Esther Yang
Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation


“There is no room for arrogance or egos in this line of work. I am looking to be humbled, to learn, and design under my heart's convictions. These convictions are to serve and love — requisites that are rare within conventional architectural practice.”

Esther Yang now joins the Rose collection of alumni as she finished with her Bronx-based host organization, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation in 2010.  She began her Fellowship with an array of professional experiences within multiple architecture firms, academic teaching and social justice initiatives.  Esther now completes her time as a Rose Fellow with a refined set of skills, resources and a network of domestic and international colleagues to facilitate more conscientious and compassionate development practices.

"These leaps in my professional development could not have happened without the opportunities Fordham Bedford and the Rose Fellowship have graciously opened up to me," says Esther. "The mentorship and trust granted me by Fordham Bedford were pivotal to my career development and consequently permitted me to diversify my explorations and career options."

Her scope of work during the Fellowship engulfed her in numerous projects with roles ranging from project management, construction, design, and outreach. Additionally, Esther's collaborations with many industry colleagues targeting energy and water conservation practices have translated into several local and national development reform initiatives. Consistently involving herself between practice and policy, Esther maintains her hunt for fresh and productive perspectives to inject into the industry.

eyang-jacobs-place.jpgJacob's Place

62 affordable rental housing units
Community room
Child-care facility (10,000 sq ft)
Common residential amenity room (93 sq ft)
2 common courtyards/terraces (8,000 sq ft)
2 offices

Residential Unit Profile:
14 1 BR 552-631 sq ft
41 2 BR 739-854 sq ft
7 3 BR 959-959 sq ft

Completed 2007

eyang-decatur.jpg2668 Decatur Avenue

18 affordable rental housing units
Common residential amenity room (67 sq ft)
Common residential amenity room (646 sq ft)
Common residential amenity room (194 sq ft)
Common courtyard/terrace (1,755 sq ft)

Residential Unit Profile:
Designed to be entirely affordable, 2668 Decatur Avenue will have four units set aside for households earning no more than 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) with the remainder available only to households with an income that is up to 60% of the AMI.

To help ensure that the project remains affordable while reducing its environmental impact, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC) has committed to making 2668 Decatur Avenue the first development in its portfolio to comply with Enterprise Foundation’s Green Community Standards. In addition, the development will encourage water conservation and prevent storm water runoff by including a rainwater harvesting/filtration system for the flushing of toilets and landscape irrigation. FBHC calculates that for every $1.00 of water saved, the project will recoup an additional $1.59 in sewer usage charges.

As with Jacob's Place and Serviam Gardens, FBHC and Esther will use 2668 Decatur Avenue to conduct research about the cost benefits of sustainable initiatives and to learn how to implement and improve strategies on subsequent projects.

2311 Tiebout Avenue

5,766 sq ft gross site area
New construction
7 stories + basement
19,957 sq ft gross project area
20 affordable rental housing units
Common residential amenity room (133 sq ft)
Common residential amenity room (537 sq ft)
Common courtyard/terrace (471 sq ft)
Green roof

Residential Unit Profile:
Esther Yang will tackle many projects during her Rose Fellowship with Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC), but 2311 Tiebout Avenue is likely to be a constant companion. Esther is working with architect Jack Coogan of Oaklander, Coogan, and Vitto (OCV) Architects on this infill housing development in the Bronx. One early milestone was recently reached when they submitted designs for the development to New York City for approval.

The project designs demonstrate how FBHC is continuing to test sustainable strategies within affordable housing development. Plans call for incorporating solar hot water and for seeking LEED certification. The project will be one of many “test” buildings where FBHC and Esther will implement and learn from select sustainable techniques. Their goal is better sustainable decisions for subsequent projects. 

eyang-serviam-gardens.jpgServiam Gardens

83,046 sq ft gross site area
New construction
8 stories + basement
151,652 sq ft gross project area

Residential Unit Profile:
Serviam Gardens is a two-phase senior housing development planned for a vacant lot on the campus of Mount Saint Ursula’s. The lot is part of a nine-acre piece of land that includes a girls’ high school, and is connected to an Ursuline convent.

FBHC’s development strategy works in the favor of the Ursuline Sisters as it allows the convent to generate revenue for their operations and convent community. The program for the site, a 240-unit senior housing proposal, aligns with the Ursuline mission and allows the convent to sustain their land without the actual sale of the church or of its property. Concurrently, the lease agreement provides FBHC land to develop much needed housing with scarce land options.

The housing will be affordable to low- and moderate-income seniors. The current plan proposes smaller units, thereby reducing the footprint, parking requirements on the property, and the number of people sharing the overall campus. Additionally, FBHC will renovate and reuse existing convent structure by converting it to housing, community and administrative space.

As development progresses, FBHC, with the assistance of Esther, will continue efforts to ensure the execution of sustainable design and construction practices, as well as effective community programming.


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