The project will bring 175 affordable/supportive housing units to the Bronx’s Morris Heights neighborhood.
On the brisk morning of October 25th, state and local elected officials, funding partners, and community members joined Services for the UnderServed (S:US) and Bronx Pro Group to herald construction for Jerome Ave. Apartments. It is the first housing groundbreaking within the Jerome Avenue Neighborhood Plan, an initiative to revitalize the Jerome Avenue corridor. Out of a total 175 affordable units, 105 will also be supportive units for formerly homeless individuals and families.
The project will be a “radical transformation and improvement of this site,” according to Arlo Chase, Senior Vice President of Real Estate & Property Development at S:US, who kicked off the event’s program. He explained the site’s history: S:US took over a neighborhood eyesore – colorfully referred to as a “hot sheets motel” – and turned it into Jerome Court, housing for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, at a time when such support was still uncommon. He said Jerome Ave. Apartments would expand on that honorable legacy.
Donna Colonna, CEO of S:US, said, “The Jerome Ave. Apartments will be more than just a building. This development will bring hope, possibility, and opportunity to New Yorkers who have experienced homelessness, addiction, poverty, and mental health challenges.” And, she added, “It takes a community.”
Samantha Magistro, Managing Director of New Business at Bronx Pro Group, described the project as “structurally the most complicated project we’ve ever done” and “another big milestone in the Bronx Pro – S:US partnership.”
Read more about why S:US and Bronx Pro Group were awarded the Network’s inaugural Partnership of the Year Award at the 2019 Awards Gala.
Rich Froehlich, First Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC), echoed Samantha, saying, “The intricacy of this project is fascinating, and the partnership of S:US with Bronx Pro Group is what allowed it to happen.”
Council Member Fernando Cabrera, who represents NYC’s 14th District, said, “Today and the many days to come are proof that we needed to have supportive housing.” He called Jerome Ave. Apartments the “catalyst of something new in this community.”
Other speakers at the event included Dr. Bola Omotosho, Chair of Bronx Community Board 5; Patricia Dawson, Assistant Deputy Commissioner at the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA); Brendan McBride, Associate Commissioner for New Construction at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD); and Judi Kende, Vice President and New York market leader at Enterprise.
The mixed-use building will be 16 stories and create retail opportunities at the ground level. It is being built to meet Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, a comprehensive framework for building coest-effective and energy-efficient homes, and will include a laundry room, fitness room, and 24-hour security.
Supportive services for residents will be funded by a subsidy from the NYC HRA.
Capital funding came from HDC and HPD with Enterprise Community Partners syndicating the tax credits and contributing $3 million in Settlement Funds to support project costs. TD Bank provided construction financing. HPD’s NYC 15/15 rental assistance program will cover operating expenses.
The building was designed and built by Marvel Architects, with general contracting services provided by LendLease.