All-electric affordable housing project planned for Mott Haven parking lot

February 20, 2024

Renderings courtesy of STAT Architecture PC

A project that will bring an all-electric affordable housing development and a new community theater to Mott Haven is moving forward. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) last week selected the team that will convert a city-owned parking lot at 351 Powers Avenue into a 90-unit, fully-electric affordable housing development dubbed the Powerhouse Apartments. The South Bronx development is part of Mayor Eric Adams’ “24 in 24” plan, which calls for two dozen affordable housing developments on public land to advance this year.

HPD selected Lemle & Wolff Development Co., HELP Development Corp., and True Development New York, LLC to develop Powerhouse Apartments.

Designed by STAT Architecture, Powerhouse Apartments will feature sustainable features like high-efficiency heat pumps, light-colored materials, an “airtight building envelope,” solar panels, green roofs, plantings, and its key design element; recessed windows. The angled windows will orient away from the sun to “mitigate heat gain” and maximize views of adjacent Saint Mary’s Park.

The project falls under a five-year pilot program aimed at designing and constructing developments and infrastructure using new resiliency design standards.

“Today marks an electrifying start to transforming this parking lot into high-quality, sustainable, affordable housing here in the heart of the South Bronx,” Adolfo Carrión Jr., HPD Commissioner, said.

“The driving forces behind this announcement are a testament to the future of housing in New York City – sustainable, affordable housing will not only benefit the residents of Powerhouse Apartments but helps reverse environmental injustices and moves the city closer to carbon neutrality and healthier neighborhoods for generations to come.”

The development includes roughly 90 apartments across various affordability levels, spanning from extremely low-income households to households earning up to 80 percent of the area median income.

In addition to providing affordable housing, the development will serve as a hub for community arts, cultural experiences, and workforce development. Plans for the ground floor include a 4,000-square-foot theater with seating for up to 150 guests. A non-profit will operate the theater’s box office and lobby and host workshops in theater, music, dance, and film, according to the project plan.

A 3,000-square-foot workforce development space will provide economic mobility programs and programming for young adults to learn construction and landscaping skills, as well as skills for other professions. Additionally, new storefront lighting and street lighting will better illuminate Powers Avenue at night, improving the safety and security of the neighborhood.

351 Powers Avenue as it appears in the present day. Image courtesy of HPD

HPD conducted community outreach for the project from fall 2021 through spring 2022 to gain valuable insight into the neighborhood’s conditions and needs based on input from residents. In August 2022, HPD released the RFP for the project.

Powerhouse Apartments falls under Mayor Eric Adams’ “24 in 24” plan, which aims to move forward with two dozen affordable housing projects on public land this year, ultimately building or preserving over 12,000 affordable apartments.

Other projects under the 24 in 24 plan include two developments bringing roughly 270 affordable homes to Prospect Heights and converting a parking lot in Inwood into 570 affordable homes, public green space, and a STEM facility.

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  1. G

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