A Bronx Co-op Promotes Healthy Lifestyles

Fitness centers, play areas and motivational signs encourage residents at a new building to exercise.

"The Melody" stands on land that was once owned by the City of New York and was developed under Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan. It's on a brownfield site and has initiatives to keep its residents healthy. There are indoor and outdoor fitness centers, a children's climbing and play area, and a slow moving elevator. It was purposely constructed that way to encouraged the use of the well-lit stairs. There are also motivational signs to encourage residents to exercise.

The eight-story building contains sixty-three affordable units. Fourteen of them will be owned by Habitat-NYC families who also helped with construction. "I'm very excited," says Elizabeth Alvarez, who is moving into one from Washington Heights with her sons.

"The Melody" is located at 853 Macy Place in the Longwood section of the Bronx. "It was named in honor of the neighborhood's musical legacy," says Mark Naison, Co-director of the Urban Studies Program at Fordham University. Naison went on to say that "between 1940 and 1980 the Morrisania and Hunts Point neighborhood that surrounds "The Melody" became a site of extraordinary musical creativity."

The musical history of the area is also celebrated by Beatrice Coron's artwork that decorates the public spaces in the building. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development collaborated with the New York City Housing Development Corporation, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, and Habitat For Humanity's New York City Chapter. It was developed by the Blue Sea Development Company.

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