Both buildings offer a variety of enrichment opportunities and support for seniors. On July 2, 2021, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) finalized two deals to secure 393 new affordable senior housing units to the Soundview neighborhood in the Bronx and the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Casa Celina (Soundview)
The Casa Celina building will be located on a vacant parking lot site on the corner of Watson and Thieriot Avenues within the NYCHA Justice Sonia Sotomayor campus in Soundview. The sixteen-story building will have 205 units with 158 studio apartments, 46 one-bedroom apartments, and one two-bedroom apartment for a superintendent. Sixty-two of the apartments will be set aside for homeless seniors, and the remaining apartments will be available to seniors at 50 percent AMI or below. NYCHA residents will be given preference for 36 apartments.
Casa Celina will offer a fitness room, laundry room, and have a landscaped roof terrace with opportunities for exercise, yoga and gardening. The building features electric heating, cooking and cooling, and offers bright resident lounges to provide social spaces for seniors to prevent isolation. There will also be a 1,725 square foot community space operated by Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA), who will also manage the building.
The building was designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning, and developed by Xenolith Partners LLC, the Kretchmer Companies LLC, ELH Management LLC and JASA.
Casa Celina will cost $113 million and is funded by $43 million in HDC bonds, $7.7 million in HDC Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) subsidy, $52.7 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, and an additional $9.9 million from other sources.
The Atrium (Bedford-Stuyvesant)
The Atrium is located at the Sumner Houses on Marcus Garvey Boulevard between Park and Myrtle Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The building will feature 190 apartments. There will be 130 studio apartments, 59 one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom superintendent apartment. Fifty-seven apartments will be set aside for homeless seniors, and the other 132 apartments will be for seniors at or below 50 percent AMI. Thirty-three apartments will have NYCHA resident priority.
The Atrium is an eleven-story building designed around a central atrium with corridors that overlook a year-round indoor garden located on the ground floor. The building’s common areas include an exercise room, classrooms, conference rooms, and a large multi-purpose room for education and arts programming. The development will offer a community garden for residents, outdoor seating, and a new playground, walking paths and lighting in the open space next to the new building.
The building is designed to Passive House standards, with 60 to 70 percent less energy consumption than the average New York City apartment building. The Atrium was designed by Studio Libeskind and will be developed by Urban Builders Collaborative LLC, RiseBoro Community Partnership, Inc. and Selfhelp Realty Group – The Melamid Institute for Affordable Housing. RiseBoro will partner with a Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provider to provide medical and social services, and intensive case management and services for formerly homeless residents. Selfhelp social workers will provide health and wellness programming, and assistance with benefits and referrals.
The Atrium will cost $132 million and is funded by $41 million in HDC bonds; a $12 million subsidy from HDC’s Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) and HPD’s Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) programs; approximately $63 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity; $3.5 million in Reso A funds from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, City Council Members Corey Johnson and Robert Cornegy, and the City Council’s Black & Asian Caucus; $2.2 million from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York; $300,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and $10 million from other sources.
HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll stated, “Seniors are a top priority for this Administration’s ambitious affordable housing plan. Casa Celina and Atrium promise to be thriving communities with seniors receiving the support they need to prosper. 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.”
NYCHA EVP of Real Estate Development Jonathan Gouveia stated, “There continues to be a pressing need throughout New York City for affordable senior housing that enables residents who have lived and been part of their communities for decades to age in place. NYCHA is committed to increasing that supply while creating meaningful employment and social service opportunities for public housing residents and area seniors in the process.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)