Boston Road Apartments, Changing People’s View of Affordable Housing That Supports Families
Located on an original section of the Old Boston Post Road that has run between Lower Manhattan and Boston since the mid-1600’s, Boston Road Apartments have opened for residency. Designed by award-winning Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC (MAP) this new facility is designed in the ‘art deco’ style of many of the existing buildings in its South Bronx neighborhood and it contains 42 residential units on 7-stories.
“We believe that the buildings we design are homes above all, regardless of the income level of their residents,” says Magnus Magnusson, Principal at MAP. “This project offered us the opportunity to design really unique homes for an extremely deserving population of formerly homeless families.”
In 2003, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) applied to have both 1043 and 1033 Boston Road in the Bronx designated as an Urban Development Action Area. This Urban Development Action Area designation was sought in order to facilitate the construction of a multi- story residential building on underutilized vacant lots. Viewed as an opportunity to address the need for housing for homeless and low-income families in the area, the proposed Boston Post Road project easily met with the approval of the Community Board, the Borough President and the City Planning Commission.
HPD and the New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA) financed Boston Road Apartments under the Permanent Housing for Homeless Families program (also known as the “85/85 Program”). Additional financing was made available through the allocation of Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. HPD and HFA selected a joint venture development team of not-for-profit development corporations—Phipps Houses and Nos Quedamos—to develop the Boston Road Apartments. Having worked together successfully on several previous projects, the development team selected MAP as the architects to design the building.
The Boston Road Apartments are located on a unique mid-block site which is elevated on a natural rock outcropping. The site itself is approximately 40 feet higher than Third Avenue (located to the rear of the site), and has unobstructed views to the George Washington Bridge and New York City Skyline. The rear of the building is carefully detailed to reflect the fact that it is clearly visible rising above Third Avenue. “In order to take advantage of the unique site, MAP created a design that maximized the site’s characteristics while maintaining its affordability to the community,” said Yolanda Gonzalez, Director of Nos Quedamos.
The Boston Road Apartments also features a 1,600-sf community room, laundry facilities, a security office and a management office. Outdoor space in the rear yard is accessible to all residents and includes seating as well as a children’s play area.
Fifty-one percent of the building’s units are occupied by formerly homeless families, while the remainder of the units are designated for families earning up to 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). Adam Weinstein, President of Phipps Houses Group, said, “Residents who once struggled to find housing, now have homes with views that rival any penthouse in Manhattan. Raising a family depends on being able to rely upon stable, affordable housing; Boston Road Apartments is a source of pride among its residents.”