3. Via Verde, South Bronx

More than any other building, Via Verde – the Green Way, was the project that raised public awareness that New York’s twin goals of affordability and sustainability could be addressed holistically. The project began in 2006 with New Housing New York Legacy, a  competition launched by the Bloomberg Administration seeking a development proposal that could provide a blueprint for how to build a high quality and innovative green affordable housing project. The City selected a plan by developers Jonathan Rose Companies and Phipps Houses from among 32 entries submitted by teams from across the world.

The Via Verde design, a collaboration between Grimshaw Architects and Dattner Architects, included a Postmodern stepped massing that allowed for a number of green roofs and gardens.  The LEED Gold building also features energy efficient appliances and building systems, rainwater capture, use of recycled materials, solar panels, and Active Design features to encourage walking and exercise.

Affordable New York A Housing Legacy Exhibit-Thomas Mellon-MCNY-Museum of the City of New York-NYC-5Via Verde Architectural Model

Completed in 2012, Via Verde provides 222 units of low- and middle-income housing. The development site, a City-owned contaminated railyard in the Melrose section of the South Bronx, required environmental remediation, which contributed to development costs that were about 10 percent higher than conventional construction.