Email a Friend
NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Press Release # 02-07
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Press Contact: Amanda Pitman


Phipps-Rose-Dattner-Grimshaw Selected To Develop City-Owned Site in South Bronx

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan and Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, 2004 President of New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY), today announced Phipps-Rose-Dattner-Grimshaw (PRDG) as the winning architect-developer team of New York City’s first juried design competition for affordable and sustainable housing. The competition, known as the New Housing New York (NHNY) Legacy Project, emerged from a collaboration between the NHNY Steering Committee, HPD, and AIANY, and was sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Enterprise, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and AIA 150 Blueprint to encourage the integration of sustainability and design excellence with affordable housing. 

Located in the South Bronx, the competition site is a 60,000 square foot vacant lot that consists of City-owned property and a legally abandoned rail right-of-way.  The City will sell the site to PRDG for a nominal fee in exchange for the design and construction of a mixed-use development that includes affordable housing for New Yorkers of low-, middle-, and moderate-incomes.  An exhibition of the five finalists’ proposals will be on view March 22 – June 16, 2007 at the Center for Architecture.  The exhibition will highlight how the project functions as a replicable model for sustainable affordable housing in New York City and other urban communities.

Comprised of The Phipps Houses, Dattner Architects, Jonathan Rose Companies and Grimshaw, the PRDG team presented a proposal, referred to as “Green Way” or “Via Verde”, that will consist of 202 residential units, in addition to retail and community spaces, and parking. The proposed development incorporates a range of residential spaces, varying from apartments in a tower to duplexes in a mid-rise to townhouses.  The development is organized around a multi-functional garden that begins at street-level as a courtyard and plaza, and spirals upward through a series of programmed, south-facing roof gardens that end in a sky terrace.  The gardens will be used for fruit and vegetable cultivation, passive recreation and social gathering, and provide storm water control and enhanced insulation.  Phipps Community Development Corporation (CDC) plans to expand its green market in East Tremont and community-supported agriculture collaboration with Just Food and will use Via Verde’s plaza for a neighborhood green market or organic food co-op.

The PRDG team said, "We are pleased and honored to have been selected by the New Housing New York jury to work with HPD to help develop a next generation of housing that is affordable and green.  We are inspired by a great vision to create places that are environmentally and socially responsible, but to do it within the constraints of affordable housing budgets and important community input.  One of the great pleasures of this competition was combining so much great thought from knowledgeable individuals, yet coming together as a team:  we became a community so that we could design a community!"

As proposed, the Via Verde will consist of both rental and homeownership units affordable to households of four earning from $28,360 up to $92,170 or from $19,840 up to $64,480 for a single household.  Approximately two-thirds of the housing units will be rental units and affordable to low-income families, earning up to $56,700 for a family of four or up to $39,700 for a single household.  All sixty-three homeownership units will be affordable to households of four earning up to $92,170 or up to $64,480 for a single household.  The proposal assumes that the rental units will be funded through a combination of the Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) New Housing Opportunity Program and Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and that the homeownership units will use HDC’s Affordable Co-op Program and New Market Tax Credits.  The Via Verde development is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace Plan to build or preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years, the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation’s history.

“We believe this unprecedented competition will raise the level of design sustainability and serve as a beacon for affordable housing across the city. Given the incredible response the competition received, and the innovative proposals the jury reviewed, the competition presents a real opportunity to change the future of affordable housing,” said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “We hope that PRDG’s proposal will serve as a prototype for future affordable housing developments built nationally and internationally.”

Joan Blumenfeld, FAIA, IIDA, 2007 President of the AIA New York Chapter said “New Housing New York is a remarkable collaboration between architects, government, and the private sector.  It is exactly the kind of initiative that illustrates how we, as design professionals, can have a positive and concrete impact on the future of our city.  Hopefully, the process we have developed through this project will impact planning and construction beyond its realization and help us rethink how we can design sustainable affordable housing throughout New York.”

By incorporating sustainable material choices, efficient mechanical systems and renewable strategies, Via Verde will aim to achieve gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that provides a standard of what constitutes a "green building".  Mechanical systems will include enhanced ventilation to apartments and individual control of heating and cooling.  Sun screens will shade the south and west facades and each unit will include high performance windows.  These energy efficient features will reduce utility bills for tenants, increasing affordability, and help improve indoor air quality.

“The overall competition and the quality of work that went into these proposals provides a snapshot of the innovative building construction going on in New York State,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Peter R. Smith. “Through NYSERDA’s New York Energy $martSM Multifamily Building Performance Program, we are encouraging many more developers, architects and others in the building industry to design and construct their properties to the ENERGY STAR standards. NYSERDA continually works to illustrate that high-quality, healthy, and energy efficient housing can also be affordable."

The NHNY competition was first announced at the Center for Architecture in June 2006.   In response, thirty-two architect-development teams submitted qualifications to the design jury, which consisted of prestigious architects, housing experts, and community officials, including Enrique Norten, FAIA, Principal, TEN Arquitectos, David Burney, FAIA, Commissioner New York City Department of Design and Construction, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., and Shaun Donovan, HPD Commissioner. This past September, the jury chose five finalists to submit full development proposals.  Each of the finalists received NYSERDA funded stipends to create their proposals.  In addition, Enterprise provided two grants totaling $30,000. Both grants went toward operational support, which included the launch of the competition’s website, support of the judging process, and an environmental report.  The NEA is providing an additional $30,000 for the preparation and installation of the exhibition at the Center for Architecture.

The five finalists chosen by the jury were as follows:

BRP Bluestone Rogers Marvel

Developers: BRP Development Corporation and The Bluestone Organization

Architects: Rogers Marvel

The Legacy Collaborative

Developers: The Dermot Company, Nos Quedamos and Melrose Associates

Architects: Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) and Kiss + Cathcart (K+C)

Phipps Rose Dattner Grimshaw

Developers: The Phipps Houses Group and The Jonathan Rose Companies

Architects: Dattner Architects and Grimshaw

seg Full Spectrum Hamlin Behnisch studioMDA

Developers: seg, Full Spectrum and Hamlin Ventures

Architects: Behnisch Architekten and studioMDA

WHEDCo Durst Cook+Fox

Developers: Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDCo) and Durst Sunset LLC

Architects: Cook+Fox Architects, LLP

When reviewing the five proposals and selecting the winning team, the judges considered specific design and development criteria including economic and long-term environmental sustainability, innovative design quality and replicable financing that leverages private and public subsidies.

“The impetus for the New Housing New York design competition came out of a desire to leverage the unique culture of innovation present in New York to address the issue of affordable housing in a concrete way.  The continued commitment of many volunteers, guided by the conviction that architecture has both the ability and responsibility to look beyond the expected, has been crucial in bringing the NHNY Legacy Project to this stage,” said NHNY Steering Committee Co-Chair Tara Siegel. “The involvement of neighborhood residents in the South Bronx has helped define the goals for the project, and with their continued input, we believe that it will be something all New Yorkers can be proud of.  We hope to see aspects of this project replicated both in New York and across the country as the quality and potential of affordable housing continues to be addressed in innovative ways.”

“We congratulate the winners and all of the participants in the New Housing New York Legacy Project, who have proven that affordable housing, innovative design and sustainability do not have to be mutually exclusive,” said Jim Himes, Director of Enterprise’s New York office. “Enterprise is pleased to have supported this project as part of our commitment to making green affordable housing the norm, a commitment exemplified by our national Green Communities initiative to finance and build thousands of environmentally friendly homes for low-income families. We hope that this winning project will inspire others to expand the boundaries of what is possible in sustainable affordable housing as well.”

Director of Design at the NEA Jeff Speck said "The National Endowment for the Arts is honored to be supporting this important project, and I am personally encouraged by the competition's focus on marrying high design to the practical demands of providing shelter to those who need it most."


Department of Housing Preservation and Development

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation’s largest municipal housing development agency and is implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history. HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards.

AIA New York Chapter

The AIA New York Chapter, the oldest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, founded in New York City in 1857, is dedicated to three goals: public outreach – engaging and interacting with the public about architecture and the built environment; professional development – helping architects to be the best at what they do; and design excellence – improving the quality of design and advocating environmental conservation and sustainability.  As part of the Institute’s celebration of its sesquicentennial projects around the country are being implemented to give back to the community.  The New Housing New York Legacy project is one of these projects.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

NYSERDA is a public benefit authority created in 1975 by the New York State Legislature. NYSERDA administers the New YorkEnergy $martSM program, which is designed to support certain public benefit programs during the transition to a more competitive electricity market. Some 2,700 projects in 40 programs are funded by a charge on the electricity transmitted and distributed by the State's investor-owned utilities. The New York Energy $martSM program provides energy efficiency services, including those directed at the low-income sector, research and development, and environmental protection activities.


Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For more than two decades, Enterprise has pioneered neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested $7 billion in equity, grants and loans and is currently investing in communities at a rate of $1 billion a year.  Enterprise’s New York office is the city’s leading nonprofit provider of affordable housing for low-income people. Since 1987, Enterprise’s New York office has housed over 59,000 men, women, and children, developed more than 21,000 affordable homes, and committed almost $1.4 billion in equity, grants, and loans to community development projects across the city. 

Visit www.enterprisecommunity.orgto learn more about Enterprise’s efforts to build communities and opportunity, and to meet some of the half a million people we have helped.


The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts -- both new and established -- bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit

For more information on the New Housing New York Legacy Project, please visit:


View Site Map