Fully Affordable, Fully Electric Apartments To Replace Bronx Lot In Latest 24 In-24 Development

February 16, 2024

The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today announced the selection of exciting plans to develop a city-owned parking lot just north of Harlem, NY.

The lot at 351 Powers Avenue in The Bronx into “Powerhouse Apartments,” providing deeply affordable homes and a community theatre at an electric-powered building in Mott Haven. 

To be developed through a collaboration between Lemle & Wolff Development Co., HELP Development Corp., and True Development New York, LLC, the announcement of Powerhouse Apartments marks the latest advancement in HPD’s month-long push to advance affordable housing projects on publicly owned land across the city, putting into motion New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ 24 in 24 plan.

“… advance the creation or preservation of over 12,000 homes …”

Through the 24 in 24 plan, the Adams administration aims to advance the creation or preservation of over 12,000 homes through partnerships across HPD, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).  

Last week, HPD launched the start of the process to develop a major piece of Long Island City’s Hunter’s Point South neighborhood into approximately 850 to 900 homes and opened the proposal submission process to build over 100 homes along Stebbins Avenue in The Bronx.

The week before, HPD launched the community engagement process to build approximately 570 homes along the Harlem River waterfront in Inwood, Manhattan, and selected plans to build approximately 116 homes for low-income families in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

Today’s announcement marks the fifth project HPD has moved forward in the last three weeks, which all together have the potential to create over 1,700 new homes once completed. 

“Powerhouse Apartments in Mott Haven is a great example of our commitment to creating housing that’s affordable, sustainable, and rich in amenities for residents and neighbors,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “Powerhouse will convert a parking lot into 90 affordable homes that meet our carbon neutrality goals while providing a theater, community space, and a workforce development center. We are excited to add this project to the ’24 in 24′ commitment, advancing 24 projects to create or preserve over 12,000 homes citywide.” 

“Today marks an electrifying start to transforming this parking lot into high-quality, sustainable, affordable housing here in the heart of the South Bronx,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “The driving forces behind this announcement are a testament to the future of housing in New York City – sustainable, affordable housing will not only benefit the residents of Powerhouse Apartments but helps reverse environmental injustices and moves the city closer to carbon neutrality and healthier neighborhoods for generations to come.”

“… it’s critical that we do all we can to urgently create the housing …”

“Building deeply affordable housing on city-owned land is exactly the kind of step we need to take to tackle our city’s housing crisis,” said Dan Garodnick, Director of the Department of City Planning. “With a 1.4% vacancy rate, it’s critical that we do all we can to urgently create the housing that New Yorkers need. From developments like the Powerhouse Apartments to zoning reforms like City of Yes for Housing Opportunity, it is clear that we are making real progress.” 

“High-quality, electric-powered affordable housing is the future our city needs and what this project aims to provide,” said Deputy Speaker of the New York City Council Diana Ayala. “With so many New Yorkers in need of housing, I’m proud that this parking lot in my district will one day become deeply affordable homes to those who need them the most.” 

“Lemle & Wolff Companies is thrilled to be part of this innovative and impactful project,” said Anivelca Cordova, Principal at Lemle & Wolff Companies. “We look forward to working alongside our partners to develop Powerhouse Apartments as a resilient and sustainable project that meets the programmatic goals of the local community and the residents it will serve.” 

“HELP Development Corp. is honored to be a part of the winning team for the Powerhouse Apartments development,” said David Cleghorn, President of HELP Development Corp. “This will be our latest project focusing on marrying sustainable design with truly affordable and dignified housing.” 

“… a visionary project that will create true community …”

“Powerhouse Apartments is a visionary project that will create true community through multi-generational housing, dynamic indoor and outdoor shared spaces, and rich on-site programming and services—I’m thrilled to be part of the team that brings it to fruition,” said Shira Gidding, Owner of True Development New York

The Powerhouse Apartments gets its name not only from its street address, but from the development team’s forward-thinking plans to rely completely on electric power and preparation for carbon neutrality by achieving Passive House standards.

The project will be one of many forthcoming projects that will help the City prepare for a changing climate through a pilot program led by the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice (MOCEJ) aimed at incorporating design standards specified in the City’s Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines into building and infrastructure projects.

To combat extreme heat and heavy precipitation, the development team proposes to use highly efficient heat pumps, light-colored materials, an airtight building envelope, angled windows, solar panels, green roofs, plantings, and more. 

Residential plans for Powerhouse Apartments aim to serve a wide, intergenerational range of households, including homes set aside for older New Yorkers and the formerly homeless, as well as two- and three-bedroom units to accommodate families.

The building will include approximately 90 apartments across a mix of affordability levels including extremely low-income households to those earning up to 80 percent of the area median income.

The building will feature a community room for small gatherings, a larger communal event space, and a fitness room all overlooking more than 6,400 square feet of outdoor green space with room for recreational activities, planting, and communal gatherings. 

In addition to affordable, high-quality, all-electric housing, Powerhouse Apartments will serve as a hub for community arts and cultural experiences and workforce development.

Plans for the ground floor uses include a 4,000-square-foot theater with seating for up to 150 people. A non-profit partner will operate the theater’s box office and lobby in addition to offering workshops in theater, music, dance, and film.

“… providing … programming for young adults to learn … skills …”

Additionally, there will also be a 3,000-square-foot workforce development space providing economic mobility programs and programming for young adults to learn construction and landscaping skills amongst other fields.  

Powerhouse Apartments is designed by STAT Architecture, a certified M/WBE architecture firm based in New York City with experience in multi-family and affordable housing projects.

The key design element for the proposed building features recessing windows oriented away from the sun to mitigate heat gain and capitalize on views of Saint Mary’s Park. The ground floor features storefront windows for the theater and arts space, afterschool and workforce training space and residential lobby, creating an active and family-friendly urban environment.

The storefront windows and additional street lighting will also serve to illuminate Powers Avenue at night, improving the safety and security of the neighborhood.

The development will provide increased safety on and around the site by increasing “eyes on the street” from community facility operations, lighting, cameras and 24/7 desk security.    

For more information about the 351 Powers Avenue site and its future plans, please visit the HPD website

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) promotes quality and affordability in the City’s housing, and diversity and strength in the City’s neighborhoods – because every New Yorker deserves a safe, affordable place to live in a neighborhood they love.

We maintain building and resident safety and health, create opportunities for New Yorkers through housing affordability, and engage New Yorkers to build and sustain neighborhood strength and diversity.

HPD is entrusted with fulfilling these objectives through the goals and strategies of Housing Our Neighbors: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness, Mayor Adams’ comprehensive housing framework. To learn more about what we do, visit nyc.gov/hpd and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.

Photo credit: 1) A new all-electric building proposed for 351 Powers Avenue could bring affordable apartments, a community theater, and job training courses to The Bronx’s Mott Haven neighborhood. (Credit: STAT Architecture PC). 2) Arial photo of Mott Haven shows a rendering of Powerhouse Apartments in the context of the surrounding neighborhood and nearby St. Mary’s Park. (Credit: STAT Architecture PC).3) Photo of the parking lot at 351 Powers Avenue as it appears today in contrast to future plans for developing the site into affordable housing. (Credit: HPD)

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