Four years ago, Nelson Management paid $51.5 million for the four-building, rent-stabilized Lafayette Boynton complex in the Soundview section of the South Bronx, and they just spent another $17 million renovating its 972 apartments. Now the Forest Hills-based firm plans to build two more 13-story towers in the sprawling development next to Soundview Park.
New building applications filed today call for two 217-unit buildings at 825 Boynton Avenue and 820 Colgate Avenue. Those 434 apartments would be spread across 764,552 square feet of residential space, yielding surprisingly large units averaging 1,761 square feet. That square footage could include another, yet-to-be-filed building, or it might encompass the existing towers on those tax lots.
Each building will also have 7,500 square feet of community facility space on the ground floor. 825 Boynton and 820 Colgate have identical Schedule A filings and amenities, which include fitness rooms, laundry and storage on the ground floor. The first two floors will have five units a piece, followed by 21 units per floor on the third through eighth floors, then 13 to 19 units each on the ninth through 13th stories.
There will also be an incredible amount of enclosed parking—932 spaces total. Unfortunately, the Bruckner Expressway cuts off Soundview from the rest of the Bronx, and Lafayette-Boynton is a 15 minute walk from the closest 6 train stop at Elder Avenue.
Lafayette Boynton’s four old towers are 19 stories tall and collectively hold over a million square feet of rentals. They sit at the corners of a two-acre superblock bounded by Story, Colgate, Lafayette and Morrison Avenues. The development was built in 1969 as moderate-income housing under the Mitchell-Lama program. By the mid-1980s, it was so poorly managed and maintained that the state took control of it. The development’s layout epitomizes Le Corbusier-style, tower-in-the-park projects, with large swaths of green space and trees filling space between the buildings.
The former owners, Area Properties, took the complex out of Mitchell-Lama in 2006, but agreed to keep it rent-stabilized for 40 years. Renters can’t earn more than 120% of the Area Median Income, and don’t have pay more than 30% of their income in rent, according to documents filed with the state in 2012.
Hopefully the developers will choose to maintain the existing green space and erect the new buildings on the development’s huge parking lots. We weren’t able to reach Nelson Management, so we don’t know whether the new rentals will be market rate or subsidized.
Curtis+Ginsberg Architects are the architects of record.
York Studios, a movie production company in Maspeth, is also building two studios on a mostly empty industrial property across the street, along the Bronx River waterfront.