Brooklyn, New York
LOS SURES is a community based not-for-profit housing development corporation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was founded in 1973 by a priest, a school teacher, a legal service attorney and 3 VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteers. One of the VISTAs, WQB founder William Brothers, became architect for the new company. Working with Bernard Rothzeid at RKTB, Mr. Brothers developed strategies for moderate renovation of “en-rem” NYC HPD buildings and the conversion of those buildings to tenant owned cooperatives. LOS SURES was also active in converting demolition sites into parks, lunch programs, tenant education, and was successful in conversion of one NYC’s most dangerous, drug-infested neighborhoods into a safe moderate income family community.
New York, New York
Manhattan West (in red above) is a 17-story affordable rental building between 10th and 11th Ave. and 55th and 56th St. The building was designed in response to an RFP issued by the City of New York. The project strategy was to design a larger building than the RFP requested and to spend the extra rental income on better building materials and finishes than competing teams offered. This bold strategy required WQB and their collaborator, the firm of Rothzeid Kaiserman Thomson & Bee, to prove that their design would fit the scale of its surroundings. The solution was an “I” shaped design, with a six-story street wall continuous with the Potemkin building (in light-blue above), and a mid-section that spans the block and matches the height of some neighboring 17-story apartment towers. The Kretchmer Companies, ELH MGMT, and the Dermot Company were the developers. The design was submitted in 2007 and has yet to be awarded.
359 East 157th St.
Bronx, New York
Manhattan Boutique Real Estate (MBRE) and SOBRO are submitting a development proposal to the NYC Housing Preservation Development Commission for development of 359 East 157th Street in the Bronx as a community residence for homeless and low income senior citizens. The building is designed to be environmentally friendly, promote an active life style and includes an intergenerational center to provide services for the seniors and help them integrate into the surrounding community.
1490 Southern Blvd
Bronx, New York
WQB Architecture assisted Manhattan Boutique Real Estate (MBRE) and SOBRO in the preparation of the design of a building to house homeless teenagers and low income families at 1490 Southern Blvd in the Bronx. The project includes development of all rooftop outdoor spaces to promote an active lifestyle and development of a “Transformation Academy” for youth training and counseling for residents and the surrounding community. The project is part of the NYC Housing Preservation and Developments program for MWBE developers.
This residential project, which revitalized abandoned buildings and replaced an urban lot, created affordable one and two-bedroom units for families and seniors in Harlem. It was developed by the Community Preservation Corporation and the Center Development Corporation, and sponsored by the Shiloh Baptist Church and St. Philips Episcopal Church. The project combined the gut renovation of an existing 100-year old building with new construction on an adjacent lot into one new elevator serviced residential building. The other phase was the gut renovation of an existing century-old building into a five-story walk-up due to ADA compliance. The project was an HPD acquisition RFP site, funded by a mixture of New Market Tax Credits and Tax Exempt Bonds, loans from the CPC with 421-a tax abatement and j-51 tax deferrals. Construction was completed in 2009.
WQB Architecture assisted the Spring Valley Church of Nazarene for the design in the redevelopment of their property as an affordable housing site. Working with Rockland Housing Action Coalition, WQB Architecture designed a new 6 story building with 65 affordable apartments and 18 market rate townhouses. Financing was to be provided by the NYS AHC through the sale at 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC).
OBRFC Columbus Associates
107th Street at Columbus Avenue
New York, New York
OBRFC / Columbus Associates was formed to develop one of the last sites in NYC HPD’s Dollar Building Program. The site was composed of 3 totally “gutted” tenements which became the NYS HFA’s first 80/20 funding, with sales of a 4% LIHTC to Chevron Oil Co. OBRFC subsequently purchased a vacant lot at 965 Columbus Avenue which was developed under the Inclusionary Zoning Program, utilizing the 8% Low Income Housing Tax Credits and NYS Housing Trust Fund Infrastructure Grants. The Inclusionary Zoning Rights were sold to Millennium Partners for development of 1965 Broadway. Four additional properties on West 107th Street were purchased from the RTC which became moderate rehabs and were subsequently refinanced under NYC HPD programs. At the end of the project, OBRFC developed 8 buildings utilizing 7 different NYC and NYS programs and transformed a previously bombed-out block to new housing for 130 families with incomes as low as 50% of AMI and as high as local market rates.
1400 Fifth Avenue
1400 5th Ave. is an affordable housing project for 129 units that received a Silver Label by the LEED silver designation US Green Building Council Rating System. At the time of its completion, it was the largest affordable and energy efficient development in the United States, and the first full-service condominium in Harlem. All 129 units were sold before construction was finished. For interior and exterior photos and a full list of amenities and commercial tenants visit. It features a 140 unit ramp accessed valet parking facility.
Lot Dimensions: 100’ x 75’
Land Use: Public Facilities and Institutions, Parking Facilities
Proposed Use: Affordable independent residences for seniors (AIRS) units, Quality Housing (QH) units, Daycare facility, Ministry space,
District: Non-Contextual District
Maximum Buildable: 36,000 SF