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Construction & DesignGreen Building

Cityʼs newest community puts focus on affordable green living

More than 250,000 watts of power will be generated from rooftop solar panels.

One of the largest mixed-use, mixed-income projects underway in New York City has topped out two more buildings.

Located at 556 and 600 Bergen Avenue in the Melrose neighborhood, the two buildings will contain 496 affordable residential units, a new 50,000 s/f YMCA, a television studio for BronxNet, a GrowNYC operated rooftop garden, and ground floor retail along Westchester Avenue.

Buildings A and B of La Central are scheduled to be completed by July 2020.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the hardworking women and men who have brought these buildings to life, and are proud to have more than 450 people working on site right now – especially when more than 30 percent of them are from the Bronx,” said Aaron Koffman, principal at The Hudson Companies, which is developing the site with BRP Companies, ELH-TKC, Breaking Ground and Comunilife.

“La Central is a transformative project, developed to serve as a resource and destination for the community, in addition to providing hundreds of quality, affordable homes,” said Meredith Marshall, co-founder and managing partner of BRP Companies.

The two buildings that topped out represent phase two of the three-phase, five-building La Central project.

The first phase, a supportive housing facility developed by Breaking Ground with 161 units for formerly homeless veterans and New Yorkers with special needs, is scheduled to open next month, and the final phase is expected to be completed in 2023, with a total development cost of close to $600 million.

The full 1.1 million square foot, 100 percent affordable development will include 992 units of affordable housing, 80,000 s/f of community facility space, a public skate park and 25,000 s/f of retail space.

Additionally, more than 250,000 watts of power will be generated from rooftop solar panels. Financing for construction of these buildings came from a combination of City and State loan programs, more than $100 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from Wells Fargo and more than $15 million in New Market Tax Cedits from Citibank and Dudley Ventures.

La Central was designed by MHG Architects, FXCollaborative and Future Green Studio.

Sustainable and resilient construction is another highlight of La Central. The project will include over 600,000 watts of solar panels to power co-generation, providing up to a 50 percent savings on energy and reducing reliance on the area’s electric grid.

Green roofs will consume a portion of the rooftops, including a 9,000 square foot urban farm operated by GrowNYC.

Additionally, low-flow fixtures and water-efficient appliances will outfit every apartment, cutting water consumption by as much as 45 percent. Finally, landscaped common areas will provide tenants access to quality outdoor space, and the new YMCA will provide tenants with easy access to health and wellness.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development selected the development partnership through a competitive request for proposals process in 2013 and the New York City Council approved the project through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in 2016.

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