Categories: Member News, Openings
More than 100 partners, electeds, staff and tenants gathered to celebrate the ribbon-cutting of Unique People Services’ (UPS) 2050 Grand Concourse November 3rd. The glorious 96 apartment building will provide homes to 58 supportive individuals as well as low income families and singles. Service funding is provided by both OMH under NY/NY III and HASA through NYC 15/15.
UPS Executive Director and CEO Yvette Brissett-Andre welcomed the crowd and told of the evolution of the project which involved the deep partnership with the Community Board 5 (CB5) and the Bronx Borough President. The result being a building that reflected the integrity of the areas’ historic art deco design and included tiered mixed income units. She congratulated all the people who made 2050 Grand Concourse a reality despite the myriad of challenges faced as construction began weeks before the pandemic and continued as essential construction.
Next, 2050 Grand Concourse tenant Andrea whose bio was summarized by UPS Board Chair Nathaniel Montgomery: she had moved from Venezuela seven years ago and spent many of those living in fear due to discrimination while living in all-male shelters; her dream is to perform on Broadway and currently she volunteers with the elderly. “This is my new country,” said Andrea. Visibly moved, she added, “Thank you for everything.”
Governor Hochul sent her regards and Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado helped to mark the celebratory occasion. Lt. Governor Delgado responded to Andrea’s history by saying “When you hear these stories you realize that buildings like this are the beacon of hope.” He added, looking around the all-female leadership, “if we have more women at the table, things will happen.”
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson spoke next thanking CB 5 for all their advocacy for affordable housing noting “we can’t just talk the talk, we have to walk the walk and THIS is what we do here.”
HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas congratulated the team and cited the statistic that 60% of Bronx households are rent-burdened: “We’ve created 14,000 affordable units in the Bronx, but we have to do more.”
Also speaking were HRA’s Pam Farquar, OMH’s Nashma Ashwad, Development consultant Robert Sanborn, MAP Principal Architect Fernando Villa, Bruno Frustaci of Frustraci Contracting, Assembly member Yudelka Tapia and CSH’s Karuna Mehta.
Network Executive Director Pascale Leone complimented the myriad team members whose “high-level and visionary collaboration and integrated design approach has ensured that 2050 Grand Concourse sets new standards for high-performance, health, and sustainability in affordable and supportive housing.” And added: “to all the residents: welcome home.”
In addition to the all-electric building and sustainable features, the residential amenities included a large community room with kitchen, a laundry facility, storage rooms, and two landscaped rooftop terraces.
Capital funding for 2050 Grand Concourse came from NYS Homes and Community Renewal’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program, federal Housing Trust Fund, HFA’s 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program and NYSERDA. As mentioned, the architect was MAP and the contractor Frustaci Contracting.
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