Company History

Edgemere was born at the turn of the century. Founding partner John Oster had determined that there was a need for a development firm specializing in affordable housing and working as an expert outsource for a wide range of clients. In January 2001 Edgemere Development, Inc. set up shop and began operations. Two years later John was joined by COO & Partner Stephanie Benson. 

Edgemere’s first clients were Rochester’s YWCA and Urban League chapters; the first closing (of the YWCA’s Vermont Manor) took place in 2002. 

The development process, so simple on the macro level, becomes an intricate, iterative blend of many ingredients when applied to each project. It can take years to complete. Edgemere’s work flow has reflected these facts over the last fifteen years as the Edgemere team has successfully financed thirty-three projects with a total development cost of over $333 million. 

Much of the firm’s success has been due to key business partners: the law firm of Cannon Heyman Weiss, accountants Flaherty Salmin, and strong design and construction teams. Key financial partners have included JP Morgan Chase, M&T, Key, and First Niagara banks as well as syndicators Enterprise, NEF, RBC Capital, and others. Throughout, Edgemere’s strong working relationships with local, state, and federal agencies have been instrumental. 

The company rapidly outgrew its initial offices in Rochester’s Cascade District and moved to the Harro East on Andrews Street, where it then moved several times to accommodate its growing operations. 

Edgemere’s projects have won numerous awards. Both the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association and the Preservation League of New York selected the Apartments at the Belmont for honors in 2010. In 2011, the Urban League honored the Edgemere team by awarding the company its Business Service Award. Many others followed,  and in 2014 Edgemere received the Rochester Design Center’s Robert Macon Award for Urban Innovation. 

Edgemere is a member of several organizations focused on the preservation, rehabilitation, and creation of affordable housing. These groups include the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), the Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY), and the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA). 

Two factors will likely influence the course of Edgemere’s business going forward: increasing demand for affordable housing preservation, especially in the Northeast, and demand for its services out of state. Its clients will continue to come first.