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Hernandez, Darling help Habitat for Humanity

Hernandez, Darling help Habitat for Humanity

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NEW YORK -- Two summers ago, Tom Seaver and members of the 1969 Miracle Mets helped Habitat for Humanity put the finishing touches on the Atlantic Avenue Condominiums, a 41-unit, 53,000-square-foot apartment complex in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn.

The $13 million project -- which included a $7.3 million loan from Citi -- was the largest project in the history of Habitat for Humanity.

"It generated a ton of positive press and attention for our work," said Josh Lockwood, executive director of Habitat-NYC. "And so we've now started doing this every year, where Mets alums will come out and build with us and have a press conference. And it just helps let folks know about the good work that we're doing and encourages people to apply for our program if they might be a good fit, and encourages donors to support us as well."

On Friday, in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Lockwood was again aided by Mets. As part of the club's and Citi's "Teammates in the Community" initiative, former players and current broadcasters Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling helped build affordable four-story condominiums that are expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Twelve families will likely be able to move in during the first quarter of 2012.

Dozens of workers wearing hard hats and T-shirts sporting the Mets logo took part in the project, which started this past winter.

The St. John's Residences Condominiums, located between Saratoga Avenue and East New York Avenue, will have such energy-efficient features as high-efficiency boilers, low-emissivity windows, and water-saving toilets, faucets and showerheads.

"They don't have to do this, clearly, and to come to a community like Brownsville, Brooklyn, that's neglected by a lot of us and to put in the time and to put in the blood and sweat to making these homes happen, it means a tremendous amount to us to have them make selfless gestures and devote this day to us," Lockwood said of the Mets. "And it speaks to the philanthropic leadership from the top down in that organization, that they would make philanthropy front and center in terms of their priorities."

Two volunteers, Martin Friedman and Tom Pace, were honored with the "Teammates in the Community" award on Friday night at Citi Field before the game against the Phillies. They were recognized for their devotion to Habitat-NYC, having worked on different construction sites nearly every Friday since 2008.

Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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