Project DescriptionEast Clarke Place Court is a successful example of public/private sector collaboration to develop one of the last vacant city-owned lots in the Grand Concourse corridor of The Bronx. Located just north of Yankee Stadium, it combines two properties into one integrated complex yielding a total of 106 low-income rental units: 12 East Clarke Place, an 11-story, mixed-use building that contains 73 units, and 27 East 169th Street, a 13-story residential building that has 33 units.
The project creates a green community that exceeds standards for affordable housing and is one of the first to meet the criteria of Enterprise Green Communities, a program that creates cost-effective, sustainable architecture for low-income families. It features distinctive architecture, a shared outdoor courtyard, high-quality finishes, and energy-saving features—all components for sustainable community growth.
Courtyards are not typical for affordable housing that is being done today in New York City. This urban outdoor space is a clean, safe, and protected environment with plantings and park furniture for the residents’ enjoyment. Connected by a below-grade parking garage, the buildings also share a recreation room for tenants, a rentable community facility space, and laundry facilities.
The buildings’ architecture was inspired by Art Deco buildings in The Bronx, with exterior facades that have a lively interplay of red, brown, and beige brick that give the project a distinctive identity within the neighborhood and achieve the greatest impact on a limited budget. The architects also pushed the capability of the usual block and plank structural system—often used to control costs of residential construction—in order to create unusually large windows, bring in abundant light, and elevate the residential experience. The interior finishes have a higher quality than normal for affordable housing, such as bamboo flooring, ceramic tiles, and custom wood cabinets. Overall, the unconventional design maximized floor area, bringing the developer an optimum return on the property.