Organization Name: SWBR
Project Title: Zion Hill Senior Apartments
Project Location: Rochester, NY Bull’s Head District
A neighborhood church partnered with a local non-profit housing company to plan a new apartment community that would allow aging residents to stay in the neighborhood they love, with supportive services and accessibility features that address their changing needs. The team assembled a site of vacant parcels and condemned structures next to the church. The site links a busy commercial street on one end to a quiet residential street on the other. Site dimensions dictated an L-shaped building with a three-story wing facing the front street and a two-story wing on the side street. This stepped-down massing bridges higher density commercial uses and lower density residential uses and is further broken down into vertical elements echoing the rhythm of the nearby homes. Fiber cement siding evokes traditional residential forms without creating false history, with brick highlighting the main entrance. Support and amenity spaces include a community room, greenhouse, and rooftop patio with garden. These spaces, together with community support services and 45 apartments with enhanced accessibility features, create a rich community where residents can gracefully age in place.
Zion Hill Apartments restores a ragged gap in the fabric of the neighborhood, replacing vacant lots and condemned buildings with a vibrant new housing community that positively addresses the street edge. The neighborhood group worked with the project team to relocate a community garden from the project site to an adjacent property, making way for the project without eliminating this important community resource.
The building’s roof-top garden and greenhouse offers enriching activities for residents while inspiring a joint program between building residents, students at the neighboring primary school, and a local food relief charity organization to further help the community while building relationships.
The project is the realization of Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church’s dream to provide safe, affordable, accessible housing for neighborhood parishioners. As these long-time residents age and their abilities change, they have faced the reality of having to leave their community and church behind. Zion Hill Apartments provides a critical affordable housing option with enhanced accessibility features to allow residents to gracefully age-in-place in the neighborhood they love.
Zion Hill Senior Apartments is a collaboration between Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church and Rochester Management, a nonprofit real estate management firm that oversees affordable housing communities in the area. RMI manages the property and Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church provides outreach programs to the residents. A cornerstone of the city’s Bull’s Head District, the church has long supported residents through various missions and programs, including food distribution, educational programs, and social services.
• Architect, Landscape Architect, Interior Designer, Structural Engineer: SWBR
• Owner/Developer: Rochester Management
• Site/Civil: Bergman Associates
• Mechanical/Electrical: Kennedy Mechanical
Thank you for viewing NYHC's Community Impact Gallery. Please note: NYHC does not own or manage any property. If you have any questions about a specific building, please contact the project team listed. To apply for affordable housing opportunities, see housingconnect.nyc.gov or hcr.ny.gov/find-affordable-housing