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More Than 150 New Affordable Housing Units Planned for Mott Haven

By Eddie Small | May 31, 2016 3:44pm
 Radson Development is working on a project that would bring 165 units of affordable housing to 147th Street in the South Bronx.
Radson Development is working on a project that would bring 165 units of affordable housing to 147th Street in the South Bronx.
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MOTT HAVEN — More than 150 new units of affordable housing are being planned for Mott Haven.

Radson Development is working on a residential project called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, which would be located at East 147th Street, between Timpson Place and Austin Place, and have 165 units of affordable housing.

The project would likely be built through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's Extremely Low and Low-Income Affordability program, which funds the construction of projects for households that earn up to 60 percent of Area Median Income.

READ MORE: What is AMI?

Daniel Rad, a principal at Radson Development, said the site would be a great fit for a new affordable housing project.

"It’s next to other affordable housing that is being done and also next to the 6 train," he said, "so it’s very conducive to doing nice affordable housing that people would be able to enjoy, and it also helps the neighborhood maintain its character."

MLK Plaza would be 12 stories tall at its highest point and include 24 studio apartments, 63 1-bedrooms, 54 2-bedrooms and 24 3-bedrooms.

The roughly 170,000-square-foot building would also contain amenities like roof gardens, a community room and on-site laundry, according to Rad.

Radson Development wants to rezone the area for the project and must go through the city's Uniform Land Use Review Process.

Bronx Community Board 1, where the project would be located, approved the rezoning at its meeting on Thursday with multiple stipulations, including that the nearby property at 860 E. 147th St. be excluded from it.

Richard Lobel, lawyer for the property owner of 860 E. 147th St., had requested that the board exempt his client's lot from the rezoning as he said he is trying to build a hotel there and received virtually no notice about the potential rezoning.

"The rezoning and the proposed project are able to proceed without having my client’s property included in the rezoning area," he said.

"We’re hopeful that, as we go through the process, that the relevant agencies will see that we really do have a valid reason to be excluded."

However, Rad maintained that a hotel would be a bad fit for the area and said he had been trying to purchase the lot to prevent it from happening.

"It’s too remote of a location," he said. "It doesn’t make any sense."

Rad hopes to close on financing for the project in December, start construction in early 2017 and finish it in the fall of 2018. He would like the rezoning to spur other residential developments in the neighborhood as well.

"Hopefully other projects will come from this rezoning. That’s the goal," he said.

"To make that corridor, that street — 147th Street — a vibrant residential street for hopefully all affordable housing."