Serviam Gardens and Serviam Towers, our largest new-construction project, opened its doors in 2009. This project, which serves seniors in the local community, was built on land leased from the Ursuline Sisters of the Bedford Park Convent of Mt. St. Ursula. Upon opening, Serviam made an instant impact on the community. FBHC received an overwhelming application response for the 240 apartments. Serviam was set aside as housing for low income seniors in the Bronx. Eighty percent of Serviam residents earn less than fifty percent of the Federal Low Income Level.
In an effort to conserve energy and minimize the environmental impact of Serviam, a number of green elements were incorporated into the design and construction of this development. Both the interior and the exterior of the building feature various green amenities. On the inside, apartments include low-emissive argon-filled windows, Energy Star appliances, and low-flow water fixtures, dual flush toilets, bamboo flooring and bathroom tiles made of recycled content. The buildings feature low-energy elevators, improved insulation and efficient boiler systems. To further reduce the environmental impact, Serviam has an 8,000SF intensive rooftop garden terrace. It includes vine-covered trellises, bench nooks, and furnished alcoves set among trees, shrubs and beds of wildflowers and succulents. Serviam also features 23,000SF of landscaping on the grounds. The landscaping is comprised of various plants, trees, and shrubs. Urban gardening and community gathering space is also included in the landscaping.
To help encourage healthy tenant life, Serviam features a wellness center, game room, library, exercise room, media room and several lounges and gathering spaces. Education and social activities, including guest speakers and game clubs, are also planned for community members. The buildings are all interconnected and residents are free to travel between the buildings to visit friends. The amenities, activities, and programs are shared among all 300 senior citizens that reside at Serviam. This has provided a sense of community and increased physical/mental well-being among all residents, a rare quality among affordable senior housing developments in New York City.
Serviam was designed by Jack Coogan of Oaklander, Coogan and Vitto (OCV) Architects. Additional support for design and plant selection on the rooftop garden terrace was provided by Esther Yang, Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow. Robin Key Landscape Architects were responsible for configuration support on the rooftop garden terrace and landscape design for the grounds.