New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA), the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) have finalized a major construction financing package to complete a 205-unit affordable housing development in The Bronx. Located in the borough’s Soundview neighborhood, the building will debut as Casa Celina, named after Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s mother Celina Baez.
The building will take shape on a NYCHA-owned site at the corner of Watson and Thieriot Avenues and is the latest addition to a housing complex named after Justice Sotomayor. The combined financing deal is valued at $245 million, a portion of which will also fund construction of Atrium at Sumner, a forthcoming affordable housing property in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
“Casa Celina and Atrium promise to be thriving communities with seniors receiving the support they need to prosper,” said HPD commissioner Louise Carroll. “These nearly 400 new affordable senior homes, to be built across two communities in the Bronx and Brooklyn, are the result of an incredible team effort with the New York City Housing Authority and our development and supportive housing partners.”
The property will house 158 studio apartments and 46 one-bedroom apartments, plus one two-bedroom unit for a live-in superintendent. A total of 62 apartments will be set aside for homeless seniors. The remaining 142 apartments available to households earning at or below 50 percent area median income. NYCHA residents will be given preference for 36 of the apartments at Casa Celina.
Designed by Magnusson Architecture + Planning, the 16-story building also contains a 1,725-square-foot ground-floor community space offering social support, health services, and cultural programming. The facility will be operated by Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA), which will also manage the building.
Residential amenities will include a fitness center, a landscaped roof terrace, communal lounge areas, and a laundry room. Additionally, bright resident lounges on each floor create a vertical network of social spaces, helping to prevent isolation for residents living alone.
Permanent financing for the $113 million project at Casa Celina includes $43 million in HDC bonds, $7.7 million in HDC extremely low and low-income affordability subsidies, $52.7 million in low income housing tax credit equity, and $9.9 million from other unspecified sources.
Additional members of the development team include Xenolith Partners, The Kretchmer Companies, and ELH Management. Mountco will serve as the project’s general contractor.
“The Casa Celina development team often hears of the desperate demand for quality, affordable senior housing,” said Andrea Kretchmer, principal at Xenolith Partners LLC. “We are now one step closer to helping to meet that need in a beautiful, sustainably designed building with high-quality services to be offered by the JASA, the city’s premier senior service agency.”