Organization Name: Asian Americans for Equality
Project Title: Magnolia Gardens
Project Location: Flushing, Queens
Magnolia Gardens, developed by Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) and managed in partnership with Urban Resources Institute (URI) will bring much-needed transitional housing to the Downtown Flushing neighborhood in Queens. Leveraging the support of NYC’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS), the 7-story project will add 90 apartment units to house families with children in need of shelter and an array of community services to help families get back on their feet. AAFE has assembled a team of dedicated design and construction professionals who share a commitment to sustainability. The talented architects of the MBE-certified firm Urban Architectural Initiatives (UAI) designed the building, guided by the consultants at Bright Power to meet Passive House design standards. The project will meet or exceed the Enterprise Green Communities 2020 program, PHIUS+ 2021 CORE, ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction, and EPA’s Indoor air PLUS. The building will incorporate the principles of Feng Shui: orientation, space planning, directional energy and the influence of the five-elements (earth, metal, water, wood, and fire) and colors to the building design.
In responding to the most crucial concerns of our city, the affordable housing crisis, and the effects of climate change, this purpose-built transitional housing for unhoused and housing-unstable families with children will be a tangible representation of these goals and an example of how a sustainable approach can achieve community benefits with innovative design, even under challenging financial constraints. By creating safe and clean dwellings in an area with high-income inequality, we believe that the project can help residents to rebuild their lives, obtain vocational training towards employment, and secure permanent housing. All common-use areas and amenities such as the community room, dining hall, laundry room, lobbies, and rear courtyard are designed and programmed to promote a socially engaging, healthy, active, and independent lifestyle. Paying homage to the native Magnolia tree, with a beautiful presence of species spanning eastern North America and East Asia, this development project aims to embody the symbolism that Magnolias bring– from resiliency and adaptability, to good fortune and dignity, safety, healing, health, and a sense of home.
Founded in 1974, AAFE is a nationally recognized community development non-profit that has evolved from a civil rights & equal justice activist movement, into a mature, citywide multi-service organization. From humble roots in Chinatown, AAFE has adapted along with its growing immigrant & minority constituency to expand & anchor critical “wrap-around” services in Northern Queens & Sunset Park, Brooklyn. URI helps transform the lives of domestic violence survivors & homeless families, with a focus on communities of color & other vulnerable populations.
AAFE (Sponsor/Developer), Urban Resources Institute (URI) (Community Engagement), Urban Architectural Initiatives (UAI) (Architect), Arch Stone Construction (GC)