The South Bronx bears a high portion of New York City’s noxious uses as the home to a dozen waste transfer stations, four power plants, expressways that carry over 50,000 vehicles per day, and truck traffic from the country’s largest wholesale food markets. The resulting air pollution is directly correlated with the South Bronx having the highest asthma hospitalization rates for children in the city and the highest asthma death rates for all ages. Given these environmental and public health challenges, SoBRO has developed an increasing focus on green practices and sustainable design in our education, real estate development, property management, and community and economic development programming. SoBRO staff works to improve building performance and educate Bronx residents and businesses about ways they can as well.
In the spring of 2013, SoBRO was awarded a contract from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Green Infrastructure Grant program to install stormwarter-capturing green roofs at two of our properties, the Venture Center and Jasmine Court. The Venture Center design will feature native grasses and flowers, a riverstone walking path, and a seating area. Jasmine court will have an intensive green roof design featuring a mix of edible and ornamental plants and provide an environmental stewardship program for the building’s special needs residents. SoBRO has partnered with the Brooklyn Grange, a leading rooftop farming company, to design and oversee the installation of both green roofs. The greenroofs are slated for installation in the spring of 2014.
In late 2012, with funding awarded by the NY Business Assistance Corporation (NYBAC) under the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), SoBRO launched ReFIT – an innovative green initiative designed to assist industrial businesses all five (5) Industrial Business Zones (IBZs) in the Bronx to improve their building performance. Under ReFIT, SoBRO worked closely with 12 strategic industrial partners to evaluate their green infrastructure needs, link them with relevant opportunities and incentives, offset their upfront costs with a small grant, and support them through the implementation phase. This pilot program has not only reduced business owners’ expenses and educated them regarding the value of green infrastructure; it has served to mitigate core environmental concerns in the Bronx and create a host of green jobs for borough residents.
To ensure our buildings are high performance, SoBRO has assessed and implemented several opportunities to make our properties more energy efficient and sustainable. Our initiatives include:
SoBRO’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the South Bronx by strengthening businesses and creating innovative economic, housing, educational, and career development programs for youth and adults.
SoBRO is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible in full or in part.
Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.