Last year affordable housing developer Phipps Houses announced a major overhaul of the low-income housing complex, Lambert Houses, in the Bronx, and that ambitious undertaking is now moving forward, the New York Times reports. Phipps will take the 14-building campus and convert it into taller towers, which in turn will add 1,665 apartments to the area.
Built in the 1970s, the apartment complex was praised for its design at the time, but subsequently the buildings have deteriorated with a backed up sewage system that often floods the first floor hallways.
The complex overall, due to its open design, also poses a security risk, and the new design will significantly reduce access to the campus by adding ground floor retail and maisonette-style apartments on the lower levels.
The current residents at the complex will be moved to a temporary apartment facility while the $600 million overhaul takes place, which will see the demolition of the existing buildings. The number of apartments will double from the existing amount when construction wraps up.
Once complete, all the units will count towards Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of creating and preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing in the city over a 10-year period. Already, 28 percent of the units that were created since de Blasio took office are located in the Bronx.
Unlike Phipps’s plans to convert (that were since scrapped) a parking lot in Queens into affordable housing, the Bronx project has received overwhelming support from the residents and the local elected officials, according to the Times.