Representatives from The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) gathered alongside Douglaston Development, elected officials, and other project and community partners this past September to celebrate the grand opening of a brand-new, affordable senior housing development at 2850 Webster Avenue, located adjacent to the Garden’s grounds.
This first of the two-phase project provides 188 units for seniors.
“With more than 40 percent of seniors in the Bronx being rent-burdened, the importance of affordable senior housing like 2850 Webster Avenue cannot be overstated,” said Jennifer Bernstein, NYBG’s CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The development strategy provides for Cherry Valley Marketplace, a longstanding grocery store at the location, to move into the new ground-floor retail space. Working with the supermarket operator, Douglaston and NYBG received certification from the New York City Department of City Planning under the city’s Food Retail Expansion Program to Support Health (FRESH). The FRESH program provides “zoning and financial incentives for the establishment and retention of grocery stores in underserved communities,” according to the nyc.gov webpage.
The incentive is simple: property owners can build a slightly larger building than typically permitted by zoning if a fresh-food grocery store can be within comfortable walking distance. In this case, Cherry Valley Marketplace is right below the residences.
The second phase of the project, located at 2868 Webster Avenue, will provide 277 affordable apartments for individuals and families. The ground floor will also be occupied by Cherry Valley Marketplace.
Residents in these locations will receive free NYBG Memberships, allowing for a more connected community within the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx.
“Access to green space and time in nature are proven to have positive health benefits for people of all ages,” said Jennifer Bernstein. “We are thrilled to welcome our newest neighbors to The New York Botanical Garden.”
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