At the end of October, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that construction had, at last, commenced on a new affordable housing project in the Bronx that has been in its planning stages for at least two years. Replacing a former parking lot, the new mixed-use high-rise is part of a continuing trend toward the governor’s $20 billion five-year housing plan, which has already produced many new affordable housing projects, such as the recent groundbreaking in Peekskill.
“We continue to make unprecedented investments in affordable housing that will help tackle the dual inequality and homelessness crises,” Governor Cuomo said in his announcement. “New developments like this project demonstrate our ongoing efforts to provide Bronx residents with high-quality, energy-efficient homes with supportive services for the most vulnerable among us.”
The 1159 River Avenue Project, Part of a Larger Initiative
The 1159 River Avenue project, helmed by Maddd Equities in partnership with nonprofit Community Access, is one of two in the area. Just across the street stands another affordable housing initiative in the works, at 1164-1184 River Avenue. This second project will come in two phases, constructing two 17-story mixed-use affordable housing buildings. Combined with 1159 River Avenue, this promises nearly 750 units that are 100 percent affordable housing.
This, in itself, is part of an even larger initiative, as these two projects are part and a result of the recent Jerome Avenue Rezoning, which opens up 92 blocks of city space for development and aims to bring an additional 4,600 new residences to the Bronx, which means years of construction work for local contractors on the horizon.
What Are the Specifics of the 1159 River Avenue Project, and What’s Left to Be Done?
The 1159 structure will top out above its neighbors across the street, coming to 19 stories. The site is a former parking lot, and it is located just four blocks from Yankee Stadium and very near to the 6, B, and D metro lines.
Features include the following:
- Early reports in 2018 suggested the structure would span about 200,000 square feet.
- It will contain 245 units, with one superintendent apartment and 148 reserved for families and individuals previously homeless, including any in need of support services.
- The ground floor will feature over 20,000 square feet of retail space.
- Support services for 128 households will include access to on-site services like rental assistance, vocational training, self-advocacy training, and more.
- The site includes art, laundry, and computer rooms for residents to access.
All of these characteristics pose their usual challenges for laborers, but included with the standard builds, this project must also adhere to Enterprise Green Communities Standards and Energy Star’s Multi-Family High Rise Standards (which will involve the use of water-saving low-flow installations and Energy Star appliances throughout).
The project at 1159 River Ave is presently expected to complete in the latter part of 2022, assuming there will be no untimely delays.