped the project through all its legal complexities. “This project presented many,” Reicher said April 27 at the apartment complex’s groundbreaking.
“I have to tell you,” Reicher said, “Matt’s solution to some of these problems was to draw diagrams. So it was not uncommon for Matt to call and suggest, ‘I need to meet with you.’
“So we’d come over, … and we’d huddle around the table, and Coach Byrne would proceed to show us he’s got the play.”
As Reicher recalls it, Byrne would say, “ ‘Well, this is going to go here, and this one’s going that way, and ownership’s going here. And so we thank Coach Byrne for this and showing us along the way; it’s been very helpful.”
“Matt was wonderful,” added Joseph Slavik, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Syracuse.
“I’m telling you, the guy did monstrous work on this thing,” Slavik said. Legal binders that Byrne prepared for Riverview spread a foot and a half wide on a shelf in Slavik’s office.
The project, Reicher said, had two owners, four funders, seven consultants and many staff people to reach this point.
Byrne thinks the collaboration of all those entities might indeed serve as a model for any future endeavors like Riverview, where the superintendent of the job expects completion to be done by Jan. 14. The complex will be ready for occupancy in early 2017.
In a telephone interview after last week’s groundbreaking, Byrne gave a historical perspective on how a huge project like this can even exist today.
He said President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and state governments were heavily involved in financing or funding housing developments for those in need.

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