New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas announced the groundbreaking for Garden Towers Apartments, a $93 million affordable and supportive housing development in the Morrisania neighborhood, furthering the state’s ongoing community revitalization in the Bronx. The complex will offer 150 apartments for adults 62 and older across two separate buildings. Forty-five of the apartments will be reserved for formerly homeless seniors who will receive on-site supportive services.  

“As we continue navigating the COVID pandemic, it is critical that we invest in housing that allows people to live safely, affordably and independently with access to life- and health-enhancing services,” Commissioner Visnauskas said. “With 150 homes, Garden Towers Apartments is an important part of HCR’s efforts to invest in Bronx communities and we are grateful to Foxy Management, HANAC and HPD for helping us get this latest development off the ground.”
Garden Towers Apartments will consist of an eight-story building with 86 apartments facing Boston Road and a seven-story building with 64 apartments facing Clinton Avenue. All apartments will be affordable to households earning at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income. There will be 109 studios, 40 one-bedroom apartments and one apartment for a building superintendent. The project’s developer is Foxy Management. 

Forty-five apartments will be set aside for formerly homeless seniors who will have access to on-site services provided by the Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee. Services include case management, health care services, meals, transportation, and translation services. 
The two buildings will be connected by a glass-enclosed greenhouse that will serve as a walkway from one building to the other, as well as a gathering place for seniors and their families. Additional residential amenities include tenant parking, indoor bicycle storage, an on-site laundry facility, a computer room, and three large multi-purpose rooms, two of which will have a kitchenette. There will be a social services suite with program offices and a conference room for use by HANAC. 

Both buildings are designed to meet the standards of the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program. Energy-efficient features will include low-flow plumbing features, Energy Star appliances and lighting, and high thermal performance windows with proper air sealing measures. The buildings will also have a 117.98 kW capacity solar array. 

HCR financing for Garden Towers Apartments includes $23.7 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds and Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $42.3 million in equity. The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery is providing a $9.3 million loan. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development is providing $9.3 million through the Senior Affordable Rental Apartments program and will provide project-based Section 8 vouchers for all residents. 

Garden Towers is part of the state’s unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. HCR is in the final year of the plan and on track to exceed its goals of building and preserving more than 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing. 
Over the last decade, HCR has invested $1.3 billion to build and preserve over 15,000 homes across the Bronx. 

Paul Lozito, Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery Deputy Executive Director of Housing, Buyout, and Acquisition Programs said, “GOSR is proud to help create new, high quality housing in well-established and historically underserved communities like Morrisania. This investment in Garden Towers exemplifies GOSR’s commitment to a multi-layered approach to resiliency- including building upland from coastal flood risk in the Bronx and across New York.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “Creating affordable housing and expanding opportunities for our seniors and our most vulnerable population, who are some of the people who have been hardest hit by the pandemic, is not only important but will play a crucial role in our borough's recovery. The Garden Towers Apartment Development is a monumental project and serves as a model for how we should be taking care of our seniors who have stood by our borough through the good times and the bad. I look forward to the day hundreds of people will have a new home in Morrisania.”

Assembly Member Chantel Jackson said, “It is with joy that I join NYS Homes & Community Renewal in announcing the groundbreaking for “Garden Towers Apartments”, a new affordable housing development in Morrisania. This project is a vital step towards realizing the promise that New York state has made to finance the revitalization of the South Bronx, which we all know has been excluded from state funding for far too long. In addition, this new residence will be affordable, support the elderly, and include on-site support services, which gives me hope that it will play an important role in advancing the goals I set out to achieve as part of my Wellness, Education, Housing, NOW! (W.H.E.N.) mission.”

Jeff Fox, Principal of Foxy Management, said, “Garden Towers will provide high-quality senior housing with a forward-thinking amenity and services package that is reflective of Foxy’s continuing mission to care for our community’s most vulnerable. With on-site social services and full rental subsidy, seniors will be able to live in comfort without concern about rent burden. Foxy and its partners at JLD Advisory are incredibly thankful to our service provider partner HANAC, and our financial sponsors at HFA, HPD, Chase and Boston Financial for all their support in bringing this project to fruition during such a difficult time.  

Stacy Bliagos, Executive Director of HANAC, said, “HANAC is extremely proud to be part of the Garden Towers project, a unique development for low- income seniors with great sustainability features, including a glass greenhouse, green roofs and solar panels. HANAC will be the onsite social services provider for all residents to help them age in place in a stable living environment. HANAC applauds all partners for making Garden Towers a reality to serve our older New Yorkers.” 

Article first published on August 23, 2021 at HCR.NY.GOV