Community Board 5 tables letter of support for 550 units of supportive housing

A rendering of the proposed housing
Courtesy of Services for the Underserved and Bronx Pro

A developer seeking a letter of support for a $300 million project that would create more than 500 supportive and affordable housing units was tabled by Community Board 5 last week.

The property, located at 1600 Macombs Road, Morris Heights, is used as a health center , but after three years of meetings, Services for the Underserved  (S:US) and Bronx Pro realized the site is underutilized and want to take advantage of its two acres.

On March 16, S:US and Bronx Pro presented a two phase plan to CB 5 for 551 supportive and affordable housing units.

The first phase would provide 60% supportive housing, including 326 units, a total of 253,000 sq. feet and parking. The second part involves 30% supportive/mixed income Extremely Low and Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) with 244 units, 222,700 total sq. feet of space, a 7,500 sq. foot medical clinic, public space and amenities, an 11,500 sq. foot public plaza, a 9,000 sq. foot rear yard and a 9,300 sq. foot passive recreation area for residents at the second floor terrace.

“Our goal is to create permanent housing for a number of populations,” said Arlo Chase, senior vice president of real estate and property development at S:US.

Chase said he and his staff have spoken with the Offices of Councilman Fernando Cabrera and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and they are on board with the project.

Samantha Magistro, principal at Bronx Pro, shared Chase’s enthusiasm. She feels the development will not only provide housing, but offer much needed green space in Community board 5.

However, CB 5 board members were not impressed.  Jaqua Curiel requested they have a memorandum of understanding for the project and stressed S:US must provide services for the people who live in the proposed housing. She and other board members want them to present to the full board

“We don’t want people to come into the community and just be rent collectors,” she said. “I just think they’re going right for the dollar.”

The first phase of the construction is set to finish spring of 2022 and have occupancy by spring 2025 and the second phase will be complete by December 2022 with occupancy in December 2025.

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