Google Earth view of the current Lambert Houses
When it comes to the Mayor’s affordable housing push, the Bronx is a force to be reckoned with. Not only were more than 43 percent of these units constructed in the first half of the year in the borough, but the City Council recently approved the La Central development, which will bring nearly 1,000 affordable units to Melrose under de Blasio’s mandatory inclusionary housing legislation. Though not part of MIH, another new project may one-up this, ushering in a whopping 1,665 affordable apartments on the site of the Bronx Zoo-bordering Lambert Houses. As CityRealty.com explains, “If proposals are approved, the new mega-development will feature more than double the affordable housing units and triple the existing retail space, create a new public school, and better integrate the community into the surrounding neighborhood.”
The Section 8-funded Lambert Houses, built in 1973, are overseen by nonprofit developer Phipps Houses, the largest affordable housing operator in the city. They purchased the 300,000-square-foot Bronx site in 2015, but since then the city’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development has found many problems with the existing six structures. Inside are long, narrow hallways that are not conducive to fire safety, and outside the monotonous, uniform buildings make for difficult navigation. Moreover, buildings systems and security are outdated, and a dark courtyard in the center of the development is both unappealing and unsafe.
Existing and proposed residential units, retail space, school, and parking spaces
Therefore, Phipps plans to enlist the go-to affordable housing architects at Dattner to replace the current super-block scheme with new buildings that will more than double the existing 731 units of affordable housing. They’ll create a street wall with 61,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and maisonette apartments to help integrate the complex into its surrounding neighborhood. The proposal also calls for a 500-seat elementary school and a reduction in the number of parking spaces to 110.
Proposed building massing of the new development
HPD was sure to note that no current Lambert tenants will be displaced: “Once relocated, unoccupied buildings would be demolished and construction of new buildings would proceed. Tenants of the next buildings to be demolished would be relocated within the Lambert Houses Development Site to the newly constructed buildings, and the demolition and new construction process would begin again.”
The proposal is currently making its way through the city’s approval process.
- City Council approves La Central development, bringing nearly 1,000 affordable units to the Bronx
- Bronx building boom leads to a population comeback not seen in over 40 years
- The Bronx Dethrones Brooklyn for Most Residential Permits Issued
Neighborhoods : Bronx