Social service agency Brooklyn Community Services has struck a deal with developer Louis V. Greco Jr. to redevelop its downtown Brooklyn headquarters. The plan will add seven stories to the existing seven-story building while preserving its historic facade, according to a press release sent out by the firms and New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen Thursday.

BCS will retain its offices in the form of a condo, and Greco will own the rest, including 106 apartments, some of which will be affordable. How much Greco is paying to buy the property was not revealed, and nothing has hit public records yet. BCS said it will use the proceeds to “serve its broader mission throughout Brooklyn.”

Some aspects of the plan had already leaked out in the form of Building Department filings and a rendering, above, which New York YIMBY published last month. The Wall Street Journal also wrote about the deal Thursday.

YIMBY didn’t like the PTAC units, but on the whole we think the addition looks pretty decent, and won’t be all that noticeable from the street anyway. (Click through to see a photo of the building in 2007.) What do you think of it?

Rendering from Heights Advisors via NYY; photo below by Scott Bintner for PropertyShark


462 halsey street community garden

The city is looking to develop hundreds of vacant lots, including 15 community gardens, throughout the five boroughs into affordable housing. By our count, the list of properties includes 122 Brooklyn sites, at least seven of which are community gardens. Yesterday, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) released the list of the publicly owned sites. Last month, it issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), inviting developers who would like to build small affordable housing projects on the sites.

Developers can choose to build small affordable rental buildings, co-ops, condos or one- to four-family townhouses. The affordable condos or co-ops can’t be larger than 14 units, and may qualify for financing through the New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program (NIHOP). Co-ops and townhomes built through NIHOP are aimed at families making 80 to 130 percent of the Area Median Income ($83,900 to $109,070 for a family of four), with one-third set aside for those making 80 to 90 percent AMI.

Through the Neighborhood Construction Program (NCP), developers can build rental buildings ranging from 15 to 30 units. Only renters making less than 165 percent AMI can qualify ($138,435 for a family of four).

Here’s our possibly incomplete list of the gardens slated for redevelopment:

451 Bedford Avenue — La Casita Verde
615 Saratoga Avenue — Isabaliah Ladies of Elegance
120 Jefferson Street — El Garden
659 Willoughby Avenue/267 Throop Avenue — Tranquility Farm
1680 Pacific Street — Green Phoenix
462 Halsey Street — 462 Halsey Street Community Garden
119 Vernon Avenue — New Harvest
142 Patchen Avenue — Patchen Community Square
774 Halsey Street — Halsey, Ralph and Howard Community Garden

Photo via 462 Halsey Street Community Garden/Facebook

affordable housing crisis

State Senator Velmanette Montgomery is organizing a conference Thursday evening to discuss how tenants could be affected by changes in the rent regulation laws, which are due to expire this summer. The New York State Senate will decide whether to renew them on June 15. Several local politicians, including Mayor de Blasio, are pushing for the repeal of the 1971 Urstadt Law, which gives the state control over rent regulation instead of the city. Many of those politicians will appear at tomorrow’s conference, including state senators Montgomery and Hamilton, as well as City Council members Laurie Cumbo, Stephen Levin, Carlos Menchaca and Robert Cornegy Jr. State Assembly members Joe Lentol, Walter Mosley and Felix Ortiz will also attend.

The Affordable Housing Crisis will take place January 15 from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church at 85 South Oxford Street. RSVP by emailing or calling Senator Montgomery’s office at 718-643-6140 or ojonas@nysenate.gov.

affordable housing meeting flyer

If you missed the fall sessions on applying for new affordable housing in Downtown Brooklyn, a group of community organizations are hosting another forum next month, where they’ll explain how to navigate the housing department’s lottery process for affordable apartments. Staff from the Mutual Housing Association of New York will offer advice on filling out applications on NYC Housing Connect. They’ll walk through the income requirements for each new development, as well as the documents applicants need to give to the city’s Housing and Preservation Department (HPD). The seminar will take place on February 5 at 6:30 pm in Bethany United Methodist Church, located at 1208 St. Johns Place between Albany and Troy avenues in Crown Heights.

1238 decatur street bushwick 92014

The city has just started taking applications for two affordable housing developments at 25 Woodbine Street and 1238 Decatur Street in Bushwick. The four-story, eight-unit building on Woodbine Street has two one-bedrooms up for rent, asking $1,004 a month. Income requirements range from $34,423 – $40,320 for either one or two people. It’s also only three blocks from the J and Z trains at Gates Avenue. Applications close December 23.

And over by the Wilson Avenue L train station, a one-bedroom and two two-bedrooms in a 15-unit building are looking for tenants. You’ll pay only $918 for the one-bedroom or $1,034 for the two-bedroom, and income caps start at $35,280 (for a single person) and go up to $50,340 (for a family of four). You’ll need to apply for 1238 Decatur Street (pictured) by January 7. Head over to NYC Housing Connect to start the application process.

Screenshot via Google Maps

105 south 5th street rendering

Permits were filed yesterday for a long-planned affordable development at 105 South 5th Street in Williamsburg. New York YIMBY first spotted the new building application for the 11-story mixed-use building, which will rise on a vacant lot across from the Williamsburg Bridge, and have 56 units scattered across 45,000 square feet of residential space.

The ground floor will include 4,100 square feet of retail and an 1,100-square-foot medical office. Crain’s reported last year that the retail space will go to community groups and local businesses, such as The Garden, a family-owned organic grocery store in Greenpoint.

Not counting the super’s unit, the project’s 55 apartments will break down into 28 two-bedrooms, 19 one-bedrooms and eight studios, according to Crain’s. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development owns the graffiti-filled lot. It used to be home to Landmarks’ architectural salvage warehouse, which was demolished three years ago. 

North Brooklyn Development Corp. and MDG Design and Construction are developing the 4,200-square-foot plot, and Dattner Architects is designing the building.

Permits Filed: 105 South 5th Street, Williamsburg [NYY] GMAP
Rendering by Dattner

gateway elton ii rendering

An affordable housing development powered by rooftop solar panels in East New York will start taking applications this Friday. Brick Underground first spotted the announcement for the lottery at Gateway Elton II, a 175-unit rental at 516 and 524 Vandalia Avenue. Rents at the Hudson-developed complex start at $494 a month for a studio and go as high as $1,317 for a four-bedroom. To qualify for the low-income rentals, families must make no more than 40 percent to 60 percent of the area median income. Income caps range from $33,560 for a family of four to $66,480 for a family of eight. 

The units will have dishwashers, and amenities include parking, a bike room, a fitness center, wifi in the common areas and laundry rooms. HPD has already rented out the 197 low-income units in Phase I, and Phase II broke ground in May 2013. Phase III will have 302 units and begin construction in July 2015. When it’s finished, the complex will feature a 300,000-watt rooftop solar array and 60,000 square feet of retail, including a day care, restaurants and a grocery store. The development is rising on a 236-acre former landfill in the Spring Creek section of East New York. GMAP

Check out the income breakdowns and rents here, and apply through NYC Housing Connect starting December 19.

A Solar-Powered East New York Rental for Under $500 a Month? Apply Now [BU]

410 fulton street fort greene

A big mixed-use project at the corner of Fulton and Clermont Avenue, long in the works, moved forward today with a filing for a new-building permit — and Aufgang Architects is the architect of record. The details appear to match what developer GFI Capital told Community Board 2 in January, when the board renewed an approval for a land use variance for the project.

The filing is for 810 Fulton Street, a new address, currently one of the last undeveloped lots on Fulton Street in Fort Greene. The project, which is to connected to alterations to the forbidding gray building next door at 470 Vanderbilt Avenue, also owned by GFI Capital, will occupy 16 small lots on the wedge-shaped parking area between Clermont and Vanderbilt, pictured above, all of which will be merged into one tax lot.

Plans at 810 Fulton Street, as previously reported, call for a 12-story building with 363 apartments. The 327,000-square-foot development will have 34,308 square feet of ground floor retail. There will also be parking for 163 cars (79 stackers and five spaces), a laundry room, gym and children’s area, according to Schedule A documents. It will also have 85 affordable rentals, which is 23 percent of the 363 units, as previously reported.

Aufgang Architects, based in Suffern, N.Y., is also working on the adaptive reuse of the landmarked former Brillo pad factory at 200 Water Street in Dumbo. The Fort Greene project has been in the works since 2009.

Big Mixed-Use Development Planned for 470 Vanderbilt Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark

112 suydam street bushwick

The developer who paid $2,980,000 for a Bushwick church and related properties last week plans to include affordable housing and a large amount of space for the church in the new building. A representative from Manatus Development Group told us the development will be rentals, with 80 percent market rate and 20 percent affordable units.

The church will get 22,000 square feet of space on the first two floors, and Manatus will pay the church’s operating expenses. The addresses are 112-116 Suydam Street, 118-120 Suydam and 605, 609 and 611 Hart Street.

Bushwick Church Sells off Its Properties for $2.98 Million [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

1345 rogers avenue flatbush

Nonprofit Doe Fund, which develops supportive and affordable housing, has filed new building applications for a large eight-story apartment building and community facility at 1345 Rogers Avenue in East Flatbush. The 91,206-square-foot project will have 53 123 units, 40 off-street parking spaces and 44 bike storage spots, according to Schedule A filings. There will also be a kitchen, offices and a laundry room, as part of the development’s 32,098 square feet of community space.

The site at 1345-1357 Rogers currently consists of a two-story detached townhouse, a single-story garage and a parking lot, as well as a vacant lot at 562 East 28th Street. All told, the lots encompass 24,570 square feet, according to the property’s for-sale listing. Doe Fund bought the four properties for $3,100,000 a year ago. The organization offers job training, counseling and housing for parolees and veterans, in addition to those struggling with mental illness, substance abuse and chronic homelessness. GMAP

Update: Reps from the Doe Fund tell us this development will have 123 units of permanent supportive and affordable housing, including studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. 

Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark


The housing tower that overlooks Saratoga Park in Bed Stuy is one of six Section 8 complexes owned by NYCHA across the city that are going to be sold to affordable housing developer L+M Partners. The developer will buy a 50 percent stake for $400 million over 15 years plus invest $100 million in renovating the 900 units, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Once an apartment is renovated, the federal government will pay L&M the difference between what the market rate rent would be and what the Section 8 tenants are actually paying. In addition, said the paper, the developers “will be able to sell tax-exempt bonds and federal tax credits under an agreement that expires in 30 years.”

After that period, the properties “could be converted to market rate,” although that decision would be made by NYCHA and “officials said they were committed to preserving affordability.”

The deal is a “partnership” not unlike the ones that have lately been made with libraries, churches and others. NYCHA would retain ownership of the underlying land.

The complex, Saratoga Square at 930 Halsey Street, is technically in Ocean Hill, although locals consider it Bed Stuy. (The Journal said it is in Bushwick, which starts on the other side of Broadway.) It consists of two buildings containing 251 apartments, all of which are senior housing, according to NYCHA’s own website. (Also part of the complex, but presumably not included in the deal, is the notable Saratoga Avenue Community Center at 940 Hancock Street, which has won architectural awards for its design. The architect is George Ranalli.)

The other complexes — Campos Plaza, East 4th Street Rehab, Milbank-Frawley Houses, East 120th Street Rehab and Bronxchester Houses — are not in Brooklyn.

Curiously, we noticed last week, Fordham professor of history Mark Naison claimed in a recent story in BK Nation that Bed Stuy’s famous Marcy Houses, where Jay-Z grew up, are going market rate in a similar sounding scheme. He doesn’t cite his sources for this information. Perhaps residents told him apartments were being set aside. NYCHA has also said it wants to redistribute larger apartments to larger families.

New York City to Sell Public-Housing Stake [WSJ]
Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark

21 commercial street greenpoint 112014

Foundation work is under way at 21 Commercial Street in Greenpoint, where Park Tower Group and L&M Development are building part of the massive Greenpoint Landing project. As previously reported, this is the former industrial property at the corner of Franklin, Commercial and Clay streets where six stories of affordable housing with 93 apartments and ground-floor commercial space will rise.

The developers have also filed plans for a second affordable building at 33 Eagle Street, which will have seven stories and 98 units. Handel Architects is designing both, and you can see the firm’s previously published rendering after the jump.

When the entire Greenpoint Landing development is finished, there will be 10 towers, 5,500 apartments, a new park and a K through 8 school on the East River waterfront.

21 Commercial Street Coverage [Brownstoner]
Greenpoint Landing Coverage [Brownstoner]