Workers were busy Monday at a former One Brooklyn Health parking lot on Crown Heights’ Park Place that is slated to become a five-story, 43-unit affordable housing development as part of a sweeping $1.4 billion state plan to revitalize central Brooklyn.
The wide-ranging plan, Vital Brooklyn, was launched in 2017 under Cuomo and aims to address “social, economic, and health disparities in Brooklyn’s high-need communities,” as a Thursday press release from Governor Hochul’s office put it. Included in the initiative are the redevelopment of the Brooklyn Development Center in East New York, an Interfaith Broadway parking lot on Hart Street in Bed Stuy, a site owned by Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center at East 98th Street in Brownsville, a site owned by Interfaith Medical Center in Crown Heights, and seven other projects. Most of the properties are owned by the state or health care organizations.
Eight of the units in the development at 575 Park Place will be set aside for families experiencing homelessness, and there will be on-site support services. The remaining units will be for families making between 30 and 80 percent of the Area Median Income, or between $38,130 and $101,680 for a family of three. The ground floor will be occupied by an 8,000-square-foot primary care facility run by One Brooklyn Health, which owns the property, according to the announcement.
A new-building permit was issued by the Department of Buildings on June 14. When Brownstoner stopped by the site Monday, an excavator had broken up most of the paving on the lot and appeared to be digging in several spots. Workers and trucks were coming and going, hauling out debris and dirt.
Designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning, the red and gray brick building will fit in with surrounding townhouses and early 20th century apartment buildings thanks to its coloring and scale, a rendering shows. Many windows at street level make it pedestrian friendly, and its landscaped roof terrace will be topped by a pergola.
Like many affordable housing developments in Brooklyn, it is designed to be energy efficient with a low-flow plumbing system, insulation, Energy Star appliances, and a solar rooftop. The building will include free building-wide WiFi, bike storage, a laundry, community rooms and a landscaped terrace. An underground parking lot will be reserved for employees.
The developer is HELPDevCo, an affiliate of housing and homeless services provider HELP USA. The project has received $15.9 million in federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credits and an additional $10.6 million in subsidies from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. It will also have eight project-based Section 8 housing choice vouchers for the eight supportive apartments.
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is providing $3.1 million through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, NYSERDA will provide $176,000, and the Community Preservation Corporation is providing a $2.5 million SONYMA-insured permanent loan through its partnership with NYCRS, according to the announcement.
“Park Place is the latest development in our comprehensive plan to expand access to essential services and quality, affordable housing in Central Brooklyn’s underserved neighborhoods,” Hochul said in the release. “My administration is doing everything it can to address the housing needs of our neighborhoods like Crown Heights to make New York more livable and more affordable for generations to come.”