FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 24, 2017 
CONTACT: Juliet Pierre-Antoine, 212-863-5682




New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner and officials celebrate the start of construction on the first building of the La Central development. La Central will be a five-building, new construction project on one of the last large swaths of vacant, city-owned land in the Bronx. Bordered by Bergen Avenue, Brook Avenue and East 149th Street, La Central will include a total of 985 mixed-income affordable apartments, a host of new retail, community and recreation spaces, and a new YMCA. This first building will create 161 units of supportive housing, including 97 supportive units for formerly homeless New Yorkers with special needs, 63 units for low income individuals, and 1 unit for the building’s superintendent.

Financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan, La Central demonstrates the City’s commitment to finding productive use for all vacant land to make the most of our city’s assets and build livable neighborhoods that meet all the needs of their communities. In addition to nearly 1,000 affordable homes, the overall La Central development plan includes the construction of an approximately 48,000 square-foot YMCA facility, a Montefiore Medical Center Diabetes Prevention Program, a rooftop farm, a daycare facility, and the Bronx Astronomy Tower and Lab, a telescope on the rooftop which will be able to be remotely used by students at the Bronx High School of Science, and possibly by other schools. Full development plans also include a community space and recording studio run by Music Has No Enemies (MHNE), a nonprofit organization with a focus on creating meaningful music and film content for socially responsible companies and non-profit organizations around the world. The community space will be used to curate workshops and the recording studio will be open to projects made for and by the community.

HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer said, “HPD is excited to celebrate the start of construction on this long-vacant site in the Bronx. This first phase of development will create 160 supportive homes for individuals in need. I want to thank Breaking Ground and Comunilife for their partnership and I look forward to welcoming new residents into their new homes.

“Supportive housing brings together housing and tailored services necessary for veterans and those with health and mental health issues to achieve better stability in their lives,” Samuel D. Roberts, Commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Commissioner, said. “The strong state commitment to projects like this are what have made New York a national leader in addressing homelessness.”

RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, "HCR is thrilled to help bring 160 affordable and supportive apartments, retail, and recreation spaces to the South Bronx. This is part of the Governor's commitment to aggressively address homelessness, increase access to safe, secure housing, and provide the support and the path to opportunity that people need. La Central will be a terrific example of the forward-thinking approach to housing and community development that is increasing the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout New York."

This first building will be supportive housing developed by Breaking Ground. Comunilife will provide support services for residents including, comprehensive case management and social services. The building will also include Comunilife’s Vida Guidance Center, a 10,000 square foot community mental health clinic, which will provide comprehensive community mental health services to children, adolescents, adults and seniors; as well as Life is Precious™, an innovative program for teens who have seriously considered or attempted suicide and Mi Salud, an integrated physical and mental health program for seniors.

The building will feature ultra-efficient fixtures and water-saving appliances, a green roof, and roof- mounted solar panels that will provide energy savings and reduce reliance on the area’s electrical grid.

“At Breaking Ground, we believe everyone deserves a home and we are committed to assuring that every New York City community can be home to our most vulnerable neighbors. La Central will stand as a model of what can be accomplished when public and private sectors collaborate and listen to community needs. We are thrilled to break ground on our new supportive residence in the South Bronx and play an important role in helping the Bronx to remain affordable for hard working New Yorkers as part of our community revitalization efforts now and well into the future,” said Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground.

“Comunilife is so pleased to be partnering with Breaking Ground on the development of 96 new supportive apartments for some of our City's most at-risk residents and thrilled to be part of today's groundbreaking ceremony. The La Central project, which has been in the planning stages for many years, marks a new era for this neighborhood. When the building opens in two years the new residents will have beautiful new apartments in which to live and the on-site services they require to be active member of this community,” said Dr. Rosa M. Gil, President and CEO Comunilife, Inc.

"Wells Fargo is proud to be part of Breaking Ground and Comunilife's La Central project that will provide affordable housing for formerly homeless and low-income New Yorkers. La Central is a model of affordable, sustainable development that will foster the transformation of the quality of life not just for its residents, but for the entire neighborhood. This project demonstrates what is possible when the public and private sectors come together to create affordable homes that not only serve our most vulnerable neighbors, but that adds significant value to the life of our great city,” said Alan Wiener, Managing Director of Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital.

“La Central is an important investment in the community because it will address a pressing need to end homelessness for those suffering on our streets with disabilities exacerbated by HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions,” said Jennifer Trepinski, Senior Loan Officer for CSH in New York. “Breaking Ground has an excellent reputation for delivering quality supportive housing and the neighborhood as a whole will benefit as a result of the services Comunilife will provide. These factors are the basis for a unique decision on our part to award two pre-development loans totaling $1 million to move La Central forward.”

The total development cost for the project is roughly $67 million. HPD provided more than $12 million from the Supportive Housing Loan Program; and the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation provided $250,000. New York State’s Housing Finance Agency is providing $31 million in tax-exempt bond financing towards the construction of the project.  At project completion, permanent financing will consist of nearly $27 million of Low Income Housing Tax Credit generated from HFA’s tax credit allocation; $11.5 million from HCR’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program; $5.9 million from OTDA’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program. Additional funding came from Wells Fargo and the Corporation for Supportive Housing.


About the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For moreinformation visit and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.