CB3 supports Claremont Village church renovation with affordable housing component

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Bronx Community Board 3 Land-Use & Economic Development Committee approved a letter of support for the redevelopment of Love Power and Grace Christian Church to include 107 affordable housing units.
Photo Adrian Childress

Plans to renovate a church more than 60 years-old and create an affordable housing component received the backing of Community Board 3 last week.

On Jan. 18, the Bronx Community Board 3 Land-Use & Economic Development Committee approved a letter of support for the redevelopment of Love Power and Grace Christian Church (LPGCC), located at 1455 Boston Road in Claremont Village, to include 107 affordable residences above it, including 30 set aside for seniors. The church will be on the ground floor and first floor, and the apartments would be constructed on floors two through 10.

The South Bronx church, currently in need of repairs, will receive a new sanctuary, multiple new rooms and the air rights will be developed as affordable housing, both which support the local community. Air rights are the right to build or develop in the airspace above a property.

“Our dream is to have affordable housing for our community,” said Senior Pastor of LPGCC Rev. Michael Lopez. “From my perspective, it’s quite necessary.”

The apartments will be affordable to residents earning between 30% and 80% of the city median income with the senior apartment rent prices planned at either $521 or $745 for a one-bedroom apartment. There will be laundry and security for the residences and community spaces on the ground floor, second floor, third floor and 10th floor.

Michael Bauer, co-founder of Borough Equities, the developer for the project, said the proposal has been discussed with New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for six years, it meets their requirements, is as of right and does not need a variance.

“We would love to start construction by the end of this year,” he said. “The main reason for that amount of time (six years) has been HPD has gone through multiple programs they tried to push this project in directions where funding was not feasible. It’s really the church capitalizing on the value of the property.”

The committee praised the plan overall and was happy affordable housing is coming to the community.

“I’m glad the church is benefitting,” committee member Paul Navarro said at the meeting.

Whenever construction commences, the church will temporarily relocate to a new location. With support from CB3 and Democrat City Councilwoman Althea Stevens, who represents that area, the developer can now return to HPD for funding; HPD subsidizes all affordable housing projects in the city. The project is expected to be completed in two years.

Reach Jason Cohen at jcohen@schnepsmedia.com or (718) 260-4598. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes. 

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