The once-blighted neighborhoods of Melrose and Morrisania in the South Bronx are littered with vacant lots, but new affordable housing developments are quickly springing up to fill the holes. SoBro Development Corporation is moving forward with plans for an eight-story affordable and supportive building on an empty city-owned plot at 481 East 164th Street, at the corner of Washington Avenue in Morrisania.
Dubbed New Roads Plaza, the building will reach 78 feet into the air and hold 95 apartments. They’ll be divided across 64,228 square feet, producing an average unit of just 676 square feet. 57 units will be set aside as supportive housing for the formerly homeless who have “persistent mental health problems,” according to DNAinfo. The remaining units will rent to families who make 60% of the Area Median Income or less.
Apartments will break down into 57 studios, 19 one-bedrooms and 19 two-bedrooms. The development will have a roof deck and two smaller terraces on the seventh and eighth floors. Non-profit Urban Pathways will offer on-site mental health services on the first floor, and space on the ground floor will also be devoted to a recreation room, exercise area, outdoor courtyard and children’s play area.
Danois Architects will be responsible for the design.
New Roads Plaza is expected to cost $28.7 million, which includes a $1.2 million grant from the state. The development site includes a series of empty lots on 164th and three 19th century wood frame homes on Washington Avenue. The vacant properties haven’t changed hands since the 1980s, but SoBro bought the three houses for just $561,300 in 2007.
SoBro, a non-profit based nearby in Melrose, has developed several affordable projects across the Bronx, including a 105-unit building across the street called Taino Plaza.
This part of the South Bronx was once zoned exclusively for manufacturing, but it was rezoned for residential development in 2003, during the early years of Bloomberg’s administration.