After years of hard work and labor, the ribbon has been cut at Courtlandt Corners ushering over 300 brand new apartments in the ever growing neighborhood of Melrose. Once a blighted span of two blocks of brownfields on East 161st Street between Melrose and Courtlandt Avenues, the new development through its architecture acts as sort of a gateway into Melrose with beautifully designed buildings on 'either side of the street. Courtlandt Corners is yet another wonderful affordable housing development by Phipps Houses and was designed by Dattner Architects and built by Monadnock Construction. Phipps Houses has a long history in New York City as the city's oldest and largest not-for-profit developer as well as owner of housing for low and middle income families.
The 323 units are a mixture of studios, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units made available to a wide range of low and middle income individuals and families. The units are quite nice with large windows letting in ample sunlight. Finishing touches such as countertops, tiles and flooring are pretty average and plain compared to competing developments like The Residences at Northrose of Boricua Village and The Eltona - which boast higher end finishes and hardwood flooring. The good thing is that the 2 and 3 bedroom units more than make up for this lack of detail as each of these units come equipped with a washer and dryer. This last detail is where Courtlandt Corners one ups the other developments mentioned as they only have laundry rooms on each floor.
During the opening speeches prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony several key individuals from all the partner organizations spoke of the remarkable turnaround that Melrose has made. Andrew Weinstein, President and CEO of Phipps Housing and Development, spoke about how the site was a brownfield and all of the work it took to clean it up and turn it into Courtlandt Corners. Mr. Weinstein also commented on the importance of this development to the community at large due to its location next to the Melrose Metro North station and his hopes that it will spur the MTA increase service to between the Melrose and Grand Central Station which is only a 13 minute ride and to the northern reaches of Metro North for those reverse commuters.
Rafael E. Cestero, NYC's Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Preservation, spoke with pride of the metamorphoses of Melrose and how above all other neighborhoods in the entire city, Melrose has been redeveloped along with community leaders, government officials, and developers into a neighborhood that people and families are becoming interested in coming back to and not a neighborhood. This is a major reversal of what was once the demise of a neighborhood that political leaders, banks and even its own residents gave up on.
Ronay Menschel, Chair of Phipps houses also echoed what Andrew Weinstein said about working with the MTA to get better service to the Melrose Metro North Station which is an important regional connection right in our own neighborhood. Ms. Menschel also acknowledged all who worked hard on making this project a reality for the community.
Courtland Corners consists of 2 sites directly across from each other on East 161st Street between Melrose and Courtlandt Avenues. The northern building is lined with ground floor commercial space from Courtlandt all the way to Melrose Avenue and the southern site offers ground floor commercial space as well, from Courtlandt Avenue to halfway up the block toward Melrose Avenue. The combined sites offer over 21,000 square feet of retail spaces. Any savvy businessman, company, etc who is reading this should contact Charles Gross of Phipps at 212-243-9090 ext 236. The new retail and commercial spaces available at Courtlandt Corners is an opportunity not to be missed since Melrose is after all the fastest growing neighborhood in the Bronx and the development's mixed low and middle income tenants should be enough of a draw as well.
A big Melrose THANK YOU goes out to Phipps Houses, Dattner Architects, Monadnock Construction, Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Ted Weinstein, Director of Bronx Planning for NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the many others who made this development possible.
Oh and a big Welcome2Melrose to all the new residents who will be occupying these lovely units! Be sure to contact us and let us know how your stories about living there and why you want to move to Melrose!
Ed García Conde
The "Mayor" of Melrose