Yesterday, a permit application was filed for a new affordable housing project in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx, at 3475 Third Avenue, just south of East 168th Street.
The application was filed by Lower Manhattan-based OCV Architects, which has done a lot of work on below-market projects, on behalf of Great Neck-based affordable housing builder Kiumarz Geula.
The 12-story project is planned to include over 143,000 square feet of floor space, with 102 apartments spread over 99,000 square feet of residential space, nine or ten per floor. Also included in the project is a whopping 26,000 square feet of commercial space, presumably retail, and 19,000 square feet of community facility space, though neither shows up – at least in the quantities proposed – in the Schedule A filing.
The land was rezoned in 2003 from a highly restrictive M1-1 zoning designation, allowing only low-density commercial and industrial uses, to a high-density mixed-use zone. This zoning change was certainly appropriate, given the lack of demand for new commercial and industrial space and the desperate need for new housing in the city.
However, the Department of City Planning would also do well to give as much consideration to developers in other part of the Bronx – namely the northern section, and neighborhoods around Bronx Park – where market-rate projects can also pencil out. (That said, Morrisania is well on its way to becoming a destination for unsubsidized new construction, so perhaps some market-rate builders will eventually take advantage of the rezoning as well.)
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