Affordable Housing Project Update: Bayshore Villas
October 22, 2019 AD&V
Image of AD&V's affordable housing project, Bayshore Villas.

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Serving as the principal gateway to the historic neighborhood of Old San Juan, the neighborhood of Puerta de Tierra occupies the eastern portion of the San Juan islet. This sector is home to many of the commonwealth’s most prestigious government buildings, including the magnificent El Capitolio (National Capitol Building). In contrast, only blocks away some of the island’s most dilapidated areas exist.

In 2015, AD&V planned and designed Bayshore Villas and on June 2019, the project was completed. Bayshore Villas, the Puerta de Tierra redevelopment project, comprises 12 new buildings over a three-block, seven-acre area located between the sectors of Old San Juan and Condado and within walking distance of El Capitolio, the Bahía Urbana waterfront park, and the new San Antonio boardwalk.

Bayshore Villas was developed on the site of the former Puerta de Tierra Public Housing Project, whose proportions were out of scale for its urban context. The project also implements and restores the original urban design plans developed for the area in 1870 and reconnects the northern and southern sectors of the neighboring Puerta de Tierra community for the first time in over a half a century.

Since the project is centrally located, the connections of the new streets consider the support of pedestrian traffic and the potential increase due to the development of Bahía Urbana. The new project creates three small blocks defined by new and existing public streets that establish a human scale and penetrable pedestrian zones.

The Bayshore Villas complex offers 174 units of mixed-income residences, ranging in size from 600 to 1,400 square feet, with the majority of the units dedicated to affordable housing needs. Over 5,800 square feet of commercial spaces and 6,000 square feet of community and administrative areas were designed.

You can check out how the project turned out below!

All images by JC Photo Group.


The new Bayshore Villas buildings have been strategically positioned in the perimeter of each block thus creating an urban façade. A building located on one of the blocks facing the primary thoroughfare houses commercial space for small-scale community businesses. This commercial front towards Fernandez Juncos Avenue, serves to boost the existing commerce of the area.

All buildings in the development follow Energy Star parameters. The buildings also reflect the area’s historic past with a nod to the architectural Art Deco style, while naturally allowing contemporary standards to inform and refine the final design.

In 1937, the first affordable housing project was built in Puerto Rico in this very neighborhood. The project known as El Falansterio, continues to stand as a stellar example of what public housing can be, if correctly designed and managed. Heeding the lessons learned from the decades-long success of El Falansterio, the Bayshore Villas are low-rise constructions, built to human scale, accessible, and designed to face outward towards the surrounding community. The design of the project harmonizes with its surroundings and contributes to the aesthetics of the area.

Bayshore Villas is a significant part of the affordable housing boom in Puerto Rico that began even before Hurricane Maria. The hurricane emphasized the enormous need for affordable housing and Bayshore Villas’ completion comes at a crucial time. The model serves as an example of what affordable housing can do to improve lives of mixed income families on the island. The project also features active design, including indoor and outdoor activity spaces for children and adults.

For information on joining the Bayshore Villas Community, visit


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