Organization Name: Breaking Ground
Project Title: Betances Senior Residence
Project Location: Mott Haven, Bronx
Betances Residence will provide 152 supportive and affordable apartments for seniors who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness, and will mark Breaking Ground’s first Passive House. With a tight building envelope and engineered ventilation systems, Betances’ design ensures high indoor air quality for tenants while achieving optimal energy efficiencies. Triple glazed windows and the continually insulated facade also ensure resident comfort and the building’s resiliency to weather extremes. Designed by COOKFOX Architects, Betances integrates biophilic elements, natural materials, and abundant daylighting. The building’s entry is focused on a framed view of its central organizing feature, a verdant courtyard. Visible from both the sidewalk and the corridors of the residential floors, the garden will create connections between residents and the wider community. The 120,000 square foot development will feature state-of-the-art security, a laundry room, digital library, multipurpose room, landscaped courtyard and terrace spaces. The building will also feature a 4,700 square foot community facility to be occupied by the DreamYard Project, a Bronx-based arts and education nonprofit for underserved youth.
Community and social inclusion are at the heart of every Breaking Ground development. All Betances apartments will serve formerly homeless and low-income senior households. Crucially, 26 of its units will have a preference for residents of NYCHA apartments, allowing these older adults a place to age-in-place while freeing up much-needed NYCHA units for other households.
DreamYard Project will operate a universal pre-kindergarten program in the Betances’ community facility space, which also presents the unique opportunity for intergenerational programming that could involve senior residents above. The building’s landscaped gardens will also offer spaces where both DreamYard programs and Breaking Ground residents can participate in a variety of enriching activities.
Located between Willis and Brook Avenues on a site that spans 142nd to 143rd Streets, the building will feature two eight-story residential towers with active entrances on both streets. Onsite supports will be offered to all Betances’ residents by Breaking Ground’s long-standing social services partner, the Center for Urban Community Services.
Breaking Ground is New York’s largest supportive housing provider. With 24 transitional and permanent housing residences under management, primarily in New York City, Breaking Ground provides safe, stable, beautiful housing for those who need it most. Breaking Ground also runs, under contract with the Department of Homeless Services, street homeless outreach in all of Brooklyn, Queens, and a portion of Manhattan. Since 1990, Breaking Ground has helped more than 14,000 people escape and avoid homelessness.
Developer: Breaking Ground
Architect: COOKFOX Architects
Sustainability: Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
General Contractor: Monadnock Construction, Inc.
Social Services Partner: CUCS