Mixed-use Crossroads Plaza development in Mott Haven receives final OK from city

Crossroads Plazav1
The new affordable housing complex Crossroads Plaza in Mott Haven will also bring a health care facility and universal pre-K program to the area.
Photos courtesy Douglaston Development

The developer behind the three-phase Crossroads Plaza development in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, received the project’s final approvals last week.

The project, which began in 2012 and finished construction in 2018, is located on parts of Union Avenue, Southern Boulevard and East 149th Street.

And after receiving the final certificate of occupancy from the city, Douglaston Development now brings to life a 587,000-square-foot, multi-phased, mixed-use project that transformed what was formerly an entirely vacant gas station and an unmapped street since the 1970s into a community hub, inclusive of 425 affordable residential units, 160 parking spaces, 60,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space occupied by community focused entities, a children’s playground and a 20,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza.

A defunct gas station property that was transformed into the Crossroads Plaza mixed-use development.

“Building affordable housing and housing for seniors, there’s a sense of satisfaction you get seeing the residents have a quality place to live with services,” Jeff Levine, chairman of Douglaston Development told the Bronx Times.

The commercial spaces at the site include Essen Health, a universal pre-K program and The Foundling, which provides family and children’s social services.

According to Levine, when he originally saw the massive vacant property years ago, he envisioned it serving multiple purposes.

“We knew community facilities wanted to be here,” Levine said.

Levine said the Crossroads project is nothing like other projects such as Bankside – a $950 million high-rise development with apartments rentals costing nearly $2,000 per month – taking place along the waterfront in Mott Haven that has some concerned over the onset of gentrification of the area.

“This is a development that serves the community,” he said. “There’s no displacement.”

The Crossroads project was completed in collaboration with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation. Two of the three buildings utilize the HPD mixed middle-income program, with the average median income (AMI) ranging from 40%-130%. The third building utilizes the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, with rents as low as 40% of the AMI.

“One hundred and thirty (percent of the) AMI really doesn’t work for the working people in this community,” Levine said. “What’s great about this is the money we spent to create this landscaped courtyard provides amenities for the residents, but we ended up having three very community centered tenants here.”

A breakdown of the three phases of the development:
  • Phase I Crossroads III, 535 Union Ave. – An 8-story building with 126 residential units and 20,000 square feet of community space occupied by a universal pre-K currently serving around 180 students.
  • Phase II Crossroads II, 501 Southern Blvd. – A 13-story building with 136 residential units and ground floor space occupied by The New York Foundling.
  • Phase III, Crossroads I, 828 E. 149th St. – A 14-story building with 163 residential units and an 18,000-square-foot Essen Healthcare facility.

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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