Green Low Income Housing Opens in the Bronx

On September 29, 2009, Bronx Pro Real Estate Management celebrated the opening of 1085 Washington Avenue Apartments, a 90-unit, green affordable housing complex.

The building features an 1,850-square-foot green roof that’s  certified as a natural habitat in the Bronx. It includes a native organic garden, birdhouses and solar powered birdbaths which  provide a safe haven for migrating birds, butterflies and bees.

Green building features include: high efficiency boilers for heat and domestic hot water; bi-level public hall lighting with energy efficient light fixtures; occupancy sensors; Energy Star  appliances; solar thermal panels that pre-heat the building’s domestic hot water supply before it enters the boiler; PV panels that provide electricity to public areas; low-e wood framed windows; an additional layer of rigid insulation; and low-flow showerheads, faucets and dual flush toilets.

DreamYard – the largest arts education provider in the Bronx – is the anchor tenant. DreamYard reaches 8,500 K-12 grade students annually. 

The building is located in Morrisania, a neighborhood targeted by Mayor Bloomberg’s plan for New York City’s 21st Century Neighborhoods for residential and economic development. 

In 2003, the NYC Council approved a re-zoning plan to change this predominantly manufacturing neighborhood into a special, mixed-use district permitting moderate-density housing as well as neighborhood retail and community facility uses.  1085 Washington Avenue brings more than 200 new residents to the area, along with 9,513-square-feet of new commercial space contributing to the strategic revitalization of the Washington Avenue Corridor.

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the City’s leading nonprofit provider of development capital and expertise for affordable housing, provided Bronx Pro with an Acquisition Loan of $3.4 million, $9.5 million in tax credit equity and a $40,000 Green Communities Grant to help the building implement its green features. 

Through the Green Communities Program, Enterprise has created 4,000 green affordable homes in New York since 2004 and is working to green all affordable housing across the state.

To date, under Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace plan to provide affordable housing for 500,000 New Yorkers by 2014, HPD and HDC have financed the development or preservation of 94,113 units of affordable housing in the five boroughs. Morrisania bridges Community Boards 2 and 3, where 8,618 homes have been built or preserved under the plan.

Non-green features of 1085 Washington also include a two-story, light-drenched granite lobby featuring art created specifically for the project by the co-founder of Survivors Art Foundation, Candyce Brokaw.  Survivors Art Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping trauma victims and victims of domestic abuse heal through the expression of art.

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