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Feb. 22, 2013

Green Affordable Housing Building Opens in the Bronx

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A new low-income, eco-friendly residential building in the Bronx was officially opened on February 21 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).  Located at 770 East 166th St. at Tinton Avenue in Morrisania, the nearly $38 million project was built by Blue Sea Development on land that was purchased from NYCHA at below market value.

The Arbor House development is part of the New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), a multi-billion dollar program initiated by the Bloomberg administration to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing in New York City by the close of the 2014 fiscal year.

Already boasting a LEED Platinum certification and National Green Building Emerald rating, Arbor House was also recognized by the American Cancer Society as a “Healthy High-Rise” thanks to the building’s 100 percent smoke-free policy and the use of low and zero VOC materials for improved air quality.

Besides the 8,000-square-foot rooftop greenhouse that will be overseen by a full-time farmer and a living green wall in the lobby, the building’s design promotes physical fitness through indoor and outdoor exercising areas and encourages stair use.

The eight-story structure totals 120,000 square feet and 124 units of affordable housing (16 studios, 33 one-bedroom units and 75 two-bedroom units) and one apartment reserved for a superintendent. Since the apartments were designed for low-income households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income, which is $49,800 for a family of four or $34,860 for an individual, rents will range from almost $700 for a studio to a little over $900 for a two-bedroom unit. Though the building was just inaugurated, residents will start moving in starting next month.

What’s really green and eco-friendly about this development is that the rooftop hydroponic farm is expected to yield 100 tons of fresh, pesticides-free produce throughout the year. According to DNAInfo.com, the rooftop farm will be able to feed 450 people; 40 percent of the expected annual yield will be distributed to nearby schools and markets.

Images courtesy of New York City Housing Authority’s Facebook Page

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