Organization Name: Casa Celina LLC
Project Title: Casa Celina
Project Location: Soundview, Bronx
The winning RFP proposal for NYCHA’s Sotomayor Houses (named for Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s mother, Celina Baez) is an evolution of the public housing typology, one that creates a stronger relationship to the neighborhood. Its fully glazed, doubleheight ground floor will ensure visual connections to other parts of the campus and nearby streets and its 3,350 square foot community space will be available to NYCHA residents and the surrounding community. Resident health is a priority at this 200-unit affordable senior building, so active design is a key component of the plan – lounges on each floor are located next to well-lit stairs, creating a vertical network of social spaces to prevent isolation and encourage walking. There will also be on-site social and health services, cultural programming and other amenities including an exercise room and roof terrace. The north/south orientation of the site and building provides an opportunity for energy generation with a large solar array. The angled recesses of the windows and articulated facade will shade the east/west facing units and mitigate heat gain. The building includes sustainability and resiliency measures intended to achieve LEED Gold.
Casa Celina will have a positive impact on the community through a building with robust amenities for residents and services for the larger community. Casa Celina will provides space for seniors to live safely in their own homes with independence, dignity, and joy through case management, in-home care and community-wide programming. The residential units are reserved for low- and very low-income households, including formerly homeless, meeting some of the extreme demand for affordable senior housing.
The beneficial reuse of an underutilized parking lot also brings income to Sotomayor Houses through a 99-year ground lease. The 15th floor terrace will offer space for exercise, yoga, gardening beds, and relaxation with great views to the north, east and west. The community room on the second floor, fully glazed, south-facing lounges at the elevator lobby on each floor, and laundry and exercise rooms on the top floor adjacent to the roof terrace create varied opportunities for residents to gather outside of individual apartments and to enhance their mental and physical well-being.
Casa Celina LLC is a joint venture among four partners: The Kretchmer Companies and ELH Mgmt. LLC (TKC-ELH), the entity prequalified by NYCHA for the Seniors First RFP; Xenolith Partners LLC, a WBE developer; and JASA, the non-profit senior service provider. JASA is one of New York’s largest and most trusted agencies serving older adults. JASA keeps seniors living safely in their own homes and communities with independence, dignity, and joy.
Developer: The Kretchmer Companies, ELH Mgmt. LLC, Xenolith Partners, and JASA. Architect: Magnusson Architecture and Planning. General Contractor: Mountco