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BronxPro celebrates eco-friendly apartments

Too often, the Bronx has dealt with developers in pursuit of profit and only profit. Too often, the Bronx has witnessed other boroughs add sumptuous condos. But 1085 Washington Avenue Apartments represents change, an affordable Bronx building that radiates quality from its green roof to its day-lit basement.

“This is what I want to be a part of,” Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said at a celebration for 1085 Washington on Wednesday, September 30. “Nothing here has been overlooked.”

Credit 1085 Washington to BronxPro Real Estate Management, a two-decade old firm. The 90-unit building in Morrisania boasts a 1,850 square foot green roof and is home to DreamYard, an arts education non-profit.

The green roof features an organic garden, birdhouses and a solar powered birdbath fashioned from recycled goods. Solar panels pre-heat tap water at 1085 Washington. Photovoltaic panels generate electricity for its common areas.

1085 Washington is affordable; 30 percent of its some 200 residents are disabled or formerly homeless and 50 percent were prior residents of Community District 3, where the city has built 4,500 affordable units since 2004, Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Rafael Cestero said. Luz Andujar, a grandmotherly resident of 1085 Washington, found the building in the newspaper and entered an apartment lottery.

“[My husband and I] have never lived in a new apartment before,” Andujar said. “The building is perfect.”

Andujar hopes to dabble in art at DreamYard. The non-profit offers classes to 8,500 Bronx children but also plans to help welcome 1085 Washington residents. The P.S. 32 choir belted out Bridge Over Troubled Water at the September 30 celebration.

Jason Duchin of DreamYard described 1085 Washington as a dynamic collaboration; DreamYard hopes to build a high school on a vacant lot across the street, where BronxPro holds the development contract. BronxPro president Peter Magistro is search of funds. HPD contributed $5 million to the construction of 1805 Washington, the Housing Development Corporation $24 million and Enterprise Community Partners $13 million.

Washington Avenue is a corridor in flux. A crumbling brick building teeters south of 1085 Washington; small Christ the Solid Rock Church squats across the street. But Magistro envisions mid-rises and ground floor retail on Washington Avenue a decade hence. He still hopes to land a daycare at 1085 Washington, which has underground parking.

Teen members of the DreamYard A.C.T.I.O.N. squad performed skits on HIV/AIDS in Washington D.C months ago. A documentary about the trip will screen at 1085 Washington on Wednesday, November 21. The party starts at 7 p.m.

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