By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor
New York—Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) has broken ground on Schoolhouse Terrace at Croton Heights, a 172,000-square-foot, mixed-income development that will replace outdated public housing in Yonkers, N.Y.
The Community Builders Inc., commissioned the project in partnership with the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers and the $63 million development was financed with an array of federal and state financing programs.
“There’s an old public housing site in Yonkers near the downtown area and the Community Builders have a master plan for building a mixed-income community that will include the people who are currently living there but also add other non-affordable housing,” Magnus Magnusson, MAP’s principal, tells MHN. “This project is the first phase of that and will be done over the next few years.”
The plan includes redeveloping the adjacent Cottage Gardens Public Housing site and reintegrating it into the surrounding neighborhood. When finished, Schoolhouse Terrace at Croton Heights will consist of one 51-unit building for seniors and one 70-unit building for families, with units ranging in size from one to three bedrooms. The project is targeting LEED Silver certification.
Both buildings will offer community amenities such as laundry rooms, a new computer lab located in the senior building and a couple of multi-purpose rooms for residents to use. The buildings will also maximize natural light and offer views of the Palisades and the Hudson River.
Additional site amenities include new streets and sidewalks, green roofing, street trees, public benches and lighting that will reinvigorate pedestrian activity along Ashburton Avenue.
According to Magnusson, the new buildings will replace a blighted public school building owned by the city of Yonkers.
“The old school was in ruins, but we will be using a large stone arch that was an entrance to the school and using it as the main entrance on this project,” Magnusson says. “It was a school the community was fond of so we thought it would be a way to salvage a little of the history of the site.”
The site is within walking distance to mass transit, including the Yonkers Metro North and Amtrak train stops. It’s also close by to numerous neighborhood retail buildings.
Schoolhouse Terrace at Croton Heights fits into the broader Ashburton Avenue Master Plan for the neighborhood and extends years of investment in the Ashburton corridor further west toward the Hudson River. The next phase of the development will be located at 188 Warburton Avenue and is scheduled for construction in summer 2014, provided the development team is awarded financing in the coming New York State Homes and Community Renewal Capital Funding Round.
“For almost 30 years, MAP has been creating healthy, vibrant communities for individuals and families of all income levels,” Magnusson says. “We are proud to be working in a new paradigm of affordable housing that helps communities to prosper.”