The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), join Rockower Corp., M. Melnick & Co., Inc. and partners to celebrate the ribbon cutting for 810 River Avenue, the first project to benefit from the 161st Street / River Avenue Rezoning. A green, mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development, 810 River Avenue includes 134 units of affordable housing for very low- , low- , moderate- and middle-income households. The project also includes approximately 26,000 square-feet of commercial and community facility space and a 61-space garage. The 20,000-square-foot development site is located at 810 River Avenue between 157th & 158th Street in the Bronx and will help spur residential and commercial development in the area.
“This brand new, sustainably designed development incorporates 134-units of mixed-income affordable housing, in addition to community and commercial space, demonstrating the effectiveness of the Housing New York plan in fostering greater diversity and economic stability in our communities,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to all our partners and elected officials for their many valuable contributions to this project, as well as to the ongoing revitalization of the Bronx.”
HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “With 134 apartments and ground floor commercial space, 810 River Avenue Apartments builds on Governor Cuomo’s efforts to increase access to affordable housing and further economic development in Bronx. We are proud to be a partner on this transformative new development.”
“We are very glad to collaborate with the Office of the Bronx Borough President, Council Member Diana Ayala, the City, New York State, our previous representatives on the City Council, and the NYC Housing Partnership, in creating a vibrant, green, mixed-use, mixed-income transit-oriented development on the doorstep of the Civic Center and the 161st Street transit,” said Aaron Segal, Secretary-Treasurer of Rockower Corp. “This neighborhood offers a lot to our tenants: shopping, trains, buses, subways, a playground, a skate park, Heritage Field, and a green market.”
“We thank the City for the opportunity to build a quality project,” said Adam Melnick, Vice-President of M. Melnick & Co., Inc. “This project will serve the neighborhood, Community Board 4, the Bronx and the City on the whole.”
“Creating affordable housing with commercial and community space is very important to me, and it is a part of the transformative vision I have for the Bronx. This project will offer energy efficient amenities that will help tenants save money while also building a greener borough. Projects like 810 River Avenue are steps in the right direction towards greener and better life style for all Bronxites, and that’s why I was proud to provide $1 million in my own capital funding to this effort,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
The project site was formerly occupied by a bowling alley that operated for roughly 50 years. It was rezoned as part of the 161st Street/River Avenue rezoning proposed by the New York Department of City Planning (DCP) and adopted in September 2009. River Avenue was identified as a major transit corridor and rezoned from a manufacturing zone to a mixed-use zone in order to encourage high density commercial and residential growth in this underdeveloped, prime, transit-oriented location. 810 River Avenue is the first new development financed under this rezoning.
The site was designated as a brownfield location due to lead soil contaminants. The site was remediated entirely in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through its New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program.
The 17-story steel and plank tower designed by SLCE Architects has extensive insulation, high performance windows, Energy Star dishwashers, multiple laundry rooms, and high speed elevators. It includes a gym, a media lounge, two planted terraces, windowed stairwells to encourage physical activity, and 67 bicycle spaces. Additional green features include a hybrid heat pump system, integrated motion sensor lighting, and roof plantings. Reclaimed wood from the former bowling alley on site was donated to a non-profit for reuse.
A mixed-income rental building, 810 River Avenue offers 134 apartments, including thirty-one generously sized three-bedrooms that are affordable to New Yorkers at a range of incomes, from very low-income households to middle-income households, with units affordable to households earning an annual income as low as $20,675 for an individual or $30,560 for a household of three or as high as $86,840 for an individual or $111,670 for a household of three. In addition, there is a two-bedroom unit for a superintendent who will live on-site.
Approximately 26,000 square feet of commercial and community facility space, on the first and second floors, will help shape a retail corridor extending south from 161st Street and Yankee Stadium toward the Terminal Market Mall. The project includes 61 parking spaces in an attended parking garage.
“As a pioneering mixed-income project targeting tenants earning between 40% and 130% of the area median income, this project was a little ahead of its time when it was conceived. Working in partnership with Capital One Bank, we are happy to see this project come to fruition,” said Sam Ganeshan, Managing Director, Hudson Housing Capital.
“Capital One Bank is proud to be involved with the great partners developing 810 River. This is a tremendous opportunity to invest in the Bronx by providing high quality affordable living, commercial and community spaces, and creating additional jobs here,” said Fabian Ramirez, Senior Director, Community Finance, Capital One Bank. “We believe investing in affordable housing is about more than financing renovation or new construction. It’s about investing in economic opportunities for individuals, families and communities.”
The project has been financed with tax-exempt bonds from HDC and a stand-by letter of credit from Capital One. HDC also provided a permanent loan and a REMIC permanent credit enhancement as well as a subordinate loan. HPD contributed City Capital and 421a-Funds. The project also received Reso A funds from the Bronx Borough President’s Office and the New York City Council. New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided State Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Hudson Housing acted as the tax credit syndicator. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided a grant for participation in NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation funded the site cleanup under the Brownfield Cleanup Program.