On Wednesday the New York City Council voted to approve the La Central development project in the Melrose section of the Bronx, the Daily News reports. The project, which will be designed by FXFOWLE architects, is slated to bring 992 apartments to the borough, all of them designated as affordable housing under Mayor de Blasio’s mandatory inclusionary housing (MIH) legislation. It is the biggest project to be approved to date under the MIH rules, which require some income restricted apartments in projects that need the city’s approval.
As 6sqft previously reported, the New York City Planning Commission recently voted unanimously to include the Bronx complex, a 1.1-million-square-foot, five-building development at Westchester and Bergen Avenues, in the new affordable housing program. All apartments in the residential complex, which will also include a new 50,000 square foot Y.M.C.A. on-site, rooftop gardens, a skate park and a rooftop telescope operated by the Bronx High School of Science, are currently intended for low- and middle-income families in order to remain affordable for area residents.
The multi-phase, mixed-use affordable development will also offer 30,000 square feet of community space and over 45,000 square feet of new retail space. The project marks a major overhaul for the largest tract of city-owned vacant land in the southern part of the borough.
Developers will designate apartments in each building for families earning around $23,310, which will be priced at about $640 a month. The change from the original plan, which would have had the lowest-priced units renting for around $1,070, brought some council members, like Councilman Rafael Salamanca (D-Bronx), on board: “This project has the ability to be transformative to an area that has for decades faced a lack of real investment, including quality affordable housing.”
There will also be apartments designated for families making as much as $101,010, renting for $2,780. Mayor de Blasio said after Wednesday’s vote that, “With the backing of the City Council, we are making sure that a thousand more Bronx families will be safe in new affordable homes.”
The La Central development follows in the footsteps of the Via Verde which opened in 2012 and set the tone for innovative affordable design in the neighborhood. That mixed-use project, a LEED Gold building, contains both affordable rentals and co-ops and promotes healthy, green living with a community garden and green rooftops for residents to harvest rainwater and grow fruits and vegetables, a health education and wellness center operated by Montefiore Medical Center, health-oriented retail space and a fitness center.
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Neighborhoods : Bronx