Parkview Commons III Creates Home Ownership Opportunities
Parkview Commons, a new mixed-use affordable housing complex in the south Bronx, is nearing completion of its third and final phase. This new development encompasses an entire block along 161st Street, close to the old landmark courthouse in the Bronx. Designed by award-winning Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC and developed by a joint venture of Nos Quedamos, Melrose Associates and L+M Equity Participants, Parkview Commons continues the on-going transformation of the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal area.
“The stringent guidelines of the Melrose Commons area definitely affected the design of the building,” says Magnus Magnusson, principal of Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC. Also affecting the project was the status of the site as a former brownfield, allowing the project developers to capitalize on New York’s new brownfield remediation funding program. Now listed on GreenHomeNYC’s website, Parkview Commons is both bicycle friendly and easily accessible by public transit.
Adding over two hundred units of housing to a block formerly occupied by vacant city-owned properties, Parkview Commons was completed in three phases. Parkview I, the first phase, consists of 110 units in a courtyard plan that rises 9 stories along the major east-west corridor of 161st Street, stepping down along Elton Avenue to 4 stories at 160th Street where it turns the corner. Parkview I takes full advantage of its dramatic location at the bend of 161st Street. With its distinctive beveled corner and the tree medallions gracing its façade, Parkview I is the focal point of the neighborhood.
Parkview II consists of an 89,000 sf, mixed-use residential building. Each of the 88 units in the building is affordable to residents making up to 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The ground floor includes 6,000 sf of commercial space, as well as a lobby, community space and a laundry room. The laundry room and community space look out on a landscaped rear courtyard with recreational space and a play area for residents. The site is also located just down the block from a public park.
Parkview III, the final building in the Parkview Commons development creates opportunities for home ownership. Built through the New York City Housing Preservation Department’s New Foundations program, Parkview III consists of four 3-family townhouses. The owner’s 3-bedroom duplex unit is located on the first floor, with two bedrooms on the second floor. The remainder of the 2nd floor is designated for a studio apartment, while the third floor houses a floor-through, 2-bedroom apartment. The owner’s unit also has access to an unfinished basement as well as a landscaped rear yard.
“MAP’s design of two additional rental units in the town homes makes ownership of these homes more affordable,” says Yolanda Gonzalez, Director of Nos Quedamos. “We are very proud that Parkview Commons integrates affordable rental housing with units for home ownership.”
Located on the same block as Parkview I, a 110-unit mixed income apartment building, Parkview II and III were designed to complement each other. The building exteriors share pre-cast stone medallion decorative design elements which feature unique tree, leaf and flower designs. “The design details express a natural theme and link the buildings visually,” says Petr Stand, MAP principal.
“Countering the commonly held belief that affordable housing detracts from a neighborhood, Parkview Commons has favorably transformed a formerly blighted area,” says Ron Moelis of L & M Equities.
MAP has been designing innovative community-based projects since 1995. Current projects include: several new housing and mixed-use developments throughout the boroughs of New York City, as well as developments in the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey. Other current and past MAP clients include: Phipps Houses, Volunteers of America, the Jewish Board of Children and Family Services, Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, Inc., L&M Equities, Fifth Avenue Committee, and BFC Construction.