The groundbreaking ceremony has officially taken place for the construction of the Edenwald YMCA in The Bronx. The NYC Planning Commission approved construction for the building this May. Located at 1250 East 229th Street, the site is five blocks away from the Baychester Avenue subway station, serviced by the 2 and 5 trains. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is the developer.
The new YMCA facility will yield 50,000 square feet. This space will bring two swimming pools, a full-length basketball court, fitness center, indoor track, and a children care facility to the neighborhood. Specific childcare programming will include afterschool care and summer camp.
Marvel Architects is responsible for the design.
Following the event, YIMBY questioned Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Carle E. Heastie, thusly:
Speaker Heastie, you described this project as the realization of your dream for the community to “grow and learn while also providing meaningful employment opportunities.” Why is the new building critical for that dream to become reality?
“For decades the Bronx has been portrayed negatively, rated as the borough with the highest unemployment as well as being the unhealthiest. These statistics, however, do not depict who we are, rather they illustrate the absence of adequate resources. By building a state-of-the-art recreational facility in this neighborhood, residents will gain access to beneficial programming and fitness areas.”
The facility is also expected to yield 100 permanent jobs. On this, Speaker Heastie said, “The center will employ many individuals from this neighborhood – giving them the opportunity to positively impact their community as they work towards financial wellness. This YMCA is a critical piece to the progress of the Northeast Bronx as it will raise social responsibility, promote healthy living, and encourage the development of youth while cementing a positive future for our borough.”
The CEO of the New York YMCA, Sharon Greenberger, was also able to speak with us.
What are you doing to optimize the Edenwald YMCA location to match the needs of the area?
“New York City’s Edenwald location will be a world-class facility that will serve Bronx residents with programs and services based specifically on their needs. We’ve engaged local community members through surveys, meetings, and other outreach efforts in order to gather the information we need to customize our offerings. That outreach is still ongoing and will continue until we open in 2020. Our goal is to create a center of community that engages all residents to learn, grow, and thrive.”
Considering your twenty years of experience in urban planning, development, and education, what direction did you give to Marvel Architects to ensure their design lives up to your vision?
“We are delighted to be working with Marvel Architects to design what will be a unique, airy, open, state-of-the-art facility that complements its surroundings. We considered the landscape, the trees and bedrock, along with the local architecture and believe what they have designed will be a great addition to the neighborhood. This was also an opportunity for us to create the Y of the future, and enable further growth, sustainability and resiliency in the Bronx.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony, and declared, “every New Yorker should have access to the tools to improve and maintain their wellness regardless of zip code. The Edenwald YMCA will be a resource for the entire community – from parents looking for summer camp for their children to seniors who want to stay active. This new YMCA is an investment in the health of all those who call the North East Bronx home.”
Now that construction has started, completion is expected by 2020.