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Legacy Project Summary
Legacy Project Site

The New Housing New York (NHNY) Legacy Project will be the first built project as a result of the New Housing New York Design Ideas Competition of 2004.

Jointly sponsored by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the New York City Council, and the City University or New York, the NHNY Design Ideas Competition created enthusiasm for innovative design and production of affordable housing.

The NHNY Steering Committee now seeks to translate this enthusiasm into a built project: The Legacy Project of 2006.

New Housing New York Legacy Project is a collaboration between the NHNY Steering Committee, the American Institute for Architects (AIA) New York Chapter, the City of New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development and New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA).


Whereas affordable housing in New York is in short supply and rarely exhibits innovative design solutions to New York City’s pressing housing production problems.

To define these problems we will pursue the development of a built housing prototype that draws inspiration from the New Housing New York Design Ideas Competition, including issues of affordability, sustainability, transferability and viability.

Second, we will explore all methods to lower lifetime building cost.

Third, we will implement solutions through demonstration projects accompanied by a long-term commitment to post-occupancy analysis and project monitoring.

Fourth, we will publish and disseminate the results as a service to the community development professions of New York City and beyond.

Fifth, this shall be done by a group dedicated to the advancement of healthy, livable, affordable housing that seeks to achieve a high level of design excellence for all.
Legacy Project Summary

(Click here to download the Offering Package in .pdf format, for a thorough introduction to the Legacy Project. Please refer to the RFP for the most current site information.)

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development has designated a vacant 40,000 square-foot site in the South Bronx as the future location for a mixed-income housing development.  The City-owned site, currently valued at more than $4 million, will be sold to the awarded architect-developer team for a nominal fee.

NHNY will hold a competition to design a 150-unit, environmentally sustainable development with open community space for this site.  Through a two-stage process structured to foster innovation and design excellence, a short list of five architect-developer teams will be invited to submit exemplary proposals.  A jury of architects, city commissioners, community representatives and developers will judge submissions using criteria that emphasize sustainable and healthy design principles.  A series of community workshops will enable future residents to voice their wishes and concerns to the finalists.

NHNY will document the design proposals and the competitive process itself through educational programming, including an exhibition at the Center for Architecture in early 2007 and a final report.  This will allow professionals and the public to reflect on the future of housing development and NHNY as a replicable model in New York City and elsewhere. 

Finally, the winning design will be built on the Bronx site.  With a $145,000 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation environmental remediation grant, predevelopment is scheduled for 2007 and construction is to begin in 2008.

NHNY is committed to setting a new standard for affordable housing design and development; creating a competitive model that can be replicated in New York and across the country; and providing an affordable, sustainable, high-quality home for the participating Bronx families.

Legacy Project Site

The NHNY Legacy Project Development Site (Site) is composed of Bronxchester Urban Renewal Area sites 1A and site 13. Site 1A is a vacant City-owned lot located just northeast of “The Hub”, the Bronx’s third largest shopping district. Site 1A is approximately 40,000 square feet, and is located on the southeast corner of Brook Avenue and East 156th Street. Site 13 consists of City-owned air rights totaling approximately 20,000 square feet available from an adjacent privately-owned site.

The program envisioned for this site is a mixed-use, mixed-income development with residential upper floors serving a varied population and commercial and community uses at street level.

Sustainable design, such as the use of high performance, environmentally-appropriate construction materials that improve energy efficiency and the lifespan of the building, will be required. Preference will be given to designs that promote “healthy living” for tenants, such as an exercise room, outdoor space and easily accessible staircases. The land will be conveyed to the selected project team by the City of New York at a nominal price.  

More information about the site is available in the RFP.

Location: Brook Avenue and East 156th St, Bronx, NY

Directions: MTA Subway Lines: 2, 4, and 5 to E. 149th St. and Grand Concourse. Buses: #1, 2, 19, 26, 31, 41, and 55.