Building in the Bronx

CCNY is excited to partner with TCB, The Community Builders, on another affordable housing project- West Tremont Senior. The project, with Project Manager Bennett Baumer, “proposes 97 units of affordable housing for senior citizens located in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx”. 93 of the units are to be studios, with 3 one-bedroom units and 1 two-bed room unit for an on-site superintendent. Additionally, 30 of the units are to be set aside for formerly homeless. The project site used to contain three family sized homes, which were demolished in 2021. CCNY will provide a $750,000 pre development loan to be used for early architectural, environmental, and engineering expenses for West Tremont Senior.

West Tremont Senior will be constructed in a very senior-friendly way with its adherence to HPD BLDS standards, which support aging-in-place. According to the project description, these senior-friendly designs will appear in elevator seating, hallways railings, high visibility lighting, and more. For constant support, West Tremont Senior will also have a front desk concierge service which is available at all times. Additionally, the site of West Tremont Senior is an ideal location for senior housing, as the affordable housing complex is only a several-minute long distance from health centers and various train concourses, which provides convenience for those with limited mobility.

Baumer and TCB strive to develop West Tremont Senior as not only convenient and senior-friendly, but also sustainable. According to Baumer, the project seeks to apply for and obtain a highly competitive grant- the NYSERDA’s Buildings of Excellence award. “To increase West Tremont Senior’s competitiveness, we commit to Passive House certification if awarded a $1M prize” said Baumer. To qualify for this grant, Baumer stresses the need to not only adhere to, but to also go beyond, the passive house standards, which consist of no on-site fossil fuel usage within housing projects. West Tremont Senior also plans to optimize energy efficiency and pursue electrification. According to West Tremont Senior’s project description, “the design team is proposing installation of high-efficiency package terminal heat pumps in each unit, providing electric heat and cooling.” Additionally, the building will utilize solar panels, and will have electric tanks rather than boilers for hot water.

Promoting inclusivity is a large component of TCB’s goal of sustainable architecture. TCB will partner with the architectural firm Crown Architecture, which is a certified minority owned business with experience all across NYC, especially regarding the obtaining of permits, understanding complex land use changes, and constructing despite these changes. Additionally, West Tremont Senior, according to its project description, “will create approximately 200 construction jobs over a 30-month construction period”. This project will therefore employ not only those working on the physical construction site, but engineers, consultants, lawyers, and others who are all involved within development and finance industries. Construction of West Tremont Senior is set to begin in June 2023 and the site is expected to be ready in December 2025.