In Yonkers, N. Y., the Cottage Place Gardens public housing complex is also being revitalized with the aid of a
CNI grant. Jesse Batus, a senior project manager at The
Community Builders, said the project consisted of 256
units in 14 squat, plain, brick, three- and four-story
walk-up buildings before the redevelopment began.
Since then, several structures on the site were demolished and replaced by 172 new housing units in two
phases of what Batus said will ultimately be a six-phase
process. Much of it is affordable housing. So far, Community Builders has received permits from the city to
construct 500 units.
“Our partners with the Municipal Housing Authority
for the City of Yonkers (MHACY) had done a good
job maintaining the development but ultimately it is
a distressed public housing project, having been built
in 1945 and suffering from systemic capital needs that
can’t be addressed through a rehab.
“Beyond that, there were things like outdated layouts
and finishes, poor building envelope issues from old
windows, doors, and insulation, as well as a lack of amenities. The buildings have outmoded heating systems,
a dearth of accessible units and a lack of active outdoor
spaces like parks or playgrounds.”
Batus said the development’s campus-style layout created “a sort of disconnection of the development from
the rest of the community. There is virtually no street
frontage to the development, with the primary points
of access from North Broadway and Warburton Avenue
virtually hidden from the street. If you don’t know where
the development is, you really can’t tell from the main
road that 256 families were living back there.”
Batus said a major component of the redesign has been
to acquire street parcels along Warburton and Ashburton
Avenues, which are major thoroughfares, so the project
could be brought back into the community.
“Our goal is for every resident to have a physical address,
not to have to say that ‘I live in building #13 at Cottage,” he said.
Though the Ravine neighborhood where the Cottage
Place Gardens is located has many vacant and blighted
homes, a higher crime rate than the rest of the city and a
lack of recreational green space, he said it also “has a lot
of promising characteristics that can result in a vibrant
During the first phase of the Redevelopment, Community Builders and its partners renovated Public School 6
at 43 Ashburton Ave. — across from the Cottage Place
Gardens — and reopened it last year as the Schoolhouse
Cottage Place Gardens has a lot of
promising characteristics that can
result in a vibrant neighborhood.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Schoolhouse Terrace
Apartments in Yonkers, N. Y. (pictured above).
Photos courtesy of
the City of Yonkers