A new "green" affordable housing complex in the South Bronx is doing its best to help the environment. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report.
The new Via Verde development in the south Bronx is sustainable, architecturally innovative and affordable, setting a new standard for affordable housing in New York.
"Via Verde is really green urban living reimagined. It’s really the next generation of high-quality, high-design, green, affordable housing," says senior project manager Ari Goldstein of Jonathan Rose Companies.
Via Verde, located on Brook Avenue, is a new housing complex that includes 71 co-op units and 151 rentals. Designed around a center courtyard, this massive development includes a high-rise and low-rise building, as well as townhouses.
As the buildings spiral up in height, a series of green roofs offer a variety of eco-conscious amenities that are designed to promote healthy living.
"You can literally walk into the courtyard and spiral your way up all of these green roofs, starting with an amphitheater, which will have summertime performances," says Goldstein. "Evergreen trees on the third floor roof, dwarfed fruit trees, the entire fifth floor roof is all gardening beds for residents to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Then there's a fitness center on the seventh floor with an extensive green roof outside."
In addition, the building was made using sustainable, non-toxic materials and incorporates energy efficient elements, like photovoltaic cells, which will all make the building 30 percent more energy efficient.
Then there is its unique look.
"The exterior of the building is a series of panels — cement board, metal and wood panels — that enclose the building and allow it essentially to breathe, keeping water out and preventing water infiltration but at the same time creating a very crisp contemporary appearance," says Dattner Architects principle Bill Stein.
This project is the winning result of an innovative green and affordable housing competition sponsored by the city and the American Institute of Architects.
Residents for the complex were selected through a lottery system. While the rental units have all been leased, there are still over 30 coop apartments available that start around $140,000.
Construction is nearly complete and Via Verde will be ready for occupancy by the end of March.