A planned housing development promises to bring more affordable housing to the Bronx.
The project, with 53 units, is being built on a currently under-utilized lot in Fordham.
The eight-story building would offer affordable units to a wide range of income levels, including a set aside for the formerly homeless, and employ innovative environmentally sustainable construction techniques.
Councilman Ritchie Torres and Bronx Pro Group revealed renderings of the development during a press conference at the site on Wednesday, January 23.
When its completed, Dreamyard will paint murals and artwork at the site to inspire its residents, the councilman said.
The housing complex at 4697 Third Avenue still requires additional state financing. Bronx Pro Group, the winner of a Department of Housing Preservation and Development Request for Proposals for a design, is in the process of applying for the additional financing, said representatives of the company.
Torres said that the borough is the most rent-burdened in the city, and in Fordham over 50 percent of the population is paying more than 50 percent of their monthly income just to cover rent or housing costs.
“On my recommendation, the NYC City Council voted to approve a disposition of land to Bronx Pro so that it could create state of the art affordable housing.” said Torres. “The affordable housing complex represents a $32.6 million investment of both public and private capital.”
The project would have about 9,500 square feet of commercial space, and would be both mixed use and mixed income serving a range of incomes, said Torres.
“You will have units for working class and middle class families, but you will also have units for the poorest New Yorkers,” said Torres. “Some of the units could have rents as high as $2,000 (a month) and as low as $200.”
Total residential space would be about 53,000 square feet, according to company representatives.
Residential amenities will include a 2,300 square foot terrace with playground, exercise room and laundry room, as well as a variety of different amenities.
The councilman expressed his belief that housing should not only be affordable but also beautiful.
“I think we are intent on creating a development that is going to transform the psychology of the neighborhood and give people a sense of pride in their community,” said the councilman, adding that the plan would transform a blighted vacant lot.
Representatives from Bronx Pro Group, a for-profit mission-driven development company, said that they expect the building on the 9,541 square foot lot to be very energy efficient.
Bronx Pro plans on utilizing The International Passive House standard for energy efficient construction that mandates buildings use little extra energy to achieve a comfortable temperature during hot and cold weather, company representatives said.
This can be achieved through roofing and insulation, they said.
The company hopes that the development will be a catalyst for the future revitalization of this stretch of 3rd Avenue, said Jaye Fox, Bronx Pro Group director of development.
It could be completed in 2021 if everything goes according to plan, Bronx Pro Group representatives said.