Bronx Commons: New Affordable Housing Anchoring Community Response, Health, & Resiliency

Organization Name: WHEDco & BFC Partners

Project Title: Bronx Commons: New Affordable Housing Anchoring Community Response, Health, & Resiliency

Project Location: Melrose, Bronx

Project Description:
Bronx Commons, co-developed by WHEDco and BFC Partners, is a newly constructed $165 million, 426,000 sq. ft. facility on a half-city-block dedicated to affordable housing, education, culture, health, and small business supports. Bronx Commons includes 305 deeply affordable studio, 1-, 2- and 3-bdrm apartments for formerly homeless households, including formerly homeless victims and survivors of domestic violence, as well as households earning 30% – 110% AMI. Bronx Commons also features a 150-seat DOE-operated 3K program; restaurant retail space; the Bronx Music Hall – a 14,000 sq. ft. community arts and performance venue; and the Melrose Community Access Support and Training Center – a 22,000 sq. ft. hub for small business, family support services, and community engagement. The building meets LEED Silver environmental standards; has a fitness center and bike parking for residents; and its four roofs feature a green roof, a garden roof, a landscaped roof for residents, as well as the largest solar panel array on a multifamily building in the Bronx. Bronx Commons has two outdoor plazas with performance amphitheaters and is adjacent to a new City park that will feature turf, gardens, a dog park and more.

Community Impact:
In February 2020 – just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit NYC in full force – we began welcoming residents to their new homes at Bronx Commons. Today, Bronx Commons is nearing 100% lease-up and occupancy. Throughout the pandemic, our Social Work, Case Management, and Property Management teams have worked with new residents to support their safety and health, orient them to the building and the neighborhood, and connect them to public benefits, legal services, mental health counseling, and more. With Bronx Commons as a new community services anchor, WHEDco has distributed $180,000 in grocery store gift cards to 800+ families in its buildings and programs, and 35,000 meals and snacks to families most in need of emergency food support. WHEDco also connected hundreds of families to $100,000 in direct relief assistance, and helped local essential businesses and WHEDco’s network of home-based childcare providers - caring for 366 children of essential workers and thousands of others going back to work – secure PPE, access loans, and receive more than $100,000 in grants to support their business operations, contributing to the health of children, families, and the local economy now and in the future.

Organization Description:
WHEDco is a Bronx-based mixed-use affordable housing developer and community development organization whose mission is to give the South Bronx access to all the resources that create thriving neighborhoods - from sustainable, affordable homes, high-quality early education and after-school programs, to fresh, healthy food, cultural programming, and economic opportunity. BFC Partners has been a developer of affordable and market-rate housing in New York City for more than 35 years. Since the firm’s inception, BFC has completed over $5B in development.

Team Members:

Lemle & Wolff
Danois Architects
WXY Studio
Johnson & Urban
T.Y. Lin International
Steven Winter Associates
AKRF Engineering
Bright Power
Citi Community Capital
The Richman Group

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