December 09, 2016
New York, NY - Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) joined with New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and Council Member James Vacca today to mark the beginning of construction on a new home for the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) in a former Chase Bank building at 2700 East Tremont Avenue. The $5.6 million project, which was funded by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, to convert the 7,300-square-foot structure is scheduled to be completed in late 2017.
“The new Bronx Council on the Arts building has been designed to serve multiple purposes, as offices for BCA but also a flexible performance and event space that can be adapted to the needs of the community,” said Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “An inviting façade with views of the building interior will entice local residents to come in and be involved with BCA activities. And the building will meet LEED Silver standards for environmental responsibility. We thank BCA for the opportunity to build a beautiful new home for them.”
“The artists and arts groups that call this borough home have an extraordinary supporter and advocate in the Bronx Council on the Arts,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “We are proud to support this renovation project, helping to establish a new cultural hub and provide BCA the space it needs to serve the borough’s vibrant cultural community.”
The new BCA home is a former bank that was donated to the organization by JP Morgan Chase. DDC’s design, in conjunction with design consultant LTL Architects, provides administrative offices for the organization around a large, double-height, central, adaptable space that can accommodate exhibits, workshops, performances, events, or other uses as needed. The renovation includes an attractive new façade that provides of view of the building’s interior.
The new building will meet LEED Silver standards for environmental responsibility, with ample natural lighting throughout and modern lighting and climate control systems to minimize electrical use and improve the building’s long-term sustainability. DDC is managing the project for the Department of Cultural Affairs.
“BCA is working to build a new, dynamic HQ that will serve our growing borough and beyond,” said Charles Rice-Gonzalez, BCA’s Board Chairman.
“The new BCA@2700 headquarters will house all of BCA's staff and operations including, Cultural Grant-making, the Bronx Writers Center, multidisciplinary arts, exhibits, community programs, and advocacy activities,” said Deirdre Scott, former BCA Executive Director. “BCA loves Westchester Square and cannot wait to welcome the community, and offer enhanced services to the Bronx while growing the cultural economy.”
“This is a great opportunity to showcase our artistic talent and let the world know that The Bronx is also the home to some of our city’s most vibrant artists,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “It is with great honor that I support the development and construction of the new headquarters for the Bronx Council on The Arts. I am proud to have provided $475,000 in capital funding for this worthy project that will serve our borough’s arts and cultural community, nurturing their talents while also increasing awareness of our local arts scene across the region through cultural programs and events.”
“Westchester Square is on its way to becoming the cultural center of the New Bronx. The groundbreaking of the new Bronx Council on the Arts building signifies a watershed moment for the redevelopment and revitalization of the East Bronx,” said Council Member James Vacca. “Westchester Square has been a top priority throughout my tenure representing the area. Between the complete renovation of Owen Dolan Park & the creation of a top notch Business Improvement District, the area is primed for success. BCA moving to the Square is the next step in realizing the expansive vision for the future of the area.”
“The construction for the Bronx Council on the Arts’ new headquarters is not just an exciting development for the Westchester Square community, but for the entire borough of the Bronx as a cradle for the arts,” said U.S. Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “From the start, I have supported the expansion of the organization into this facility because cultural spaces bring people together and are integral to the growth of our communities. I’m thrilled Bronx Council on the Arts will soon have a larger canvas with which to work with and I thank everyone involved in the effort to make this moment a reality!”
“Bronx Community Board #10 eagerly awaits the arrival of the Bronx Council on the Arts headquarters to Westchester Square, providing a much welcomed cultural boost to the area,” said Martin Prince, Chairman, Bronx community Board #10. “We thank the JP Morgan Chase, Mayor de Blasio, Borough President Diaz, Councilman Vacca; as well as, Commissioner Finkelpearl and Commissioner Peña-Mora for their efforts in realizing this magnificent project benefiting our community. We look forward to welcoming the Bronx Council on the Arts as Bronx Community Board #10 neighbors.”
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.