Developers, New York City officials, and community leaders recently joined to celebrate the grand opening of 425 Grand Concourse, a 26-story affordable housing property in Mott Haven, The Bronx. Designed by Dattner Architects and developed by Trinity Financial and local non-profit group MBD Community Housing Corporation, the 300,000-square-foot structure will yield 277 affordable apartments, an educational facility, a health clinic, a supermarket, and a community cultural space.
The project ranks among the largest Passive House buildings in New York City. Energy-efficient components include above-code insulation to improve temperature control throughout the year and high-efficiency ventilation, heating, and cooling systems. The ventilation systems help minimize airborne pollutants and circulate fresh air. The Passive House design also minimizes noise transmission outside the building, reduces utility costs, and helps enhance the daily life and health of occupants.
“425 Grand Concourse offers a roadmap for how developers can use Passive House design strategies and other energy efficiency tools to make affordable housing sustainable, more resilient, and to the greatest benefit of residents and the local community,” said Christoph Stump, vice president of design and construction at Trinity Financial. “Carbon neutrality and the long-term health of our cities depends on making our housing infrastructure as energy efficient as possible and eliminating on-site fossil fuel use, and we are hopeful that more and more developers will create such well-designed and highly efficient projects like 425 Grand Concourse.”
Available units range from studios up to three-bedroom floor plans and are designated for households earning between 30 and 130 percent area median income (AMI). A small portion of units are also reserved for formerly homeless individuals.
Tenant amenities include a third-floor gym and resident terrace with light landscaping and recycled plastic seating, a package room on the ground floor, shared laundry facilities on every level, multiple lounge and event spaces, and a 25th-floor terrace offering views of Manhattan and the surrounding neighborhood.
“Our administration is focused on creating affordable housing for New Yorkers that doesn’t just help those who move in but enhances the entire community, and 425 Grand Concourse does exactly that,” said New York City mayor Eric Adams. “Not only will this project create nearly 300 new affordable homes for Bronxites but it will also improve the environment locally as New York City’s largest Passive House-certified building, create economic opportunity for CUNY students through Hostos Community College, and ensure fresh food is accessible to members of the community with a supermarket.”
Hostos Community College, a branch of the nationally recognized CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Programs program, will occupy 29,000 square feet. Known as CUNY ASAP, the program helps low-income students earn an associate degree and supplements the cost of tuition, textbooks, and lab materials.
In an effort to reduce hospitalizations among low-income community residents, Damian Family Care Centers, a federally qualified health center (FQHC), will open a Mott Haven Family Health Center on the building’s ground floor. Services will include long-term primary and dental care with no insurance requirement.
“This building has given me and my daughter Isabella a chance to have a fresh start,” said Chastity, a resident of 425 Grand Concourse. “When I first arrived here, I was stunned. I couldn’t even speak. 425 Grand Concourse is a big step in revitalizing our Bronx community, and it’s helping many other families who have come from extreme adversities like me.”
Total construction costs hovered around $178 million. TD Bank is both the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and conventional equity investor. Redstone Equity Partners syndicated the tax credits, which were allocated by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). JP Morgan Chase is the participating construction lender. New York City’s Housing Development Corporation (HDC) issued the tax-exempt bonds. HPD and HDC both provided subsidies.
The Bronx borough president’s office and the New York City Council supported the project with RESO A funds. In addition to $750,000 awarded through the Buildings of Excellence Competition, NYSERDA supported the project through its Multifamily New Construction Program with nearly $214,000 in funding.
“425 Grand Concourse is a prime example of the revitalization we are seeing in our borough,” said Bronx borough president Vanessa L. Gibson. “Not only will this building provide 277 units of affordable housing, but tenants will also get to enjoy a fitness room, community space, and other amenities in the largest passive house building in the nation. More energy-efficient buildings will help to achieve our energy goals while also ensuring residents living there will spend less of their income on energy costs. This level of quality affordable housing should be a standard.”