Officials with Breaking Ground held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its newest affordable apartment complex, Park House, on Wednesday, October 4.
Park House, 4275 Park Avenue, in Tremont, is Breaking Ground’s first residence designed for low-income working families with children.
The nearly 244,000-square-foot, 12-story building has 248 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.
An adjacent residence, Webster, is under construction and expected to complement Park House in 2018, allowing both structures to house 418 families, along with a landscaped courtyard and parking for tenants.
Michael Franco, chairman, Breaking Ground board of directors, said he built his career “in the world of commercial real estate and I know what it takes to create and complete projects that add value and improve communities.”
Kicking off the ceremony, Franco said he has been a Breaking Ground board member since 2012, and that an incredible amount of work and detail has gone into creating the socially inclusive housing to help vulnerable individuals and families.
Franco said the housing will contribute to healthier, more vibrant and more inclusive communities.
“Breaking Ground has done this over and over for the past 20 years and that is exactly what Breaking Ground has done here at Park House,” Franco said.
“This new residence exemplifies our commitment to developing affordable housing that can transform the lives of families who have experienced or are at the risk of homelessness. It transforms and improves New York,” he said.
Of the 248 units at Park House, 40 will be permanently affordable through NYC’s Voluntary Inclusionary Housing program.
“For decades, Breaking Ground has been serving those living on the streets through providing quality housing with on-site, supports to build and restore lives,” said Brenda Rosen, president of Breaking Ground.
“But in response to the city’s affordable housing crisis, we knew we had to do more,” she said.
Rosen said the Park House will ensure that hundreds of families can grow and thrive free from worry that their children won’t have a safe place to sleep at night.
Housing Preservation and Development commissioner Maria Torres-Springer thanked the “many partners on the project, who are playing an important role in providing the affordable housing and supportive services that our city’s most vulernable populations so deeply need.”
Key partners include NYC Housing Development Corporation, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYS Office of Mental Health, NYC Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance/Homeless Housing Assistance Corporation, Federal Home Bank of New York/Astoria Bank, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Chase Foundation.
COOKFOX Architects partner and co-founder Rick Cook, spoke about having “the opportunity to design healthy, sustainable and affordable housing for families. At Park House, we created a building of depth and substance with beautiful hand-set masonry to rebuild the historic street-wall and mend an urban block along two important avenues in the Bronx.”
Amenities at Park House include a community space, bicycle storage, onsite laundry for residents and a landscaped courtyard.
It is equipped with high performance boilers, energy efficient lighting fixtures and controls, water-saving fixtures, EnergyStar appliances and green roof areas with drought-resistant plantings.