Planning Commission Approves NYCHA Housing Project in the Soundview Section of the Bronx

Credit: Magnusson Architecture and Planning

NYCHA-proposed rezoning would facilitate development of two eight-story buildings and 16 attached duplexes on an underutilized parking lot. On August 22, 2012, the City Planning Commission approved NYCHA’s proposal to develop a 238-unit, multi-building affordable housing project in the Soundview section of the Bronx. The 155,000-square-foot project site is on the southeastern edge of a block bounded by Randall, Bronx River, Lacombe, and Rosedale Avenues. NYCHA’s 13-building Soundview Houses housing complex is north of the site, and the 205-acre Soundview Park lies to the southwest of the site. A portion of the project site is occupied by an underutilized 120-space parking lot used by the Soundview Houses.

NYCHA selected CPC Resources and Lemle & Wolff to develop the project. The project would include two eight-story apartment buildings, 16 attached two-family homes, and a total of 79 parking spaces. One eight-story building would include 85 one-bedroom units exclusively available for rent by senior citizens aged 55 and older, and one three-bedroom unit for a superintendent. A second eight-story building would provide a total of 120 rental units, and include a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Both buildings would be marketed to persons earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. The proposed two-family duplexes would include a three-bedroom unit and a two-bedroom rental unit. NYCHA intends to make each unit available for purchase to persons earning 100 percent of the area median income.

To facilitate the development of the project, NYCHA requested that the City rezone the majority of the block from R5 to R6. The R6 district’s regulations would permit nearly double the allowable floor area and rather than set a specific height limit, building heights would be controlled by the sky exposure plane. In order to redevelop the parking lot, NYCHA needed, and obtained, a mayoral override of the zoning resolution’s public housing parking requirements.

Bronx Community Board 9 recommended approval by a 20-0-5 vote. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. also supported the plan, noting the importance of creating mixed-income housing opportunities in the Bronx.

No one testified in opposition at the Planning Commission’s July 25 public hearing. Burton Leon, deputy director of NYCHA’s Department of Development, testified that 25 of the rental units and six of the duplex units would be set aside for existing residents of the Soundview Houses and other NYCHA residents in the surrounding community and City. CPC Resources’ Russell Lang testified that development of the project’s first phase, which would include the two eight-story buildings, would begin in early 2013 and take 30 months to complete.

The Planning Commission approved the project, finding that the development would be consistent in scale to the adjacent Soundview Houses, and would create much needed affordable homeownership and senior housing opportunities.

The proposal still needs to be reviewed by the City Council.

CPC: Soundview Apartments (C 120173 ZMX – rezoning); (N 120174 ZCX – certification) (August 22, 2012) (Architect: Magnusson Architecture and Planning).

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