On January 16th, elected officials, funding partners, and community members joined Unique People Services (UPS) for the groundbreaking of 2050 Grand Concourse. The development will have 96 affordable and supportive units for formerly homeless individuals with special needs as well as low-income individuals.
Located in Fordham Heights in the Bronx, this building will feature a 10,600 square foot community facility space, which will be home to Unique People Services’ new headquarters as well as the building’s programming.
UPS Executive Director Yvette B. Andre, launched the program, “Standing here on this dirt today would be no different than any other dirt, except here, to UPS and to our residents, this is very special, because this will be their home.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul then spoke to the importance of quality housing and the impact of the project, “Today is a good day for us here in the state of New York, but also for the lives that will be transformed. This is a place that will be their home, but also a place of security, to lift them up out of poverty, to give them a sense of community, and that is what UPS does every single day.”
Assemblymember Victor M. Pichardo, District 86, spoke to the history of disinvestment in the Bronx community and the importance of new projects. “We’ve been able to turn years of blight and abandonment into renewal, development, but more importantly services for those who need it the most. I’m proud today, more than ever, to make sure that we have resources and people who genuinely care, and organizations who will do right by my neighbors and build wonderful residences and help many, many people out for many, many generations.”
Remarks were also given by Brett Hebner, Director, Housing and Development Support, NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), Dana Greenberg, Assistant. Director. Housing & Support Services, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), Jacqueline Dudley, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA), Marricka Scott-McFadden Deputy Borough President, Bronx and Dr. Bola Omotosho, Community Board 5, Board Chair. In addition, the program included Maurice Coleman, Bank of America; Robert Sanborn of Robert Sanborn Development; Kamila Altman, MAP; Kevin Hoffman, Richman Housing Resources, LLC; Maygen Moore, Corporation for Supportive Housing; and Antonio Frustaci CEO of Bruno Brustaci Constracting.
UPS will provide on-site services funded by the state’s Office of Mental Health under the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative as well as the city’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration. 2050 Grand Concourse will also feature a large community room with kitchen, a laundry facility, storage rooms, and two landscaped rooftop terraces.
Matt Brown, Program Manager at NYSDERDA, congratulated UPS on its New York State’s Building of Excellence award, in recognition of the proposed building’s plan to build to emit low to zero carbon, one of 28 such awards.
The project was financed by permanent tax-exempt bonds, federal low-income housing tax credits, HFA’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program (SHOP) and the federal Housing Trust Fund (HTF). It also received funding from the OTDA’s State’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP).
The architect on the project is Magnusson Architecture & Planning (MAP) and the contractor is Bruno Frustaci Contracting.