Ground was broken at 2865 Creston Avenue yesterday to mark the beginning of construction on Bedford Green House, a 13-story supportive and affordable housing project in The Bronx’s Bedford Park neighborhood. The development is expected to cost $58.8 million, with almost half financed by the New York City Housing Development Corporation, HDC, under their Extremely Low- and Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) program.
The site is three blocks away from two Bedford Park Boulevard Stations, one serviced by the B and D trains, the other by the 4 train. The New York Botanical Garden and Bronx Zoo are also nearby. Mitchell Netburn and Sam Wells, at the non-profit organization, Project Renewal, are responsible for development. Creston Avenue is the first phase of Project Renewal’s grand plan to build 90 additional affordable homes at neighboring sites.
The 124-foot tall structure will yield 76,500 square feet, split between 118 living spaces and an expected occupancy of 160 residents. The average apartment will be 648 square feet, making for reasonably sized rentals.
Tenants will have access to a laundry room and community space on the third floor, a rooftop terrace, a demonstration kitchen with available classes, and a greenhouse with vertical farming in the form of aquaponics, with Tilapia fish providing nutrients for vegetables.
The active design of the project was inspired by the theory of biophilia, which posits that humans have an innate emotional connection with living organisms and that exposure to such will reduce stresses in life. They plan to decorate the façade with living vines, have a green wall in the lobby, and include an outdoor community playground with exposed bedrock. The site is expected to meet or exceed LEED-Gold Standards for energy efficiency.
Andrew B. Knox, Partner of Edelman Sultan Knox Wood / Architects LLP, responsible for the design, said the following:
Bedford Green House is a statement that we take care of the people of our community who are disadvantaged. These individuals are deserving of an exceptional building that has the capacity to make their lives better, through the choice of layout, materials, amenities, and greenhouse for teaching healthy living… The building contributes to the neighborhood, making it greener, healthier, and more connected.
This project comes as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan, Housing New York 2.0. The plan has more ambitious goals than before, aspiring to bring 200,000 affordable homes two years ahead of the original schedule, by 2022, and reach a new goal of 300,000 homes by 2026.
YIMBY reported on the permits filed for this project in August of 2016.