The Louella

CCNY is excited to announce our partnership on another affordable housing project being developed by The Community Builders (TCB) in the Bronx. “The Louella” will be an affordable senior housing development in the Mt. Hope neighborhood. The development is named Louella Hatch, a Bronx resident who dedicated her life to serving her community. Hatch, who passed away in 2017, fought against landlords to protect senior citizens from losing their homes. CCNY will provide $600,000 as a pre-development loan for the project.

The Louella will contain 75 studios, 15 one-bedroom units, and a two-bedroom unit for an onsite superintendent. All residents will be 55 or older, 5% of the units will be accessible for those with impaired mobility, and 35% of the units will be reserved for seniors who currently reside in homeless shelters. According to The Louella project description, “All units will be reserved for residents earning below 50% of the Area Median Income, with rental subsidy provided through project-based vouchers.”

TCB, who is serving as property manager, is partnering with Thorobird Companies, an NYC-based affordable housing developer, on The Louella. Thorobird Companies purchased the project site in 2018 from the deteriorating First Union Baptist Church to save the property from bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court transferred the property to Thorobird under the condition that the church must be included in any new developments. According to The Louella’s project description, “The Church will occupy space on the ground floor and cellar of the building, where they will operate various community operations, including a food pantry, in addition to weekly church services.”

Mt. Hope is a historical district, and it was originally decided by the NY State Historic Preservation Office that the demolition of the First Union Baptist Church would be detrimental to the site of a historical relic. However, with the use of environmental consultants, Thorobird conducted an alternatives analysis in which they determined various ways to construct The Louella in an environmentally-friendly manner, and the New York State Historic Preservation Office determined that the Church could be demolished. According to the project description, “The Louella will achieve Enterprise Green Communities certification with Energy Star appliances.”

The Louella is ideal for senior residents, as it is close to multiple subway lines as well as the Metro North rail line. Additionally, The Louella will include a fitness area, lounges and a game room, an outdoor recreational area, and have one-full time clinical services coordinator as well as a part-time program coordinator for activities.

Construction is set to begin in 2023 with a 2.5 year construction timeline.