^ December 2008.
Hi all-I am hoping someone knows the answer to this question! When was the aurora at 837 Washington completed? Was it after September 2008? Thanks!
Courtlandt Crescent, 10/16/11... below grade.
There are now large, architecturally ambitious projects recently completed, underway, or planned on every block adjacent to the intersection of 162nd Street and Melrose Avenue.
- To the southwest, Courtlandt Corners is completed. It's photographed upthread and in the Bronx sticky thread.
- To the northwest ("Site A"), Courtlandt Crescent is under construction, as Gulcrapek captured above. Dattner Architects has renderings and a description of its two-building complex (listed under "housing").
- To the southeast ("Site C"), Magnussen Architecture & Planning has renderings and a description of its forthcoming three-building complex.The project will comprise of three connected buildings which will provide 260 units of housing, with ground floor commercial space, for a total of approximately 304,900 gross square feet. The three buildings will work together to create a landscaped courtyard with plenty of daylight entering through the generous cut in the height elevation of the south-facing part of the family building. This measure allows typical backyard housing units an unusual abundance of daylights and views to the neighboring public park above the former railroad trench on East 161st Street and Elton Avenue. The courtyard will include a series of terraced gardens and outdoor decks, forming a central and unifying feature of the new complex.
- To the northeast ("Site B"), Rogers Marvel has renderings and a description of its forthcoming four-building complex.And from an overall planning perspective, it looks from the renderings like East 162nd Street will no longer be a cul-de-sac, which is great. The street grid will be restored as 162nd becomes a through-street connecting to Boricua College.[T]he design proposes a composition of 3 distinct buildings and a school which take advantage of the overall site’s size for retail and parking while developing a distinct character to address each condition. The available bulk for the site is shifted to fill out the available zoning envelope on 163rd street and Elton (buildings 1 and 2) leaving a lower building to face 162nd street. This massing strategy has the additional benefit of reducing the height of building 3 on the south side of the building’s interior courtyard improving sun exposure both for the court and for Building 1. A school takes advantage of the site’s interior lot line facing onto a park planned for the balance of the block.
Last edited by TheInterloafer; November 11th, 2011 at 12:13 AM.
WOW. That's huge. Also surprised that the large space further down Melrose also seems to be turning into a park. So all that remains now is the massive lot directly across 163rd from site B.
The South Bronx is (IMO), by far, the fastest improving urban neighborhood anywhere in the U.S. I'm amazed that many people still don't know all the wonderful things happening now in the South Bronx.
It's a terrific long-term investment. The improvements being made now will yield big returns.
^ Agreed w/ASchwartz.
Here's the progress of Courtlandt Crescent as of yesterday, Nov. 11, 2011.
The building under construction behind it is on the west side of Courtlandt Avenue, adjacent to the northbound platform of the Melrose Metro-North station. (Toasty has posted some aerial shots.) Here's a shot of the building from 161st Street. If this was a video you'd see the wind billowing through the netting.
This building replaces either a parking lot or a one-story warehouse (I forget which). Here's something worth watching: The building's neighbor to the south is some sort of garbage transfer station with smelly open dumpsters. The apartment building and the garbage transfer station will no doubt coexist uneasily. In wealthier neighborhoods residents usually find a way to shut down or force out unpleasant neighbors. I wonder if that will happen here.
It was a single story warehouse. I wonder if the rest of the that block will have a similar fate. That garbage transfer station (which actually WAS a parking lot many moons ago) is something that I have been thinking is going to be an issue but I guess we'll see. However, just up Courtlandt is that huge lot full of cars which seems to be some kind of car delivery/storage thing. Before construction began it was a common sight to see that part of the street filled with truck trailers that had cars in them at all times of the day or night. I can't imagine that will resume when the buildings are completed.
Is the South Bronx Hip?
Well, this is, I think .
Selling Via Verde
by Tom Stoelker | Architect's Paper
About 40 co-op units are still available at Via Verde. (Courtesy Phipps Rose Dattner Grimshaw)
Who wouldn’t want buy into an eco-conscious, sustainable, and affordable apartment building whose Grimshaw/Dattner-designed architecture received rave reviews on the front page of the New York Times? With more than 40 of the 75 co-ops still available at Via Verde, the gang at developer Jonathan Rose Co. and Dattner are giving the project the full media push. Jonathan Rose’s Ari Goldstein and Dattner’s Bill Stein were on New York 1 this morning promoting the design and high living standards. The 151 rental units of this muli-income complex were snapped up right away. But while the co-ops sales aren’t exactly flagging, they’re not exactly flying off the shelves in this economy.
The Via Verde interior. (Ruggero Vanni / Vanni Archives)
The pricing couldn’t possibly be the issue, as a two bedroom is going for $146,000. Of course there are income limitations, residents must make between $54,000 to $135,000—in other words, a young architect on a young architect’s salary. It may be the best chance in the city for a newbie planner to participate in a mixed-income, sustainable environment that was merely theoretical in grad school. But make no mistake—the South Bronx Renaissance is the real deal.
A sunny duplex.
Looks nice , I hate to ask this but is this a nice safe neighborhood to look around and explore in?
Bronx development sets the bar for affordable housing complexes
Award-winning Via Verde combines green design with affordability
By Jason Sheftell / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Enid Alvarez/New York Daily News
If you don’t think real estate in the South Bronx can get the blood moving and excite the soul, spend some time at Via Verde, a mammoth income-regulated housing complex near the Hub at 704 Brook Ave. at 156th St.
It also gets the money flowing. Group after group and couple after couple who tour the $100 million project with over 40,000 square feet of usable green roof and garden space put 5% down on two-bedroom homes starting at $146,032. Of 71 coop units, only 26 remain. Some went in a lottery. Others are going as fast as you can say “open house.”
The award-winning Via Verde is known around the world as one of the finest projects of its kind, combining green design with affordability to spur urban renewal. But let’s forget urban renewal. It demeans the people who live around this great neighborhood and own businesses here. (Yes, the Hub, with its fashion retail, furniture stores and boxing gym is great). It also demeans the people who plan on moving in here. This project is about opportunity, home ownership and securing a future for your family in New York City. It’s urban survival, not renewal.
John Valverde works up the street. He directs a green career center for the non-profit Osborne Association. The focus is training out-of-work and low-skilled people for employment in the eco-friendly construction and energy efficiency trades. He’s placed hundreds of workers at local construction sites. Valverde, married to an architect from Costa Rica, will move into Via Verde this summer.
“Yes, this is a transformation for this neighborhood, but it’s more than that,” says Valverde, now living in Ozone Park, Queens. “It’s a commitment to sustainability and the difference architecture and vision can make in the lives of people who live here and near here. Via Verde is the future of how we all should live. I want to be able to live well in New York for a long time. We can do it here.”
Designed by London and New York-based Grimshaw in partnership with Dattner Architects, the project is a lesson in ingenuity. You can virtually climb to the building’s seventh floor in a semi-circle via a string of outdoor green roofs. You walk up an amphitheatre overlooking a children’s playground. Then you pass a small evergreen farm before passing an orchard of apple and peach trees. Turning the corner, organic food boxes to be shared by residents overlook a baseball field and Manhattan skyline on one side and the sheer size of Via Verde on the other.
Still climbing, another straightaway leads up a wired outdoor stairwell past solar panels that provide electricity to all common spaces in the building. A series of trestles and a green roof garden lead to the seventh floor fitness center, another amenity. The point here is that Via Verde is designed as an energy-efficient model and a way to inspire health in a housing community.
Developed by Jonathan Rose Companies and Phipps Housing, which won the right to build the site after winning a contest sponsored by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation, the New York chapter of the American Institure of Architects, and the State Energy Research and Development Authority, Via Verde also has a 20-story rental tower and 9,500 square feet of retail set aside for a Montefiore Medical Center.
“This is the next generation of green affordable housing,” says Paul Freitag, managing director of development for Jonathan Rose Companies. “We think urban architecture and development needs to focus on health and efficiency. Via Verde does mean ‘Green Way.’ This is the way we need to build, live and think. The design and sales success says this isn’t just a guess or a trend anymore. It’s a fact.”
Inside the building, eco-friendly homes have cross-ventilation, low VOC-paints, bamboo cabinets, hardwood floors, simple porcelain tile, solar shading for each window, energy-saving appliances and efficient mechanical systems. All units come with built-in work stations, dishwashers and washer/dryers. One line of duplex two-bedroom, 1½ bath homes has balconies, open kitchens and smart lines on the stairwell. A few remain for $179,000. In the West Village, homes less practical, eco-advanced and architecturally stunning list for $1.5 million-plus.
The full variety of homes originally available at Via Verde includes work-live townhouses, mid-rise, and high-rise units. From the rental building’s 20th floor common roof space, you can survey the south, north and central Bronx, inspecting the variety of housing projects over the years that attempted to improve the urban condition. Some worked. Some failed. Via Verde hopes to define the new way of building and living.
“This lives up to its expectations of being a global model for affordable housing,” says Michael Wadman, vice president of Phipps Houses, the New York area’s largest and oldest non-profit devoted to the affordable housing sector. “The borough president, Ruben Diaz Jr., said it best: ‘Once the Bronx was burning, now we’re planting gardens in the sky.’ We’re excited to see this done, but just as excited to see the community in action when the place is filled.”
On a sunny but cold Saturday in March, Via Verde drew at least 100 house hunters. Some had already put down a deposit. They were returning to check the construction progress. Others were working with agents Eleanor Vernon and Stacey Bond to complete their applications and purchase packages, which include past tax documents, pay stubs and credit reports. With monthly maintenance and a mortgage, buyers of the two-bedrooms for $146,000 can expect to pay around $1,580 total. One-bedroom owners will pay less. Income qualifications cannot beess than $54,200 per household or more than $145,250.
Bronx-native Michael Reed runs sales at the development. A 20-year veteran of selling affordable housing, Reed has a big smile and positive but matter-of-fact delivery that is refreshing from a real estate sales professional. Potential buyers respond to him as well as Via Verde’s one-of-a-kind design. A former bond trader, Reed finds daily fulfillment in working the affordable home sector.
“Here I was on Wall St., watching billions of dollars move around every day,” he says. “Then I would come home to the Bronx, where I was born, and see people living in terrible conditions. I wanted to do something about it, something where I could make a difference.”
Working the condo and co-op circuit, Reed has put thousands of first-time buyers into their homes.
“The big sell here is the price,” says Reed walking three generations of a family through the complex. “That’s why people are here. The location, design and green thing seal the deal.”
Josie Bisono bought a ground-floor three-bedroom. Living in Harlem, Bisono went to high school in the Bronx. She took three friends to see her new home.
“When I first asked people about this neighborhood, they were like, ‘I don’t know, moving there from Manhattan?’” says Bisono, smirking playfully at the friend with her now who said that. “It’s gorgeous, though, and close to the subway. I like the industrial look.”
Anytime I’ve walked it, the Melrose neighborhood and the Hub teem with people. Street vendors joke with pedestrians as they walk by. Urban clothing stores blast music. Around the corner, not two blocks away, Via Verde stands tall, rising like a stadium or giant emblem of a neighborhood on the up-and-up. That’s what it is. This is not social experimentation. It’s a place to live, at a fair price, for hardworking people. Silver in the sun, lit up at night as it will be when full, Via Verde is not a symbol of gentrification or hope, it’s good building and smart thinking.
“This will be a real residential community,” says Reed. “It cracks me up when people come out and put money down and then say, ‘Wait, I’m moving back to the Bronx.’ But now they say it with pride. There is something very good about that.”
I really hope it makes its tenants happy and ages well.