Better New York

November 15, 2009

Bronx Institution Moves Into New Home, Celebrating A Facelift for Itself and the Bronx

The Citizens Advice Bureau holds ribbon cutting ceremony, unveiling new office as well as new name: BronxWorks

New York, NY, November 13, 2009 – On November 13, 2009, BronxWorks, formerly The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), celebrated the unveiling of its new name, new logo and new administrative offices located at 60 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception. While the organization presented a comprehensive image overhaul, it promised to maintain the same level of commitment to the borough and its residents that it has had for the 37 years.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Bronxworks administrative offices. Attendees from left to right are: Jack Coogan, Principal at OCV Architects; Andrzej Palac General Contractor from Alda Contracting; Sara Arnold Principal at OCV Architects; Carolyn McLaughlin, Executive Director of Bronxworks; Congressman Jose Serrano; Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene; NY State Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibbs; and

Carolyn McLaughlin, Executive Director of BronxWorks and Sean Delany, Board of Director Chairperson, unveiling the organization’s new name, logo, and updated mission statement.

A spirited mood filled the store-front gathering space as jokes ranging from Washington and health care reform, to the secrecy surrounding the re-branding were enjoyed by all. One thing everyone seemed to agree on is the vast improvement that’s taken place in the Bronx, thanks in no small part to organizations such as BronxWorks.Carolyn McLaughlin and Sean Delany introducing Congressman Jose Serrano, who praised the efforts of BronxWorks and institutions like it.


Designed by OCV Architects and built on time and on budget by Alda Contracting, the new building breathes life into an abandoned funeral parlor. The site was transformed from an eyesore to a place where Bronx and NYC residents can turn for support and assistance — a very apropos rebirth for an organization whose mission it is to help individuals and families improve their own economic and social well-being. BronxWorks will administer many of its programs – direct, hands-on help, community outreach, education, and advocacy – from the new location.Linda Gibbs, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, discussed the value and importance of BronxWorks as a community outreach organization.
 
Among the honored guests were US Representative for New York's 16th District, Democrat José E. Serrano, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, Linda Gibbs, Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene, and New York State Assemblywoman, Vanessa Gibson.

http://makingabetternewyork.com/blog/60%20E%20Tremont_Ribbon%20Cutting9.jpg60 East Tremont Avenue, the new address for a Bronx institution: views of street front and rear yard

Interior of the new administrative offices of BronxWorks
 

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October 30, 2009

SHNNY Honors the YWCA Binghamton As “Residence of the Year”

At the annual Supportive Housing Network of New York Awards Gala, the YWCA of Binghamton and Broome County and OCV Architects are recognized.Supportive Housing Award for OCV Architects

Carole Coppens with Rebecca Quinn, Project Manager, and Richard Vitto, Project Architect of OCV Architects.

New York, NY, October 28, 2009 – At last night’s Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY) Gala, the historic YWCA of Binghamton and Broome County (YWCA Binghamton) received praise as “Outstanding Residence of the Year.” Deborah Damm-O’Brien of Catholic Charities Housing Office, presented the award to Carole Coppens, Executive Director of the YWCA, hailing it as a testament to the idea that “…places as well as people can be reborn.”
 

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October 28, 2009

Major Milestone For Sustainability, Supportive Housing In NYC Goes Green

Fox Point ribbon cutting celebrates new supportive housing with green features and sustainable design.

Bronx, NY, October 26, 2009 – On October 22, 2009, 48 units of green, supportive housing at Fox Point in the Foxhurst section of the Bronx officially opened with a ribbon cutting and recognition ceremony, giving homeless and low-income families a unique opportunity.
Fox Point Green Supportive HousingRibbon cutting attendees gathering on rear terrace

The project, sponsored by Palladia and designed by OCV Architects, proves that even supportive housing in an economically demanding marketplace can go green. At the ceremony, Enterprise Foundation, Fox Point’s tax credit syndicator, pledged to add another 6,000 units of green affordable housing to NYC’s stock of low-income housing by 2013. Fox Point, which is registered for LEED Silver accreditation, was recognized as the new standard for quality and sustainability in the fulfillment of that goal.
Fox Point Terraces and Green RoofsAfter the ceremony attendees mingle and admire from above


Built with long-term viability in mind, Fox Point integrates green systems and sustainable materials into both the building’s design and operation, reducing the need for future repair and prohibitive operational costs, and protecting the building as an investment in affordable housing in a climate of uncertainty. 
OCV Architects and Enterprise Community PartnersDiscussing Fox Point’s green elements are, from left to right: Bill Frey, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise); Jane Velez, President of Palladia; Sally Bernstein Project Manager from Palladia; Marshall Goldberg, Vice President of Palladia; Mary Ellen Cooper Project Manager from OCV Architects; and Abby Sigal, Vice President of Enterprise

Designed to create a healthy background for living, the architecture uses natural light for inviting and efficient spaces. The design responds to the special typography of the site with steps and levels, creating multiple ‘green roof’ and garden areas not just for tenants to enjoy, but also to help manage water, temperature, operating costs and the building’s impact on the environment.

Fox Point is Sustainable Supportive HousingJane Velez, President of Palladia, congratulates Sally Bernstein on a job well done as Palladia’s Project Manager

Among the sustainable design systems featured at Fox Point is the use of a highly innovative microturbine to recover and reuse wasted energy and heat produced by the conventional systems it piggybacks on. The recovered energy is then used for heating, lighting and other building operations, significantly supplementing the energy provided by utilities.
Inside Fox Point’s lobby

About OCV Architects
Oaklander, Coogan and Vitto, P.C. is a versatile, award-winning architectural firm serving the New York Metropolitan area for over 30 years. OCV’s body of work ranges from affordable and special needs housing to high-end private residences, from gut rehabs and historic preservation to innovative new construction. Producing over 1,000 units of affordable and supportive housing, the firm regularly partners with urban housing authorities and development groups to create sustainable, attractive residences within restrictive budgets. As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, OCV strives to bring to each design respect for a project’s site, setting, history and culture, while making every effort to build responsibly and sustainably.

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May 26, 2009

OCV Architects Designs Serviam Gardens: Turning a Bronx Convent into Green Mixed-Use Senior Apartments

Serviam Gardens — an 8 story 240-unit affordable Senior housing and mixed-use project by OCV Architects — will recycle, reuse and redevelop 9 acres of Mount Saint Ursula’s campus in the Bronx. The project also includes adaptive reuse and restoration of an exiting Georgian style convent on the property. The development will generate revenue benefitting the Church, the religious community and the Catholic Girl’s School of the Ursuline Mission.  The 2-phase plan will also renovate, reuse and enlarge an Historic convent by converting it to housing and adding new construction.

Sponsored by the Enterprise Foundation, the design features of Serviam Gardens adhere to the strict standards of Enterprises’ Green Communities Initiative. Such features include a Green roof, a rain water recycling system, energy efficient lighting and cooling, and a super-insulated building envelope. The Enterprise Foundation provides over $180 million annually to develop affordable housing grants through their Rose Fellowship.

Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation will lease the land as part of their initiative to create more affordable housing in New York City. While building efficiently is challenging, (with scarce land resources and increasing demand), OCV Architects continues to partner with city agencies and non-profits to bring solutions to the affordable housing battle, making a better New York for the diverse city population.

Jack Coogan, partner at OCV Architects, heads up the project. Serviam Gardens is just one of many Green supportive housing projects in the architects’ portfolio and on the boards at his bustling firm. For Coogan, Green design features are part-n-parcel of smart design, benefitting residents, the environment and the bottom line. Green architecture cuts costs because Green buildings use less.

In addition to senior apartments, the mixed-use site will feature communal spaces for recreation, on-site social services, a library, parking, and child-care facilities. The plans also include surrounding gardens, which will serve to minimize the impact upon the Mt. Saint Ursuline School campus as well as benefit the residents.

 Serviam Gardens

Rose Fellowship

Enterprise Foundation

Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation

The Natural Resources Defense Council


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March 24, 2009

OCV Architects is making a better New York by bringing LEED Silver standards to Supportive Housing in the Bronx


OCV Architects is creating a supportive housing breakthrough in Fox Point, a low income housing residence (sponsored by Palladia, Inc.), by bringing sustainable design in low income housing up to US Green Building Council LEED standards. OCV Architects is a proud member of the USGBC.

FOX POINT is 48 units of studios, one and two bedroom apartments and support facilities in 55,000 square feet of light and airy architecture. The new building envelope and engineering systems employ high-performance, sustainable design as a healthy background for living. The architecture is focused on being inviting and efficient, with every advantage of the natural light to realize both. The design also responds to the special typography of the site, with steps and levels of living space and green space. This not only makes for multiple ‘green roof’ and garden areas for the tenants to enjoy, they also help manage water, temperature, costs and impact of the building. Qualifying tenants are given affordable homes and access to a variety of social services on site. For those formerly homeless residents, HUD subsidizes their rent through HUD’s Care +Shelter Program.
Fox Point Green Supportive Housing

This project is registered for LEED silver accreditation, employing many of the opportunities for low impact development outlined by the USGBC. Through these sustainable materials and systems, Fox Point is housing with long-term viability in mind, reducing the need for future repair and prohibitive operational costs, and thereby protecting the project as an investment in affordable housing — making a better New York.

Among these sustainable design systems featured at Fox Point is the use of a highly innovative  micro turbine — a highly efficient generator that recovers and reuses the wasted energy and heat produced by the conventional systems it piggybacks on. The energy recovered is reused for heat, light and other building operations, significantly supplementing the energy provided by utilities. City buildings create 79% of New York City’s greenhouse gas emission, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg has identified micro turbines as part of the solution to our great city’s high fossil fuel impact. Micro turbines expend sustainable energy that is 70-80% usable (where as only 35% of a power plants expended energy is usable).

Founding partner at OCV Architects, Richard Vitto RA AP knows from over three decades of experience that LEED establishes a high standard for future development, but not one we should shy away from. For affordable housing it creates a building and an environment that serve the population most in need of these benefits.

Download a Fox Point brochure here >

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November 11, 2008

OCV Architects: Making A Better New York with a Cinderella Story YWCA

Rich Vitto Designs YWCA Binghamton, NY

OCTOBER 17, 2008 --BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK -- Rich Vitto, founding partner of OCV Architects, is making a better New York by re-tooling a century-old Historic YWCA building in Binghamton, N.Y.. This challenging gut rehabilitation required a great deal of funding savvy, efficient design, and the courage to ask “why not”? Tapping into the building’s strengths, Vitto helped the YWCA raise funds from a variety of sources by designating childcare facilities, offices, and planning for a gym. Funding came in waves, but Vitto’s design, documents and schedules were flexible enough to adapt to the opportunities and challenges as they arose.

Rich Vitto has Child Care Facility Dedicated in his name in Binghamton, NY

The existing dormitory-style housing was converted to 54 individual apartments outfitted with new 3-piece bathrooms and full kitchens. Common areas include TV lounges, a computer lab and laundry on every floor. This Binghamton and Broome County YWCA also required office space and facilities to operate 6 supportive and special needs programs. These critical offerings include transitional living for adults and young adults, emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, and three permanent supportive housing programs for homeless women and their children. From counseling and healthcare, to career preparation and education, someone seeking shelter from the Binghamton YWCA will also realize a whole new set of skills, goals and the outlook to re-enter the world as the strong woman that she is. The old building was completely reconfigured and geared to support all the programs under this one, cheerful, new roof.

Rich Vitto OCV Architects

The project challenges went beyond the apparent disrepair. As with any building project, sometimes you don’t know what’s there until you open up the walls. As phase 2 began, while the tenants were moved from the east half of the building to the newly renovated west side of the building, Rich Vitto was confronted with an a-typical infrastructure. He had to redesign phase 2 within a week to accommodate the building’s quirks as well as the project schedule. Even these surprises were met at every turn in the spirit of hope. A spirit of ‘it will get done’. Without this attitude, the project stood little chance of success. In fact, skeptical representatives in Albany called the project a “White Elephant”, stating that the YWCA project amounted to turning a “sow’s ear into a silk purse”. The H.H.A.P. of New York ultimately came around as Vitto built their confidence in OCV’s ability to get the job done.

OCV Architects win awards

At the ribbon cutting ceremony on October 17, Carole Coppens, Executive Director of the YWCA, presented the developer, the contractor and Richard Vitto with a sow’s ear and a silk purse — a testament to the amazing results of the groups’ dedicated efforts. To Richard Vitto, she presented something more, a plaque dedicating the new Child Care Center in Rich’s name. This acknowledgement, which brought the cheering crowd to their feet, (including the Mayor of Binghamton, Matt Ryan) was met with a very characteristic, humble and succinct ‘thanks’ from Mr. Vitto.

And that spirit persists as the YWCA pursues funding for one last area; the 23 foot swimming pool located below the ground floor — a feature intended to be used by tenants as part of a comprehensive ‘wellness’ program at the YWCA. When asked if he would undertake another challenge at the YWCA, Mr. Vitto replied, “Well, I’d be surprised if they didn’t call me I guess”.

About the YWCA
The YWCA USA is a women's membership movement nourished by its roots in the Christian faith and sustained by the richness of many beliefs and values. Strengthened by diversity, the YWCA draws together members who strive to create opportunities for women's growth, leadership, and power in order to attain a common vision: peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people. The YWCA will thrust its collective power toward the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, and by any means necessary.

http://www.cityofbinghamton.com/mayor.html
http://www.ywca.org/


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May 13, 2008

Fabria Ground Breaking: Affordable Housing in the East Village

From right to left: Richman Group’s Bill Traylor, HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan, Phipps Chairman Ronay Menschel, New York City Councilwoman Maria Baez, NYCHA Chairman Tino Herenandez, New York Municipal, Art Society, Brian Connolly, A representative from Citibank, Phipps President and C.E.O. Adam Winestein, NYCHA Executive Director Doug Apple and Representatives from HDC
  
Phipps Houses and OCV architects have broken ground on Fabria Houses, a new construction project, making a better NY by adding 64 units of affordable housing to the East Village, all part of Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan. Fabria is in Partnership with NYCHA, HPD, HDC, Richman Housing Resources, LLC and Citibank.  The groundbreaking ceremony took place on a chilly November 29th 2007 on East 7th Street.  

Partner at OCV Architects Richard Vitto and Phipps Group Matthew Kelly
 
OCV Architects has completed many projects in recent years where authorities, non-profits and the private sector have come together and successfully redeveloped neglected properties in New York City.  According to Phipps Houses Group President and CEO Adam Weinstein, “It has been gratifying to see the City’s major housing agencies…come together with the community, elected officials and Phipps Houses to make new affordable housing units possible…We look forward to many more such partnerships with government and the private sector to produce affordable housing for New Yorkers in need.”

New York City Housing Authority Chairman Tino Hernandez addresses the crowd.
Center: Brian Conolly of the Municipal Arts Society of New York

 
All of the units accommodate households earning $42,540 for a family of four or $29,760 for a single person.  Twenty percent of the units will be marked for households earning up to $28,360 for a family of four or $19,840 for a single household.  The rehabilitation of the existing structures at 410, 426 and 428 East 11th Street will yield 27 units and the land from 212-214 East 7th Street to 617-621 East 9th Street will yield 37 new units.

Background: Phipps Chairman Ronay Menschel
Foreground: Councilwoman Maria Baez
 

Phipps Bob Pinkuss and OCV Architects Partner, Sara Arnold

From left to right:
NYCHA Executive Director Doug Apple, OCV Architects Sara Arnold and Carla Pena, NYCHA Chairman Tino Hernandez

Far right:
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer

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January 08, 2008

The Supportive Housing Network of New York honored 2 OCV projects as the “Outstanding Residence of the Year” at their annual Gala in Manhattan

October 2007, New York, NY: At its annual Gala / Fund Raiser, SHNNY honored The Christopher residence in Manhattan and The Cornerstone Residence in Newburgh as their “Residences of the Year”— both designed by OCV Architects.

Common Ground Community sponsored the Christopher to provide urban housing for homeless adults and for teens aging out of Foster Care. Safe Harbors on the Hudson spearheaded the partnership to build the Cornerstone residence — an example of what a community can provide for it’s neediest while revitalizing the community as a whole. This Newburgh, N.Y. residence houses families and artists as well as small businesses and a theater.

 

430 Network members attended the event including OCV's Richard Vitto, architect of the two outstanding projects. Mr. Vitto has been designing supportive housing for most of his 30+year career in architecture and this unprecedented SHNNY double honor is a testament to his vision.

SHNNY published a gala journal highlighting the event contributors and honorees. The journal states "The Cornerstone Residence is a stunning example of supportive housing addressing the needs of homeless and at-risk New Yorkers. The Network is proud to honor the Cornerstone as a Residence of the Year." The Gala journal (pdf) also pointed out the timeliness of each projects' ‘green’ features and went on to state: "… the Christopher is an exceptional supportive residence that brings out the best in architectural and program design to help more than 200 homeless and housing-needy residents rebuild their lives."

 

The projects are also extraordinary transformations of existing structures. In these cases, the rehabilitation of a former YMCA and a former grand Hotel makes these buildings examples of the contribution cities, large and small, can expect of forgotten properties. Both projects also focus on space, light and the latest in sustainable materials, finishes and design approach, while working within the budget constraints publicly funded developments traditionally encounter.

“It was a pleasure and an honor to work with these two fine organizations.” Mr. Vitto stated. “Both projects involved complex phasing and construction organization due to the need to accommodate existing occupancies. This coupled with the requirements of multiple programs made each project a fascinating challenge.” 

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October 25, 2007

Green Affordable Housing Project Opens in the Bronx

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Published: October 19, 2007
By Kelly Sheehan, Online News Editor

New York—Enterprise Community Partners and Fordham Bedford Housing Corp., a community developer that creates and preserves affordable housing, has completed Jacob’s Place, a 63-unit environmentally friendly affordable housing complex in the Bronx in New York City.

John Reilly of Fordham Bedford Housing Corp. tells MHN that the project broke ground in August 2005. It includes a solar electric system (pictured) provided through the Solar Neighbors Program, a unique partnership created by Enterprise and BP.

Under the Solar Neighbors Program, every time a participating celebrity purchases a BP solar system for his or her home, BP donated a similar system to be installed on a low-income family’s home. Enterprise identifies these low-income families and affordable housing developers.
Jacob's Place Solar Panels
In this particular case, Jacob’s Place was provided with an 11 kW, 64-panel electric power system that will provide energy to common areas and elevators as well as for ventilation. Actor and director Owen Wilson, who purchased a solar system for his home, made the solar panel donation to Jacob’s Place possible. The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided half of the total cost of the solar system.

“Environmentally friendly housing is important not only for low-income residents who suffer disproportionately from high energy costs and environment-related health issues, such as asthma and high blood lead levels, but also for the environment as a whole,” says Abby Sigal, vice president and director of Enterprise New York. “Enterprise has put such tremendous resources behind its Green Communities program because we believe that building green is a necessity, not a luxury, in low-income neighborhoods.”

Continue reading this article  >

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October 21, 2007

FOXe News: "Affordable and Sustainable Apartment Building in the Bronx"

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OCV’s “Jacob's Place”, the first low-income and green apartment building in the nation, had a ribbon cutting ceremony October 15 which was featured on FOXe News. The broadcast focused on the remarkable green features of the building and can be viewed online at MyFox.com. 

Green Architecture benefits families as well as the environment. At Jacob's Place, materials were chosen to make the building healthier for Tenants, especially with regard to people suffering from asthma. All  finishes and furnishings have low-impact on the air quality in the building.

Materials were also chosen for their durability, sustainability and energy efficiency. All apartments have energy efficient windows and appliances as well as sustainable and durable bamboo flooring. (For more information on the sustainability of bamboo floors, visit economicallysound.com)

Bamboo Flooring as part of the OCV concept for Jacob's Place

But perhaps the most compelling green features cover the roof. 64 solar panels and a garden bed planted with a low growing sedum were an important part of OCV architect’s green design. The panels save on energy and it's costs to the families by producing enough power to operate the elevators and light the common area.

 Solar Panels as part of the OCV design for green supportive housing in the Bronx

Low-growing succulents, like the Sedum at Jacob's Place, add insulation — cutting costs and saving energy, but also having an impact beyond the building itself. The Sedum absorbs water, taking some burden off the city's storm system. Migratory birds also use green bed to rest on their seasonal routes. (For more information on planting for Green Rooftops, visit greenroofs.org.)
 
green roofing material as part of OCV's architectural concept for Jacob's Place

As New York City grows, affordable housing is more and more in demand, and the creation of housing like Jacob's Place helps keeps this growth sustainable for the environment, the city infrastructure and the people of New York. 

Jack Coogan, Partner at OCV Architects, attends the ribbon cutting ceremony for jacob's Place

Jack Coogan (far left), Partner at OCV Architects, attends the ribbon cutting ceremony for Jacob's Place.

Also from left to right: Ivine Galarza (Community Board 6 District Manager), Shaun Donovan (NYC HPD Commissioner), José Rivera (US Congressman), Four members of the Jacobo family?(including Ana Jacobo – Astin’s wife), Joel Rivera (NYC Council Majority Leader)


Ed Norton amoung others who attended the ribbon cutting

John Reilly (Executive Director Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation), Cindy Wymore (Director, Government & Public Affairs, BP America – BP Solar), Ed Norton (Actor, Enterprise Board of Directors), Abby Jo Sigal (Vice President and New York Director, Enterprise), Elliot J. Hobbs (Vice President – JP Morgan Chase) 



 

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August 24, 2006

OCV Architects Completes “Georgia’s Place”: Supportive Housing for the Homeless

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OCV Architects is making a better New York with the completion of a 48 unit supportive-housing site. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place with New York City’s Community Counseling and Mediation organization (CCM http://www.ccmnyc.org ) and many of NYC’s distinguished housing and development officials.

OCV Archtiects at the Georgia's Place Ribbon Cutting Reception

A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of a new supportive housing facility in the center of Brooklyn. Notable attendees were sponsors and supporters of the CCM organization’s ‘Georgia’s Place’ named after their founding chairperson, the late Dr. Georgia McMurray. Distinguished ribbon cutters included Ruthann Pickering (NYS OTDA HHAP), Timothy O’Hanlon (NYC HPD), Luis Acosta (NYS DHCR), Laura Grund (NYC DHMH), Mike Litvin (HUD), and George Nashack (NYC DHS).



Richard Vitto, Founding Partner at OCV architects, headed up the 2-year project. It is one of many in his career as an urban supportive-housing architecture specialist.

Georgia's Place will be welcoming residents who are homeless and in need of mental health services. This new construction in Bedford-Stuyvesant supports the 48 private units with an on-site mental health clinic, a communal dining room, dining terrace, basketball court and a common room. The architecture is all designed by OCV to provide inviting homes for people with special needs.



Over the years Richard Vitto has partnered with many local non-profits and government agencies as the architect of facilities designed to house, help and re-acclimate people. His experience as an architect has given him skills to help non-profits cope with the financial, community and functional issues as well as the architectural design and construction of these havens. Mr. Vitto believes that certain critical architectural features — like open, light and comfortable common spaces — are an investment in the future of the less fortunate and the community at large. “Building something of quality for this population,” Vitto says, “revives the communal heart of a neighborhood and inspires us, and the surrounding residents, to take care of each other — making a better New York.”
Georgia's Place in Brooklyn, NY
Amy Larovere, consultant to CCM and many affordable housing agencies, highly recommends OCV Architects to all of her clients. “The design is thoughtful - beautiful,” Ms. Larovere said, “OCV helps to navigate the bureaucratic process. They do their job and I don’t worry about it." She went on to state, “Rich Vitto is well-respected by City and State agencies, non-profits and foundations.”
 

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August 23, 2006

OCV Architects Design Affordable Housing With Green Architecture

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OCV Architects is making a better New York through the use of green architecture techniques at “Jacob’s Place,” a 63-unit affordable-housing construction project being built on Webster Avenue. Green architecture has become a fashionable buzzword in New York City housing, but OCV has made it a reality with beautiful, practical, eco-friendly buildings while maintaining their long-established style of community-inspired architecture. The finished work will include lush green roofs, highly durable bamboo floors and energy-efficient appliances.

Architect Jack Coogan, founding partner of OCV Architects, gave a tour of the sites, which include:

  • Jacob’s Place, a 63 unit affordable housing development and daycare center.
  • 2241 Webster Avenue, a rehabilitated tenement with green features
  • A community computer training center
  • A community playground.


On the tour were Elliot Spitzer, NY Attorney General, and Edward Norton, actor, activist and stakeholder in the Enterprise Foundation that is one of the sponsors of the multi-site project.

Ed Norton and Elliot Spitzer Check out the OCV green roof 

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How We Make A Better New York

Recent: Supportive Housing

  • Bronx Institution Moves Into New Home, Celebrating A Facelift for Itself and the Bronx
  • SHNNY Honors the YWCA Binghamton As “Residence of the Year”
  • Major Milestone For Sustainability, Supportive Housing In NYC Goes Green
  • OCV Architects Designs Serviam Gardens: Turning a Bronx Convent into Green Mixed-Use Senior Apartments
  • OCV Architects is making a better New York by bringing LEED Silver standards to Supportive Housing in the Bronx
  • OCV Architects: Making A Better New York with a Cinderella Story YWCA
  • Fabria Ground Breaking: Affordable Housing in the East Village
  • The Supportive Housing Network of New York honored 2 OCV projects as the “Outstanding Residence of the Year” at their annual Gala in Manhattan
  • Green Affordable Housing Project Opens in the Bronx
  • FOXe News: "Affordable and Sustainable Apartment Building in the Bronx"

Friends and Partners

  • New York City Housing Authority
  • Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation
  • U.S. Green Building Council
  • A.I.A.
  • Common Ground
  • The Phipps Houses Group
  • Palladia Inc.
  • Enterprise Development Corporation
  • Bianchi: Design and Strategy
  • Anyway Artists

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About the firm:

Oaklander, Coogan and Vitto, P.C., is a versatile, client-driven architecture firm serving the New York Metropolitan area since 1973. Specializing in affordable and special-needs housing, the firm has partnered with many notable urban housing authorities and development groups to create multi-family housing, private homes, commercial spaces, schools, churches and community centers with great respect for each site’s urban landscape, history and culture.


OCV is also a member of The U.S. Green Building Council