By Anuradha Kher, Online News Editor
New York–Meltzer/Mandl Architects recently completed the design of Pelham Parkway Towers, a 91-unit affordable housing development at 1600 Pelham Parkway South in the Morris Park section of the Bronx in New York.
The seven-story building, situated in an established, middle-income community, will feature apartments ranging from studios to three bedrooms, and a parking garage with 53 spaces.
David Carpenter AIA, LEED-AP, vice president at Meltzer/Mandl tells MHN that the reason the company decided to take up the project was that the challenges on this project appealed to them.
Marvin H. Meltzer, AIA, president of the firm, says, “This was not a simple complex to design. Because it’s an L-shaped, nine-sided site, and adjacent to the Metro North rail corridor (as well as an unused – but not de-mapped street – Bassett Avenue), dealing with challenges such as noise abatement, lot coverage and compliance with legal light-and-air requirements were more difficult than usual.”
Carpenter adds, “We believed that we could offer a great deal of value to the development team in their efforts to maximize the site for residential use. Also, we have a long and successful history with community boards and the necessary consensus building processes involved.”
As a result, successful completion of the development entailed an extensive review (and consensus-building) process with the local area Community Board (CB#11), adds the architect. Pelham Parkway Towers will be a publicly funded development, through the New York City Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD).
Another challenge was the particularly high water table, which had to be taken into account during the design of the parking garage at and below street level. According to Meltzer, this led to a less expensive project “because any construction that touches ground water must resist hydrostatic forces that push upward and destabilize the building and foundation.
“In this instance, we knew we had to deliver a certain amount of parking for the project and found a solution that kept the building away from the ground water table.”
The building’s amenities include a 6,000-sq.-ft. community facility space, bike storage, a gym and recreation space on the roof terraces.
The site is adjacent to a former manufacturing district, which was recently re-zoned to encourage the creation of new multifamily housing and mixed-use development.
Construction will begin when financing is finalized late this year. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2013.
The public subsidies will make it such that rents will be determined as a factor of area median income (AMI). Since it has not been established yet which entities will generate the public subsidies, David cannot be any more specific.