May 5, 2022
NRP Group, Selfhelp Realty Group, and Foxy Management will develop a solar-oriented building on an underused section of the Morris Houses II campus in Morrisania, Bronx
The development will provide Bronx and NYCHA residents with a community health center, nutrition education space, and on-site career-training in healthcare and technology
Rendering by Nightnurse, images courtesy of Magnusson Architecture and Planning
NEW YORK – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) joins NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) today to announce plans to build approximately 195 deeply affordable homes for seniors in the Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx. The Sol on Park development will give rise to a 15-story mixed-use building paired with a new community health center, a nutrition education facility, and career-training spaces accessible to residents and the community at-large.
“As we try to make New York City healthier, greener, more affordable, and more prosperous, we need projects like this one that do everything at the same time,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "We are creating homes for hundreds of Bronxites and New Yorkers, and we are doing it the right way — with access to the economic opportunity and health resources we all need.”
“Seniors are the heart and soul of our communities and Sol on Park exemplifies the highest quality of housing and support we ought to provide seniors to age in place with dignity and comfort,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “With new facilities for healthcare, nutrition, and career training, Sol on Park allows us to invest in the entire neighborhood’s health and future well-being while bringing much needed affordable homes to the Morrisania neighborhood. Thank you to our development partners NRP Group, Selfhelp, and Foxy Management for such a creative and holistic plan. Congratulations!”
“NYCHA is committed to ensuring that the population of older New Yorkers who enrich our neighborhoods are able to thrive here, and we will continue to use our underutilized assets in support of this goal,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “We are excited to assist HPD, HDC, and the development team assembled to bring the Sol on Park project to fruition – and look forward to realizing this exciting new model for safe and affordable senior housing.”
“In addition to 195 deeply affordable homes, the sustainably designed Sol on Park will offer educational and wellness services to support our senior residents and the surrounding community,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Congratulations to the development team and thank you to all of our partners for their ongoing efforts to create a healthier, more affordable city for all New Yorkers.”
Council Member Althea Stevens said, “I am excited about the introduction of the new development planning to enter the Morrisania community. It is important that we are investing in our older adult population to ensure healthier and equitable accessibility in their daily lives. Also, this development will serve vital assent in the progress in establishing more opportunities for permanent housing, rather than temporary housing.”
“The NRP Group has always strived to deliver high-quality “healthy housing” developments that put betterment and wellbeing at the center of apartment living,” said NRP Group Senior Vice President Jonathan Gertman. “That is why we are so pleased to join with our team members, along with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Authority, to bring Sol on Park to life. Located on the Morris Houses campus, Sol on Park will deliver critical wrap-around services that enable senior residents – and community members of all ages – to fulfill their highest potential. This special development will feature 195 beautifully designed apartment homes activated with premium healthcare services, health and wellness amenities, workforce training and job placement, and other life affirming services. It will be a launch pad for personal and community development, economic revitalization, and pathways of opportunity and hope.”
A development team comprised of NRP Group, Selfhelp Realty Group, and Foxy Management was selected to construct Site 1 of the Seniors First Kingsborough and Morris Houses RFP located at the corner of St. Paul’s Place and Park Avenue within the Morris II public housing development in Morrisania Bronx. Sol on Park employs a health-centric design and a robust social services model for senior households earning up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or approximately $41,800 annually for a single occupant. All households will receive project-based Section 8 vouchers, with a portion of homes set aside for both NYCHA residents and seniors experiencing homelessness. Social services for the seniors will be provided by Selfhelp’s Active Services for Aging Model (SHASAM), helping residents to manage chronic health issues, aging, and providing culturally competent health programming.
The project is part of the City’s Seniors First initiative to develop and preserve senior housing on NYCHA land and support the growth of New York’s aging population. NYCHA staff met with residents and resident leaders of Morris Houses in 2019 to inform the developments plans which honor residents’ preferences for senior affordable housing designed to support healthcare services, outdoor activities, nutrition, jobs, and amenities that serve seniors.
“Housing is health; health is housing”
The development team gave the project the theme “housing is health; health is housing,” speaking to its design and features that promote healthy living and healthy lifestyles. NYCHA and HPD sought community input to determine the development’s public-facing facilities and partnered with highly regarded local organizations on utilizing 11,500 square feet of space for new community resources including new healthcare, nutrition, and career training facilities.
Sol on Park plans include:
Magnusson Architecture and Planning brought to life the development’s health-focused design. The new apartments allow for natural light and ventilation while creating a sense of eyes on the streets and connection to the community. Additionally, the homes are designed to have distinct spaces for cooking, dining, socializing, and sleeping. Cascading roof terraces, multiple floors of community space, a large pedestrian plaza and a shared walkway with the adjacent NYCHA campus will top off the development’s dynamic design.
Sol on Park is also designed to achieve a LEED Platinum Rating for sustainable design, an ENERGY STAR certification for emitting fewer greenhouse gases, and the highest rating from Fitwel, which sets global standards for the building design and development practices in support of healthier and equitable access to a higher quality of life.
“Selfhelp Realty Group is extremely proud to be partnering with NRP Group and Foxy Management to expand the availability of affordable housing for seniors, NYCHA residents, and formerly homeless individuals in Morrisania,” said Selfhelp Community Services CEO Stuart C. Kaplan. “For decades, Selfhelp has been building affordable housing and offering services through its recognized service model, SHASAM (Selfhelp Active Services for Aging Model). We’re honored to further our partnership with HPD, NYCHA and HDC and to join with our partners to promote health and wellness, education, and career development for the community. Selfhelp will expand its Home Care Training Program to Sol on Park, providing new employment opportunities for the community.”
“The need for affordable senior housing is tremendous and is getting more dire as the senior population is expected to triple, costs of living continue to rise, and the aging housing stock in our city is less and less accessible to our most vulnerable residents,” said Foxy Management Principle Jeff Fox. “Sol on Park will address this need head-on, in part by creating a health-centric senior community that will serve as an anchor for a better future. Foxy is dedicated to the communities it serves and particularly to developing senior communities where older adults may thrive and live in dignity. We are thrilled to work with NRP, Selfhelp and MAP to bring the proposal to life.”
“Aging in place with dignity is an essential theme of Sol on Park, driving a design process that went from the inside out,” said Magnusson Architecture & Planning's Director of Planning and Urban Design Brian Loughlin. “Turning the floor plates 45-degrees will yield light-filled apartments with multiple exposures and alcoves for more livable spaces. An emphasis on indoor air quality, healthy materials, access to the outdoors and shared amenity spaces, will bolster both mental and physical health. Opportunities for socialization and connections to neighbors continue through thoughtful urban design. The building’s site placement, terraced massing, and pedestrian-friendly open spaces preserve light and air between the nearby structures and make the development’s health-focused community programming easily accessible to residents of the surrounding area.”
“One of the largest and most trusted community health centers in New York, UNION has been providing continuous healthcare services to Bronx residents for over 100 years. We are excited about our partnership with HPD, NYCHA, HDC and even more so for the seniors of Sol on Park and the Morrisania community,” said Dr. Douglas L. York, President and CEO of Union Community Health Center. “Our commitment to the Sol on Park senior residence and wellness center will further allow us to respond to the social determinants of health our community faces daily and extend our mission to reach those most in need of quality healthcare and specialty services.”
“This is what commUNITY looks like!" says Stephen Ritz, Founder of Green Bronx Machine. “At Green Bronx Machine, intergenerational programming has been at the heart of our award-winning work and curriculum. This partnership allows our children to take their knowledge, passion, purpose, and hope and work together with the eyes, ears, and gatekeepers of our community, to inspire healthy living, healthy learning, combat climate change and grow something greater while systemically addressing our most pressing needs; a wholly virtuous cycle. With our national headquarters in Claremont Village, we could not be prouder to be part of this brilliant team.”
“The SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center is excited to partner on this project to provide adult education and workforce development to support this housing development,” said SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center Executive Director/CEO Ronnie Hector. “While housing remains a crucial concern for New Yorkers, it is refreshing to see that a developer comprehensively understands the need to partner with local institutions to support community upliftment and upward mobility. The SUNY Bronx EOC is delighted to be a part of this creative and innovative way of housing and community development. The SUNY Bronx EOC will provide entry-level allied health training along with GED, college preparation and Microsoft office specialist training in support of the community residence economic and social upward mobility.”
“Today’s announcement is a huge win and a step forward towards ensuring our older New Yorkers have access to safe, quality, affordable housing in our borough. Our seniors are the pioneers and trailblazers that paved the way for us to be here and they deserve housing that addresses their unique needs,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “I want to congratulate The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Housing Authority, the NYC Housing Development Corporation, NRP Group, Selfhelp Realty Group, and Foxy Management for their work on this important mixed-use housing development. The partnerships with The Union Community Health Center, The Green Bronx Machine’s National Health & Wellness Center, The SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center, and Selfhelp’s Home Care Program and Training Center for Home Health Aides brings important amenities to this project that address health and wellness, holistic care and wraparound services for our older adults.”
“This 15-story affordable housing project will take advantage of an underused lot in Morris Houses and provide low-income seniors in my district with a much-needed affordable place to live. Further, these residents will have access to a one-of-a-kind community health center that will offer them a variety of resources and services that will help them lead a healthier lifestyle," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I want to thank all public and private partners including trusted Bronx health institutions such as UCHC and The Green Bronx Machine for creating this unique model that will increase access to affordable housing while integrating access to healthy activities in my district."
“As was made clear by a survey our office recently administered, people in the Bronx desperately want to see increases in the borough’s stock of affordable housing, health services, and resources for seniors,” said Assemblymember Chantel Jackson. “With these goals in mind, I am excited by the HPD’s decisions to construct a new affordable development in the Morrisania area that will prioritize the needs of seniors and host multiple community health centers.”
“Providing our seniors with decent and affordable housing is essential,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “This development is a model for affordable housing that provides residents with the resources that holistically invests in the health and success of our communities. I look forward to the completion of Sol on Park to ensure the seniors in our borough get the support they deserve.”
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. For full details visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) provides affordable housing to 380,299 authorized residents in over 177,611 apartments within 335 housing developments. NYCHA serves 359,593 authorized residents in over 168,100 apartments within 285 housing developments through the conventional public housing program (Section 9) and 20,706 authorized residents in 9,511 units within 50 developments that have been converted to PACT/RAD. Through federal rent subsidies (Section 8 Leased Housing Program), NYCHA also assists approximately 77,663 families in locating and renting units. In addition, NYCHA facilitates access to social services through a variety of programs. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook/nycha and www.twitter.com/NYCHA
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency and is charged with helping to finance the creation or preservation of affordable housing for New Yorkers. HDC also serves as a key financing partner in the rehabilitation of our city’s public housing stock under the NYCHA Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) initiative. Since 2003, HDC has financed more than 201,000 housing units using over $28 billion in bonds and other debt obligations and provided in excess of $3 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves and other available funds held by the corporation. HDC ranks among the nation’s top issuers of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing on Thomson Reuter’s annual list of multi-family bond issuers. In each of the last five consecutive years, HDC’s annual bond issuance has averaged $2 billion. For additional information, visit: http://www.nychdc.com.
The NRP Group is a vertically integrated developer, owner, builder, and manager of best-in-class multifamily housing. Since its founding in 1994, NRP has developed more than 50,000 apartment homes, and currently manages over 26,000 residential units. The company utilizes the entire breadth of its in-house capabilities to fulfill its mission: creating exceptional rental communities for individuals and families, regardless of income. Through its disciplined approach to vetting opportunities, NRP has established a track record of delivering impressive returns for investors. The company’s formidable size and depth of talent provides the experience and infrastructure necessary to execute developments of varying degrees of complexity and scope in both urban-infill and suburban locations, including market rate, affordable, and senior housing. The NRP Group has been named the 2021 NMHC #3 Top Multifamily Builder in the U.S. and #5 Top Multifamily Developer, and Affordable Housing Finance has named The NRP Group #2 Top Affordable Housing Developer. The NRP Group is a winner of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Multifamily Pillars of the Industry award for “Builder of the Year” and a three-time recipient of the “Development Firm of the Year.” For additional information, please visit https://www.nrpgroup.com/.
Selfhelp Realty Group (SRG) | The Melamid Institute for Affordable Housing is a non-profit corporation dedicated to robustly responding to New York’s affordable housing crisis for older adults. SRG currently owns and operates 15 affordable housing residences in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Long Island, and is focused on ensuring that older New Yorkers have access to safe, clean, and affordable housing where they can avail themselves of services that promote healthy aging. Known as SHASAM, The Selfhelp Active Services for Aging Model offers access to comprehensive services to support aging in place, if and when requested. SRG is an affiliate of Selfhelp Community Services, a major social services organization serving 25,000 of New York’s most vulnerable older residents. For more information, visit www.selfhelp.net.
Foxy Management is a Bronx-based development and property management company. Foxy has developed and/or preserved nearly 1,300 units of affordable and supportive housing at total development cost of approximately $450 million. Working together with various City and State agencies, global financial institutions, and both for-profit and not-for-profit development partners, Foxy finds creative solutions to bring high-quality housing to the communities it serves. In its ongoing role as property manager, Foxy ensures the long-term operational and financial well-being of its projects. For more information, visit www.foxymanagement.com and www.foxywallproject.com.
Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) For over three decades, MAP has worked with non-profit groups, municipalities, and for-profit developers to produce award-winning housing and neighborhood revitalization projects that have been on the forefront of quality design and sustainability. MAP offers comprehensive architectural and planning services, and specializes in affordable, supportive, senior and workforce housing, as well as buildings with a range of affordability including market-rate or integrated supportive units. MAP’s expertise extends to community-based planning and urban design, resident-in-place renovations, mixed-use development and sustainable design for Passive House, LEED, NYSERDA, Energy Star, and Enterprise Green Communities certification. For more information, visit www.maparchitects.com.
Union Community Health Center is one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers in New York State providing a comprehensive clinic portfolio with a wide array of health services. UNION has been a cornerstone of the Bronx since 1909, serving all those in need of healthcare and resources from its seven sites and two mobile health units. For more information, visit https://www.uchcbronx.org/.
Green Bronx Machine is recognized as a Top-Ten Health and Wellness School Program in America, Green Bronx Machine is a project-based, whole-school immersion program with proprietary curriculum that aligns the art and science of growing vegetables indoors to key school performance indicators and happy, healthy children, addressing the social determinants of health. With curriculum in over 600 schools across the nation, Green Bronx Machine grows vegetables, our vegetables grow students, our students grow schools, and our schools grow happy, healthy, resilient communities. Learn more at www.greenbronxmachine.org.
The SUNY Bronx Education Opportunity Center (Bronx EOC) is one of then (10) Educational Opportunity Centers and two (2) Career Counseling and Outreach Centers providing a technologically connected, integrated system of mon-degree academic and workforce development programs that are tuition-free throughout the state of New York—established in 1985 the SUNY Bronx EOC provides career and workforce development programs to serve the needs of Bronx communities. In addition, the Bronx EOC provides academic and technology programs to support upward mobility and socioeconomic development. http://www.bronxeoc.org/.