A former church site is in the process of being transformed into a residence for previously homeless seniors.
On Thursday, October 24, Bronx Pro Group in partnership with United Methodist City Society held a blessing ceremony at 1080 Washington Avenue, the future site of the Trinity – Reverend William M. James Seniors Building.
Upon completion, the 12-story apartment building will consist of 154 affordable units for seniors, including 57 supportive apartments for formerly homeless, justice-involved seniors.
The other 96 apartments, 63 studios and 33 one-bedrooms to be marketed through NYC Housing Preservation and Development’s NYC Housing Connect, will also be reserved for seniors. One unit will be designated for the building superintendent.
The building will also include community space, an exercise room, an indoor greenhouse, a garden and an outdoor gym. Each of the 154 units will be reserved for households earning 50% of the area median income or less.
In addition, the 1080 Washington Avenue property will be designed to meet the certification requirements of the Enterprise Green Community Criteria as well as Energy Star’s Multifamily High Rise Program’s qualification guidelines.
Fortune Society will also operate a social services space in the building, which will provide support for the senior residents with services such as on-site counseling, peer support to assist with re-entry and recovery as well as case managers available to help tenants remain stable with their health and housing.
The cost of the development will total just under $83 million. The building’s steel and plank construction includes a brick and panel facade.
The property was formerly home to United Methodist City Society’s Trinity Church, which was demolished earlier this year.
Bronx Pro Group and United Methodist City Society were joined by Enterprise Community Partners, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Fortune Society, DreamYard, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson and community members for the blessing ceremony, which was led by bishop Thomas Bickerton.
The blessing ceremony featured a poem performed by DreamYard poet Denise Cotto.
“This development is an example of Bronx Pro Group’s mission to develop quality housing that is both affordable and sustainable,” said Samantha Magistro, BPG’s managing director. “This project is unique in the sense that it provides justice-involved seniors a safe place to return and reintegrate into their community.”
“Since our relationship began with Bronx Pro Group just over a decade ago, we have recognized the importance of mission-driven development that purposes church property to meet the demands of the community,” said Reverend Dr. William Shillady, executive director of United Methodist Society, who emceed the event. “We are thrilled to be part of a process that meets the needs of all seniors, and especially those elderly citizens who were previously homeless.”
Construction of the Trinity – Reverend William M. James Seniors Building is expected to be completed in 2021.