JCAL plans 75-unit affordable housing building in Harlem

Bronx developer would include a supermarket

Rendering of 2395 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (credit: Aufgang Architects) and the site
Rendering of 2395 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (credit: Aufgang Architects) and the site

Bronx-based JCAL Development Group is wading into Manhattan’s affordable housing game, with plans to build a 75-unit rental building in Central Harlem.

Plans call for a 15-story, mixed-use building at 2395 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, also known as 2395 Eighth Avenue, according to a permit application filed with the city’s Department of Buildings. Spanning 76,477 square feet, the building would have 8,265 square feet of commercial space including a 7,300-square-foot supermarket, according to JCAL principal William Bollinger.

Aufgang Architects is the architect of record, the filing shows.

The building — between West 128th and West 129th streets — would be comprised of a mix of studios through three-bedroom units with prices based on the city’s Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) program, said Bollinger, characterizing the project as “deep affordability.” Amenities will include a recreation room, bike storage and study room, according to the DOB filing.

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JCAL, led by Bollinger, Josh Weissman and Neil Weissman, paid $2 million for the site plus an adjacent parcel at 2401 Eighth Avenue in 2016, according to property records. 2395 Fredrick Douglass Boulevard currently houses a supermarket, and Bollinger said JCAL formed a joint venture partnership with the supermarket’s owner. The developers plan to replace the store with a new market under a city program known as FRESH, or Food Retail Expansion to Support Health, which gives developers a zoning bonus for each square foot of supermarket space created.

The building will be financed by the city’s Housing Development Corp. and Housing Preservation and Development agency, Bollinger said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration says it is on track to meet its ambitious affordable housing goal of building 80,000 new units and preserving another 120,000 units of affordable housing. The mayor’s team closed financing on more than 55,400 units as of Sept. 30, 2016, according to data from the city’s housing agency.

JCAL, an active affordable housing developer in the Bronx for more than a decade, recently brought market-rate rentals to the South Bronx. The firm developed 135 and 136 Alexander Avenue, with 18 and 20 units, respectively. It’s also working on a 91-unit building at 329 East 132nd Street.