Posts tagged with "Bronx":

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SOM brings science center and new natatorium to Horace Mann School

Architects at SOM are going back to school, this time in the Bronx. Horace Mann School, a private institution in Fieldston, the Bronx, asked the firm to design a new campus and science center, a pool, and to upgrade its older gymnasium. In all, these improvements cover 111,000 square feet and add 68,000 square feet of space to the school, which serves 1,800 students, pre-K–12. Outside, the connected science and campus centers' brick-and-stone facade references the gymnasium, and their blocky massing steps away from the adjacent athletic fields to bring their scale in line with older buildings on campus. These structures, along with the new aquatic center and updated gym, will shape the North Campus, which is used by around 1,200 students in grades 6 through 12. New York–based Mathews Nielsen is the landscape architect.
The firm's New York office worked with the school to master-plan this part of the campus, too. The plan outlines a design standard grounded in classic brick and stone, while providing for fluid learning spaces where students can peck away at their laptops or collaborate on group projects.
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New York State to raze Robert Moses’ Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx

Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released the details of a $1.8 billion infrastructure project which—among other goals—will erase the Moses-era Sheridan Expressway and replace it with a pedestrian-friendly boulevard. The 1.3-mile expressway, which was built in 1962, cut off residents’ access to the Bronx River and created both traffic congestion and air pollution in the area. Community advocates have long fought against the Expressway; the Governor's plan would alleviate these ills and streamline vehicular access to and from the Bruckner Expressway. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mds5BhJuyro] In a press release, Governor Cuomo stated:
While plans have been proposed and languished for decades, we're taking action to finally right the wrongs of the past by reconnecting South Bronx communities that have dealt with unnecessary barriers to revitalization and growth. The project will create an interconnected South Bronx with access to the Waterfront, recreation, and less traffic on local streets while simultaneously better supporting those who use the Hunts Point Market—a vital economic engine for the borough.
This announcement comes several months after Governor Cuomo dedicated $15 million to the development of the Greenmarket Regional Food Hub in Hunts Point. This extensive infrastructure proposal will be executed in phases, the first to be funded up to $700 million, and will purportedly create 4,250 new jobs over the duration of the project. It also comes on the heels of the Governor's $1.8 billion plan to revitalize Central Brooklyn.
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Perkins Eastman designs 159-unit affordable senior housing complex in the Bronx

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is planning to build a Perkins Eastman–designed senior housing complex, "Mill Brook Terrace" in Mott Haven, South Bronx. The scheme is part of NextGen NYCHA, a long-term strategy that involves two other affordable housing projects, both in Brooklyn. Mill Brook Terrace will be built upon a car park on 570 East 137th Street and will rise to nine stories, housing 159 units. Dwellings will be for senior citizens who earn half or less than the Area Median Income ($36,250 for a family of two, as picked up by New York YIMBY). Standard apartments are set to be 760 square feet in size; 120,900 square feet will be allocated to residential units in the upper levels. As clarified by Richard Rosen, principal in charge of all senior housing projects for the architects' New York office, amenities will be located on the ground floor. Here, a 9,000-square-foot senior center will house a commercial kitchen and offer space for senior programming that includes "social service classrooms" for personal care as well as providing hair and bathing services. A neighborhood community area will also feature as will an outdoor garden and a shared second-floor terrace. The project emerged at the start of 2016 when it appeared a mixed-income development was on the cards. Fast forward to today, and despite facing almost nearly $80 million in federal budget cuts, plans have morphed into an affordable senior living scheme. As part of the housing lottery, current NYCHA residents will be afforded preference on 25 percent of the units available. Mill Brook Terrace is scheduled for completion in summer 2019. As for the other two housing projects: Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and Van Dyke Houses, in Brownsville, also Brooklyn are also in the works. Land is being leased for 60 years by the NYCHA for all three projects, which means all will be affordable during that tenure.  
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1,300-unit South Bronx waterfront development revealed

Today, renderings were revealed for two all market-rate waterfront developments in the South Bronx's Mott Haven neighborhood; collectively they will feature 1,300 new units. Developers Somerset Partners and Chetrit Group are behind the projects, according to YIMBY, which are located 2401 Third Avenue and 101 Lincoln Avenue. Both are near the Third Avenue Bridge and New York–based Hill West are the architects. 2401 Third Avenue will feature a standalone 25-story tower and another 25-story tower joined to a 16-story tower via a shared eight-story base. According to YIMBY, 2401 Third Avenue "will host 430 rentals, 416,446 square feet of residential space, and 4,200 square feet of community facility space," as well as a mixture of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. 101 Lincoln Avenue will have three 24-story towers and a 22-story tower set atop a six- and seven-story podium. These together will consist of "849 rentals, 817,148 square feet of residential space, 20,500 square feet of retail, and [a] 1,100-square-foot community facility," YIMBY reported. Somerset Partners and Chetrit Group are also building a 25,000-square-foot waterfront esplanade, and they have secured funding for one of two phases of construction.
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A notorious former Bronx prison site to become affordable housing

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) recently unveiled plans to redevelop a former Bronx juvenile prison into a mixed-use development centered on affordable housing.

WXY architecture + urban design (WXY) is collaborating with Body Lawson Associates (BLA) to transform the infamous Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into the Peninsula, a $300 million project that will create 740 units of 100 percent affordable housing.

Claire Weisz, principal-in-charge of WXY, said that “no parts of the former prison [were] being reincorporated” into the development. “The goal is to create a campus that incorporates living and working to reimagine this promontory place in Hunts Point,” she added.

The rest of the team—Gilbane Development Company, Hudson Companies, and Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY)—was chosen through a 2015 request for expressions of interest (RFEI).

The team is working with longtime neighborhood stakeholders like the Point CDC, BronxWorks, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Urban Health Plan, Sustainable South Bronx, and others.

In 2014, Majora Carter—the urban revitalization activist and founder and former executive director of Sustainable South Bronx—partnered with AutoDesk to imagine alternatives to the Spofford site, which operated as the Bridges Juvenile Center when it was shuttered by the city in 2011 over appalling conditions and inmate abuse.

Along with the typical deliverables that come with a project this size—retail, community, and green space—the Peninsula will bring 49,000 square feet of light industrial space to the Hunts Point neighborhood.

Weisz said that “recreating and reconnecting the street grid” while “making a courtyard space [that] expresses the permeability and openness to the community” was a “priority of the team’s proposal.” Victor Body-Lawson, principal at Body Lawson Associates, added that the team “designed the courtyard as a hub that will foster interactivity between the community, residents, and visitors while melding commercial, manufacturing, and residential activities around a central space.”

In addition to providing housing, the plan integrates different types of workspaces, including artist work studios and light industrial space for Bronx-based businesses to both launch and expand. The Peninsula will host a business incubator, job training facilities, school space for pre-kindergarten (an on-site Head Start program will be incorporated into the project) and higher education, 52,000 square feet of open space, and an 18,000-square-foot health and wellness center operated by Urban Health Plan. “The housing and these work spaces will together create a lively and open addition to the neighborhood of Hunts Point,” said Weisz.

Food, too, is key to the Peninsula: The NYCEDC stated that in addition to a 15,000-square-foot supermarket, local favorites like Il Forno Bakery, Soul Snacks Cookie Company, Bascom Catering, and Hunts Point Brewing Company will be setting up shop in the development. According to Weisz, these “will serve as anchor tenants for the Peninsula because they provide access to fresh produce, offer health care services, and strive to be part of a larger vision that benefits their growing business and the community they serve.”

The five-building development is coming online in three planned phases: Phase one is expected to be complete in 2021, with phase two coming online the year after and the third phase set to open in 2024.

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Former Bronx juvenile prison to become 740-unit affordable housing development

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) have unveiled renderings for plans to redevelop a former Bronx juvenile prison into a mixed-use development centered on affordable housing. WXY architecture + urban design (WXY) are collaborating with Body Lawson Associates (BLA) to transform the notorious Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into The Peninsula, a $300 million project that will create 740 units of "100 percent" affordable housing. Along with typical deliverables—retail, community, and green space—for a project this size, the Peninsula will bring 49,000 square feet of light industrial space to the Hunts Point neighborhood. The project is one of many mixed-use complexes cropping up in the borough: In May, Mastermind Development broke ground on a $117.7 million project in East Tremont and FXFOWLE's La Central in Melrose is moving forward. The development team—Gilbane Development Company, Hudson Companies, and Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY)—was chosen through a 2015 request for expressions of interest (RFEI). The team is working with longtime neighborhood stakeholders like the Point CDC, BronxWorks, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Urban Health Plan, Sustainable South Bronx, and others. In 2014 Majora Carter, the urban revitalization activist and founder/former executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, partnered with AutoDesk to imagine alternatives to the Spofford site, which operated as the Bridges Juvenile Center when it was shuttered by the city in 2011 over appalling conditions and inmate abuse. DNAinfo reports that a development team spearheaded by Carter was rejected in favor of the winning proposal. "The lack of diversity on the team chosen by NYCEDC to develop Spofford is not indicative of Mayor de Blasio’s much-publicized commitment to including minority businesses in the city’s contracting," Carter told DNAinfo. "Instead EDC selected a typical team composed exclusively of white men 'partnered' with uncompensated minority nonprofits to whom no transformative capital benefits will accrue." The five-building development is nevertheless coming online in three planned phases: Phase one is expected to be complete in 2021, with phase two coming online the year after, and the third and final phase set to open in 2024. In addition to providing housing, those facilities will host a business incubator, job training facilities, school space for pre-K (an on-site Head Start will be incorporated into the project) and higher ed, 52,000 square feet of open space, and an 18,000-square-foot health and wellness center operated by Urban Health Plan. Food is key to the Peninsula: According to the NYCEDC, in addition to a 15,000-square-foot supermarket, local favorites like Il Forno Bakery, Soul Snacks, Bascom Catering, and Hunts Point Brewing Company will be setting up shop in the development.
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Lambert Houses in the Bronx to be demolished, replaced with larger affordable development

Phipps Houses, a non-profit developer and owner of the Lambert Houses in the Bronx, is moving ahead with its plans to demolish 14 buildings at the Lambert Houses complex. Originally opened in the mid-1970s, the houses will be replaced with taller towers that will offer twice as many affordable housing units. Adam Weinstein, president and chief executive of Phipps Houses, cited the need for improved safety as a core reason for redevelopment, according to a report by The New York Times. At present, the Lambert Houses complex contains five groups of six-story buildings, with 731 affordable housing units and approximately 40,000 square feet of retail space. After redevelopment, there will be 1,665 new units, 61,100 square feet of retail space, and a possible elementary school for 500 students, according to DNAinfo. Should the School Construction Authority decide not to build the school, another residential complex with 55 units will take its place, according to the developer’s proposal. With papers filed in May of this year, the overhaul is set to cost $600 million and will take place over course of 14 years. Phipps Houses plans to shuffle residents around the complex as each building is demolished and built anew, at which point they will be returned to a new apartment unit, but the plan has left some residents skeptical. Longtime resident Anita Molina, 66, described the news as bittersweet to DNAinfo, saying "the only thing I hear around the neighborhood that people are worried about" is being forced out.
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Building of the Day: Gould Memorial Library

This is the twenty-third in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours! Standing on the highest natural point in all of the Bronx, Bronx Community College boasts the building known as architect Stanford White’s shining achievement—the Gould Memorial Library. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia Library, the library forms the centerpiece of White’s late-19th-century master plan for the campus, originally the “country” campus of New York University. Preservation architect Lisa Easton, who has worked with Stanford White buildings since 2004, explained that around the turn of the 20th century a campus master plan manifested the vision of higher education’s purpose in a “grand manner.” Listed as a National Historic Landmark, Easton pointed out that the interior of the building is landmarked as well. Tiffany Studios created the library interior. “It’s a jewel in there,” Easton said. In the library’s grand central rotunda, which formed the reading room of the non-circulating library, Connemara marble pillars support the domed roof. The library fell into disuse in 1969 when anti-Vietnam War demonstrators set a fire in the building. Today the stacks surrounding the rotunda are empty of books. In the right light, a look upward just above the glass-floored ambulatory that encircles the rotunda can reveal the Tiffany windows that masked the stacks from view. More than a just a library, the building also houses a downstairs auditorium that can hold upwards of 700 people. Outside and around the back of the building, overlooking the Harlem River, a colonnaded Hall of Fame, the first such built in the United States, contains busts of notable statesmen, scientists, authors, inventors, and other men and women deemed people of “great citizenry.” Today the Gould Memorial Library is a gem of a building without a use. Built with only one means of ingress and egress, current laws limit occupancy of the building to 74 people at one time. “But it’s restorable,” Easton noted, “and that’s important in an age when it’s easier to build something new rather than restore.” She added that grants have been secured from the Getty Foundation Campus Heritage Grants program to fund repairs to the building and bring it up to current code so that new uses can be discovered for this Stanford White masterpiece. About the author: Carol Bartold received the MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York and a BA with Honors in Music from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia. An accountant by trade, she is the bookkeeper at AIANY|Center for Architecture. As Senior Reporter for MyHometownBronxville.com, a local news website, she covers municipal government, education, business, and land use. She has sung professionally at Sarah Lawrence College with the Women’s Vocal Ensemble and Chamber Choir, and with the Concordia College Camerata. Her essay “At Full Thrust” was published by Prairie Schooner blog.
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$40 million expansion of Bronx River Greenway breaks ground

The City of New York is closing a critical gap in the Bronx's longest greenway. The multiphase initiative to extend the Bronx River Greenway, an eight-mile network of parks and trails that runs through the borough and into Westchester County, will target missing links in the park's South Bronx section. At a groundbreaking for the next phases of the greenway last week, city officials detailed plans to restore the Bronx River shoreline, lengthen Starlight Park, and close a large gap in the greenway. The project's first phase will attempt to increase the Bronx's resilience to storms and flooding by naturalizing shorelines now fortified with artificial barriers and restoring wetlands. Phase two will knit existing but unconnected park parcels together, and connect Starlight and Concrete Plant Park with walking paths and bridges: One bridge will cross Amtrak lines at East 172nd Street, and the other will sit over the Bronx River, a southern extension of Starlight Park to Westchester Avenue. “The Bronx River Greenway provides the unique opportunity to walk, jog, run or ride a bike along the only freshwater river in New York City,” said NYC Parks commissioner Mitchell J. Silver in a statement. “Through the collaboration of our partners at the Bronx River Alliance, our elected officials, and community stakeholders, we’ve made a tremendous investment in restoring theBronx River and creating new opportunities for residents in the surrounding neighborhoods. This project will only serve to push forward the goals of our continued efforts.” The project is the result of partnerships between myriad local, state and federal agencies, including the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. Locally, the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) is managing the project for the Parks Department, while New York–based NV5 (formerly the RBA Group) is the design consultant. The project has considerable financial backing. Mayor Bill de Blasio has put $12 million towards phase one, with an additional $4.4 million from the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program, a federally funded program administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. In addition to several under-a-million contributions from local representatives, phase two will be funded by a $10 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and congressman José E. Serrano's $4 million allocation.
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Archtober Building of the Day: the Bronx Post Office

This is the eighth in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours! Today’s very wet Building of the Day tour brought us up to the Bronx where Jay Valgora, AIA, of Studio V Architecture, described the ongoing construction and design of the Bronx Post Office. The post office was originally constructed in 1937 on the Grand Concourse, a thoroughfare that helped to develop the Bronx into the dense urban area it is today. The post office is, as Valgora told us, classical, yet also modern in its style. The structure occupies an entire city block, its symmetrical entrances are framed with white marble that features very fine, precise edges. Despite its enormous size, only the front lobby was accessible to the public, as the rest of the post office was used for postal functions. When the post office was sold in 2014 and Studio V brought in to give the building new life, Valgora found himself facing numerous challenges from various fronts. Firstly, the building and the interior of the lobby are both New York City landmarks and on the National Register of Historic Places. This meant that he had to work closely with the Landmarks Commission to have every change approved. Additionally, local leaders wanted to ensure that the new building served the needs of the community, which meant keeping a portion of the building as a working post office. Studio V has totally restored the landmarked lobby, with the goal of making it completely accessible to the public once again. Murals painted by Ben Shahn during the Works Progress Administration-era are being restored to their original 1930s brilliance. Studio V plans to build a supermarket in the basement and turn the ground floor into a marketplace for different foodstuffs. Valgora explained that this was important for the area as the post office is in one of New York City’s “food deserts” and the addition of a grocery store will greatly help the local population. The second floor will be classroom spaces for Hostos Community College, located right down the street. The third floor will be turned into small, leasable commercial spaces for small businesses. The local community board and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. hope that this space will help in the ongoing resurgence of the Bronx. Studio V plans to add another space on the roof of the post office, which will serve as a restaurant space and open garden. The firm decided to use polycarbonate for this new floor because Valgora did not want the new space to completely imitate the original brick and marble. To that extent, Valgora believes the polycarbonate will serve to complement the original building materials. The restaurant will have glass walls, giving patrons a full view of the Bronx’s skyline. Behind the building, the post office’s original loading dock will serve as the new main entrance to the marketplace on the ground floor. This area is very industrial in character and Studio V decided to use a mesh ceiling in this area as a complement to the original look of this part of the structure. Overall, the Bronx Post Office will integrate itself seamlessly into the area while offering new services crucial for a 21st-century neighborhood. Tomorrow, we venture to the original World Trade Center of New York City: Schermerhorn Row at the South Street Seaport! About the author: Jacob Fredi is the Public Programs and Exhibitions Coordinator at the Center for Architecture. When he’s not on Building of the Day tours, you can find him playing board games (Carcassonne!) and brewing his own beer.
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Plans for massive South Bronx affordable housing project move forward

A New York City Council committee has approved La Central, a major affordable housing development that heralds change for the South Bronx. Designed by New York–based FXFOWLE, La Central is a one-million-square-foot, 992-unit complex on city-owned vacant land in Melrose that will be built under the auspices of New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development in collaboration with private and nonprofit developers, as well as community-based social services organizations. The five-building complex, organized around a village green–type square, includes retail space, 160 units of supportive housing for homeless veterans and people with HIV/AIDS, plus a plethora of mixed-use projects: Television studios for Bronxnet, a new YMCA, and an urban farm "training garden" operated by GrowNYC. The area is alight with new development: La Central is adjacent to a Bjarke Ingels Group-designed police station, the future home of the 40th Precinct. At a September 8 meeting, the City Council Committee on Land Use approved five land use modifications to allow the development to move forward. The committee sanctioned the designation of an urban development action area for the parcels between Bergen and Brook Avenues; waived open space, yard, height, and setback requirements for the mixed-use development; allowed a C6-2 district to replace existing M1-1 and C4-4 districts; and applied Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) to the lots that will host apartments. The complex will be the largest so far to utilize MIH, which requires developers to provide a certain number of permanently affordable units and is a key part of Mayor de Blasio's plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in the next decade. Despite ostensible support in the council, MIH has faced opposition in practice: Last month, the City Council defeated a privately developed MIH project in Inwood. Nevertheless, hopes for affordable housing development remain high at City Hall: “I believe La Central is a project that can truly help to move the South Bronx forward,” the mayor told the Daily News. The project is expected to be complete in 2017.
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NYC to rezone Jerome Avenue, signaling big changes for the Bronx

After scoring a win for his affordable housing policy with rezoning of East New York, Mayor de Blasio is setting his sights on the Bronx's Jerome Avenue. The Department of City Planning (DCP) released preliminary documents that outline plans to rezone a 73-block area of the southwest Bronx. The Special Jerome Avenue District is centered on its namesake street, the area's bustling commercial spine that teems with mom-and-pop auto body shops beneath the steel canopy of the 4 train. The rezoning would allow for large mixed-use residential buildings on the avenue, which is now zoned C8-3, M1-2, C4- 4, R7-1, R8 C-83, commercial designations that includes hotels, office space, and industrial uses like warehouses and auto shops. The entire area would be rezoned R7, R8, R9 (high-density residential); C4-4D (a medium-density commercial district with an R8A equivalent that can have 7.2 FAR in areas zoned for Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH); and topped off with C2-4 commercial overlays. The rezoning would indeed apply MIH, part of the mayor's plan to guarantee affordable housing as a condition of market-rate residential development, to almost all of the new district. Near the district's southern boundary, around McClellan Avenue, towers could rise up to 145 feet, YIMBY reports. At Tremont and Burnside avenues, around the northern end of the district, new buildings could be up to 120 feet tall; near West 170th street and all along Jerome, buildings could be 80 to 100 feet in height. The height increases are tied to setbacks that should allow light and air onto Jerome, which can grow forebodingly dark at night because of the elevated train. (Perhaps the city will crib from the Design Trust for Public Space's Under the Elevated, a project to revitalize 700 miles of public space that lies beneath elevated infrastructure.) The rezoning also includes promises to enhance parks and public spaces in the neighborhoods. In all, the DCP estimates that the rezoning will allow 72,273 square feet of community space, 35,575 square feet of commercial or retail space, and 3,250 new apartments. When the rezoning was proposed back in March 2015, residents worried it would be the doomsday toll for the auto shops, which offer skilled, good-paying jobs to a largely Latino workforce. The community's concerns are justified: The DCP estimates that 47,795 square feet of industrial space and 98,002 square feet of shop space will be eliminated. As a result, over 100 jobs will be lost. New residents would be more affluent than current ones, as measured by their expected average incomes. The city promises to do another study to analyze the impending displacement of auto shops, although there's no word on whether there will be an analogous study on the possibility of residential displacement. There's plenty of time to deliberate, protest, and offer feedback on the Special Jerome Avenue District plan, though. It must pass through the lengthy public approvals process, which includes meetings with community boards, the borough president's office, the City Planning Commission, and finally the City Council. The first public meeting, where DCP officials will be on hand to answer questions from the public, is scheduled for September 29 at the (Stanford White–designed) Gould Memorial Library Auditorium at Bronx Community College.