Sendero Verde

655 new units of affordable housing coming to East Harlem

655 new units of affordable housing coming to East Harlem. (Courtesy Handel Architects)

In East Harlem, a cluster community gardens will soon make way for a large affordable housing complex.

Developer Jonathan Rose Companies is set to build 655 apartments ensconced in an amenity-loaded project along East 111th and 112th streets, between Park and Madison avenues. The 751,000-square-foot complex, dubbed Sendero Verde (green pathway), is meant to be a “self-sustaining” community, with a Mount Sinai–run health care center, grocery store, restaurant, job training, charter school, a YMCA, and facilities for Union Settlement, a venerable community organization, on-site. Rose is partnering with L+M to develop the project, which is designed by New York–based Handel Architects.

“Our goal is to create a complete community… not only housing but services for all the residents,” Rose told Politico. “We hope this block will be a real model of transformation, not only for the new residents who live there but for the whole neighborhood.” On a green note, the development will follow passive house standards for improved energy efficiency, while the four community gardens will be planted anew inside the project.

Sendero Verde foreshadows changes for a neighborhood that is preparing for a 57-square-block rezoning that will permit buildings up to 30 stories tall in some areas. Although the city will regulate the buildings’ rents, making this a “100 percent affordable” development in HPD-speak, the highest rent thresholds exceed those of market-rate buildings nearby.

While East Harlem’s overall supply of affordable housing could shrink due to development pressure, the neighborhood is slated for more brand-new affordable buildings, like L+M’s Lexington Gardens II, designed by New York’s Curtis + Ginsberg, which sits a couple blocks away from Sendero Verde.

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