Today the Bronx Council on the Arts was joined by NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, NYC Councilman James Vacca, Congressman Joseph Crowley, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and other local officials to celebrate the start of construction on BCA@2700.
BCA@2700 will serve as BCA’s new headquarters building, transforming a former JP Morgan Chase bank branch into a new cultural hub in the Westchester Square district of Bronx. The gut renovation will update all infrastructure and services and convert the basement, 1st floor, and mezzanine into programmable spaces, including a multi-purpose room, classrooms, meeting rooms, and administrative offices. The project is expected to be completed in late 2017.
“BCA is working to build a new, dynamic HQ that will serve our growing borough and beyond,” said Charles Rice-Gonzalez, BCA’s board chairman.
Former BCA executive director, now the HQ Construction Project Manager, Deirdre Scott added that, “the new BCA@2700 headquarters will house all of BCA’s staff and operations including, Cultural Grant-making, the Bronx Writers Center, multidisciplinary arts, exhibits, community programs, and advocacy activities. BCA loves Westchester Square and cannot wait to welcome the community, and offer enhanced services to Bronx while growing the cultural economy.”
The construction project is being fully funded by $5.6 million in City support administered by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and the construction is being managed by NYC Department of Design Construction (DDC). The project partners are pursing LEED Silver energy efficiency certification.
“The artists and arts groups that call this borough home have an extraordinary supporter and advocate in the Bronx Council on the Arts,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “We are proud to support this renovation project, helping to establish a new cultural hub and provide BCA the space it needs to serve the borough’s vibrant cultural community.”
NY City Councilman James Vacca states, “Westchester Square is on its way to becoming the cultural center of the New Bronx. The groundbreaking of the new ‘Bronx Council on the Arts’ building signifies a watershed moment for the redevelopment and revitalization of the East Bronx,” said Council Member James Vacca. “Westchester Square has been a top priority throughout my tenure representing the area. Between the complete renovation of Owen Dolan Park & the creation of a top-notch Business Improvement District, the area is primed for success. BCA moving to the Square is the next step in realizing the expansive vision for the future of the area.”
Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr. adds, “Bronx has been reinvigorated with multiple new businesses and housing developments of all types, and now is the time to show the world that Bronx is also the home to some of our city’s most vibrant artists. It is with great pleasure that I support the development and construction of the new headquarters for The Bronx Council on The Arts. I am proud to have provided $475,000 in my capital funding for this worthy project that will serve the Bronx art community, nurturing their talents while also increasing awareness of our local arts scene to the general public through cultural programs and events.”
Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora says, “The new Bronx Council on the Arts building has been designed to serve multiple purposes, as offices for BCA but also a flexible performance and event space that can be adapted to the needs of the community. An inviting façade with views of the building interior will entice local residents to come in and be involved with BCA activities. And the building will meet LEED Silver standards for environmental responsibility. We thank BCA for the opportunity to build a beautiful new home for them.”
BCA@2700 HQ Construction Funders include: NYC Councilman James Vacca, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Office of the Mayor through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York City Council, Congressman Joseph Crowley, NY Community Trust, and Westchester Square Business Improvement District. The building was donated to BCA by JP Morgan Chase.
BCA will remain in operation at its current Hone Avenue office during construction. Please visit their website here for programs, exhibitions, and grants information.