Officials cut ribbon on affordable W. Farms housing

Compass Residences on Boone Avenue in West Farms
Photo Courtesy of Zimmerman/Edelson Inc

Developers, elected officials and local residentss gathered at Boone Avenue to commemorate the completion of new affordable housing in the south Bronx.

The two new buildings — 1490 and 1500 Boone Avenue – are nine stories and 15 stories respectively. In addition, they hold a combined 237 units.

Fourteen-ninety and 1500 Boone Avenue – which have a combined $81.9 million price tag – are a part of Compass Residences which include 4,392 square feet of retail space, 71 parking spaces, a shared courtyard and a public plaza.

The partners in the buildings’ completion include NYS Home and Community Renewal, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Housing Development Corporation, Monadnock Development, Signature Urban Properties, and GTIS partners.

“Creating a truly mixed-income neighborhood with retail space, parking, a courtyard and direct access to Starlight Park, as well as setting aside units to expand opportunities for formerly homeless individuals, is very important not just for the Bronx but the entire New York City,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Today’s ribbon cutting unlocks the first 237 of an over 1,300 unit development that will create a truly mixed-income community and bring transformative change to Crotona Park East and West Farms.”

“For me what’s exciting is not just that 237 families are coming here,” said Gifford Miller, a principal of Signature Urban Properties and a former NYC councilman, “but we’re ultimately going to be able to make this neighborhood an even better neighborhood for the thousands of other families that live in the area as well.”

Diaz said he appreciated how the developers came “the right way” to work with Bronx officials.

“Sometimes you get developers who feel like we should just be lucky to be receiving whatever they’re going to give us,” Diaz said. “That is no longer the case.”

“Where not just going to accept whatever [they give us],” he said.

Diaz spoke specifically about stairs leading up from Boone Avenue to West Farms, a prospective school and even the color of the buildings’ exterior which he said the borough asked for and the developers complied.

Samantha Howard, a resident of Crotona Park East for 30 years, is now living in a two-bedroom apartment with her 14-year-old son.

Howard, an employee of the NYC Department of Education in the Bronx, said she applied through Housing Connect and eventually got the call in June.

“I couldn’t explain how I felt,” said said. “My son just started at [Cardinal] Hayes [High School] this year. It was a great change – a new school, a new apartment, I’m so happy.”

The two buildings are a part of a larger multi phase plan to redevelop sections of the Crotona Park East and West Farms neighborhoods.

The Boone Avenue duo are buildings 1A and 1B of a six-phase, 10-building plan to redevelop the area.

According to Tom Ciano, vice president and director of Real Estate Operations at Monadnock Development, there are two other buildings under construction, another building on which Monadnock is hoping to close on soon and two other buildings that are in the early stages of design.

Currently, as part of the redevelopment, there is a florist shop on West Farms Avenue. In addition there will be a deli at the corner of Boone Avenue and Jennings Street.

Ciano also said the company is entertaining an offer for a dollar store in the complex and also exploring leasing to a daycare in another one of it’s buildings.

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at rchristie@cnglocal.com.

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