241-Unit Affordable Housing Project to Replace Former School in the Bronx

Trinity Financial and MBD Community Housing Corp. will develop the 24-story, energy efficient, mixed-use tower in the Bronx’s Mott Haven neighborhood.

By Alexandra Pacurar, Associate Editor

425 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, New York

425 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, New York

New York—New York City officials announced the development team for a new affordable housing project in Mott haven, a primarily residential area of the Bronx.

A joint venture between Trinity Financial and MBD Community Housing Corp. will create an energy-efficient affordable housing community that will replace the former P.S. 31 School at 425 Grand Councourse. The announcement was made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been, and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Gary Rodney.

“This beautifully designed and sustainable affordable housing proposal for Mott Haven, near one of our City’s important institutions of higher learning and on the former site of an historic neighborhood school, will be home to hundreds of low- and moderate-income families, while also providing a supermarket, other retail space and also community services to the neighborhood”, said Mayor de Blasio.

The 24-story tower will be built on a nearly 300,000-square-foot development site, and will be the largest residential Passive House structure built in NYC to date. It will consume 30 percent of the energy a conventional housing project typically consumes.

“This is exactly the kind of project Mayor de Blasio envisioned when he launched the Housing New York Plan and OneNYC because it will provide safe and healthy facilities for both living and learning. I congratulate Trinity Financial and MBD on what will be a vibrant addition to the Mott Haven community, and a major step forward in our efforts to reduce energy use in the city”, said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been.

The 241-unit development will feature energy-recovery systems, solar-shading devices, and water saving facilities, while each apartment will have individual energy controls and energy efficient appliances. The residential tower sustainability features will meet Passive House qualifications and Enterprise Green Communities Guidelines. Common amenities will include a laundry room on each floor and a community room with direct access to the 23rd floor landscaped roof terrace and a green roof.

The first three floors will house commercial and community amenities such as an 11,000 square-foot supermarket, a 44,480 square-foot charter school, a 1,500 square-foot cultural space and a 1,350 square-foot social services facility. The mixed-use lower levels will complement the area and the nearby Hostos Community College.

“MBD Community Housing Corp. is extremely honored to be given this opportunity, along with its partner, Trinity Financial, Inc., to develop a new and amazing affordable housing project at this historic site. This development will include much needed commercial and social services. We all look forward to providing a spectacular building that will truly serve its community”, said Derrick Lovett, President & CEO of MBD Community Housing Corp.

The project will reactivate Garrison Playground, which is adjacent to the building site and currently closed. The playground will be fully rehabilitated and linked to the new construction through Garrison Walkway, a wide Americans with Disabilities Act accessible pathway which will also connect it to Grand Concourse and Walton Avenue.

Dattner Architects designed the modern affordable residential structure which will have a curved profile. The design preserved some of the iconic features of the former school that once stood there such as terra cotta gargoyles and the engraved P.S. 31 sign.

The plan for the 24-story structure called for a rezoning of the block, which took into consideration the city’s new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. This requires at least 25 percent of the units to be permanently affordable.

The development will be financed through Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan aimed at building or preserving 200,000 units of high-quality affordable housing in the city.

Image courtesy of Dattner Architects

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