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Former P.S. 31 site to see housing, charter school

Bronx Times
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A development that will include an energy-efficient building and a charter school is planned for a former school site.

The project at 425 Grand Concourse, the location of the former P.S. 31 building, will result in a 241-unit affordable housing building as well as a charter school, among other amenities over 300,000 square-feet.

The 110-year-old school was demolished last year.

Each of the housing units will be designated for low- and moderate-income families, who earn between 60 and 100 percent of the area median income.

The proposed 24-story will be the largest Passive House in NYC upon its completion, and will consume about 30% of the energy that a conventional residential building would typically use.

The building will also meet and surpass Enterprise Green Communities guidelines, such as building-wide sustainable measures which include energy-recovery systems, solar-shading devices and water saving features.

It will even include a community room with direct access to the 23rd floor landscaped roof terrace as well as a green roof.

The three-story base of the project will be the future location of a 45,000 square-foot charter school, 11,000 square foot supermarket, a medical facility, as well as cultural and community spaces, which includes a social service facility, all of which will compliment Hostos Community College, located just across the street.

The site is bordered by the Grand Concourse, East 144th Street, Walton Avenue and Garrison Playground, the latter of which is currently closed but will be rehabilitated and reopened to the public as a part of the project.

Many of the former gothic-designed school’s artifacts, including its terra cotta gargoyles, sculptured heads and the stone-engraved P.S. 31 sign, will be incorporated into the development’s new design.

The block will be upzoned from a C4-4 to a C6-3 to allow for project’s increased density.

The developers are Trinity Financial, Inc. and Mid Bronx Desperadoes Community Housing Corporation, who have renovated or constructed nearly 11,000 housing units in total.

The development is part of the mayor’s aggressive ‘Housing New York’ plan.

“As a proud graduate of P.S. 31, I was sorry to see my beloved school building fall into such disrepair and even sorrier to see it demolished,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “However, (Housing Preservation and Development and NYC Housing Development Corporation) recognized the need for new life and new development at this historic location - and I know this project will be great fit for the neighborho­od.”

“I’m especially gratified that the city has chosen ‘Passive House’ construction, bringing a level of environmentally-friendly development to our borough that has not been seen here before,” Diaz added.

“I’m pleased to see this project take shape as one that will provide new, quality affordable housing for this part of the community,” said Councilman Rafael Salamanca, Jr. “Borough President Diaz and I are working with (NYC Department of Parks and Recreation) to revamp the nearby Garrison Playground as well as with Hostos College on their priorities to ensure that we keep moving this neighborhood forward for Bronx families.”

“We (Trinity Financial, Inc.) and our development parter (MBD Community Housing Corporation), have worked very hard to put together a program worthy of this important location,” said Kenan Bigby, managing director of Trinity Financial, Inc.

“MBD Community Housing Corporation is extremely honored to be given this opportunity,” said Derrick Lovett, president and CEO of MBD Community Housing Corporation. “This development will include much need commercial and social services.”

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.
Posted 12:00 am, May 6, 2016
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