425 Grand Concourse development, location of former P.S. 31 School building, to be 100% affordable, use 70% less energy than conventional buildings, and serve hundreds of low- and moderate-income households

Adjacent to Hostos Community College, the development includes plans to re-open Garrison Playground; create variety of commercial and non-profit spaces, including a supermaket and a school

Renderings Courtesy of the Development Team/Dattner Architects

MOTT HAVEN (BRONX), N.Y. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been, and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Gary Rodney today announced the selection of a development team for the former site of P.S. 31, at 425 Grand Concourse, in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx. A joint venture between Trinity Financial and MBD Community Housing Corporation (MBD), the development team was selected through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process to build a 100% affordable building. The team’s high-quality, mixed-use and mixed-income development plan includes the creation of 241 units of housing affordable to low- and moderate-income families. The curving 24-story tower with sweeping views will be the largest residential Passive House built in New York City to date, and consume 30% of the energy a conventional housing project typically consumes. The three-story base will house a charter school, medical facility, and cultural and community spaces, including a social services facility.

“This beautifully designed and sustainable affordable housing proposal for Mott Haven, near one of our City’s important institutions of higher learning and on the former site of an historic neighborhood school, will be home to hundreds of low- and moderate-income families, while also providing a supermarket, other retail space and also community services to the neighborhood. We welcome this proposal as a wonderful addition to our growing affordable housing portfolio – and a model for all housing development in New York’s future,” Mayor de Blasio said.

“The 425 Grand Concourse development plan is an impressive and dynamic design that will benefit local businesses, residents, and the wider  community by offering an upgraded Garrison Playground, a school, medical facility, and space for a variety of cultural and community centers, among other amenities,” HPD Commissioner Vicki Been said. “This is exactly the kind of project Mayor de Blasio envisioned when he launched the Housing New York Plan and OneNYC because it will provide safe and healthy facilities for both living and learning. I congratulate Trinity Financial and MBD on what will be a vibrant addition to the Mott Haven community, and a major step forward in our efforts to reduce energy use in the city.”

“The 425 Grand Concourse development promises to give new life to this historically significant site, adding to the fabric of the Mott Haven neighborhood and the sustainability of our city,” HDC President Gary Rodney said. “We congratulate the Trinity and MBD team for the imagination they put into a winning project that is beautifully designed, highly energy efficient, and delivers critically-needed affordable housing.  We thank Bronx Borough President Diaz and Councilman Salamanca for their commitment to revitalizing this site for the community.”

“As plans to restore the use of this very important site at 425 Grand Concourse continue to develop, we look forward to working more closely with HPD, our local elected officials, and the selected 425 Grand Concourse development team as we work towards the reopening of the Garrison Playground site. This is the kind of partnership that we strive for and this renovated park will complement the proposed new residential, cultural, and community center spaces,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J Silver, FAICP.

The development of this City-owned parcel of land into affordable housing will be financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan. The plan outlines over 50 initiatives to support the goal of building or preserving 200,000 units of high-quality affordable housing. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its aim is to help address New York City’s  affordability crisis by reaching more than half a million New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes to those in the middle class, all of whom face ever-rising rents.

“As a proud graduate of P.S. 31, I was sorry to see my beloved school building fall into such disrepair, and even sorrier to see it demolished. However, HPD and HDC recognized the need for new life and new development at this historic site, and have moved to bring welcome new affordable housing units, commercial activity and a reinvigorated Garrison Playground to the Lower Concourse neighborhood. I’m especially gratified that the City has chosen ‘Passive House’ construction, bringing a level of environmentally-friendly development to our borough that has not been seen here before. This project will be a great fit for the neighborhood and the borough as a whole, and I thank Mayor de Blasio, HPD Commissioner Been and HDC President Rodney for their efforts on this development. I look forward to working with both agencies on the continued redevelopment of this location,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“I’m pleased to see this project take shape as one that will provide new, quality affordable housing for this part of our community,” said Councilmember Rafael Salamanca. Jr. “The Borough President and I are working with Parks to revamp the nearby Garrison Playground as well as with Hostos College on their priorities to ensure that we keep moving this neighborhood forward for Bronx families.”

The nearly 30,000 square-foot development site, in Bronx Community Board 1, is bordered by the Grand Concourse, East 144th Street, Walton Avenue, and Garrison Playground. To allow for greater density, the plan includes the rezoning of the block. The zoning changes will trigger the city’s new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program, which require at least 25% of the units be permanently affordable.

“This is really exciting news. We and our development partner, MBD Community Housing Corporation, worked very hard to put together a program worthy of this important location. The creative weaving of housing, education, and social services is what a modern urban neighborhood should be all about. We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity,” said Kenan Bigby, managing director of Trinity Financial, Inc.

“MBD Community Housing Corp. is extremely honored to be given this opportunity, along with its partner, Trinity Financial, Inc., to develop a new and amazing affordable housing project at this historic site.  This development will include much needed commercial and social services.  We all look forward to providing a spectacular building that will truly serve its community,” said Derrick A. Lovett, president/CEO of MBD Community Housing Corp.

As part of the wider development of the lower Grand Concourse section of the South Bronx, Garrison Playground, adjacent to the development site, will be rehabilitated and re-opened to the public.  The playground is currently closed and requires a full rehabilitation.  HPD is working with the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation, Bronx Borough President Diaz, and Councilmember Salamanca to rebuild and reopen Garrison Playground.  Between Garrison Playground and the new building will be Garrison Walkway, a wide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible pathway, which will connect the playground with the Grand Concourse and Walton Avenue.

The development design balances the critical need for affordable homes and the desire for a high-quality and attractive design that fosters street activity.  It both looks to the future in efficient building practices and celebrates the site’s history. The tower’s curved profile creates a signature design with bronze accents breaking the tower’s vertical rise. Architectural features of the school – carvings including terra cotta gargoyles and the engraved P.S. 31 sign – are incorporated into the design of the new residential building.

In addition to Passive House qualifications, the building will meet and surpass Enterprise Green Communities Guidelines. Building-wide sustainable measures include energy-recovery systems, solar-shading devices, and water saving features. Building amenities will include a laundry room on each floor and a community room with direct access to the 23rd floor landscaped roof terrace and a green roof.  Apartment features include individual energy controls and energy efficient appliances.

The development includes significant commercial and community facilities on the first three floors; an 11,000 square-foot supermarket on Grand Concourse will offer much-needed health food options. There are community spaces, including a 44,480 square-foot charter school on the second floor; a 1,500 square-foot cultural space; and a social services facility that is 1,350 square feet on the ground floor next to the supermarket. These uses will activate the street and the neighborhood and complement Hostos Community College.

The development of 425 Grand Concourse complements the goals of Housing New York by providing this growing and thriving Community District with much needed affordable housing that is transit-oriented and that furthers economic and neighborhood development through the creation of new commercial and community space.