Huge Affordable Housing Development in Ocean Hill Rising Above Construction Fence

The building at Site A was up to four stories in mid-November


The big affordable housing complex known as the Henry Apartments on Broadway in Ocean Hill is now very far along, with the first five stories peeking up over the construction fence on the two lots on two sides of Decatur Street.

Workers have been hurrying to finish up the outside of the two complexes before winter sets in, and it looks like they will succeed. They’ve been adding about one story a week on both sites for the past month or so.

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Site A in mid-November

When complete, the two buildings at 1696-1712 Broadway and 1674-1684 Broadway will have 134 affordable apartments for low and very low-income residents, including formerly homeless families and veterans.

Now the shape and bulk of the development is apparent. When finished, the buildings will rise six stories. At the rate they’re going, we expect the complexes will top out in the next couple of weeks.

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Site B in mid-November

Last Brownstoner checked in on the site, in August, workers were digging the foundations. The construction can also be seen from the elevated train track — these buildings are right under it.

The buildings and their hundreds of new residents will transform this formerly sleepy corner of small two-family row houses dotted with empty lots and lots of visible sky.

Site B at 1696-1712 Broadway was a vacant, City-owned lot for decades. Originally a row of stores with apartments above, it burned down in the arson fires that devastated the area in the 1970s.

New development in the area has taken off in the last year, erasing the last traces of those fires.

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Site B reached five stories in late November

Site A at 1674-1684 Broadway housed building supply shop Henry’s Distributors, which since 1970 operated out of an old theater called People’s Pleasure Palace and employed many local residents. The apartments are named after its proprietor, Stan Henry.

A new, unrelated hardware store opened just down the block on Broadway a few months ago. Henry’s intends to open another hardware store in the new building when it is complete.


Site A reached five stories today

A festive groundbreaking with local politicians took place in March, as we reported at the time. Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna and local City Council Member Darlene Mealy attended.

The buildings will house shops and supportive services. The developers are SUS and Alembic Community Development.

SUS, which stands for Services for the UnderServed, is a nonprofit social services agency that supports veterans, families and the disabled. The architect is Peter Woll, which specializes in affordable and supportive housing.


A previously published rendering of the development at Site B at 1696-1712 Broadway

The development joins many other types of low-income housing in the area, including co-operatively owned low-income apartments and city and privately run shelters and halfway houses.

Construction will carry on inside through the winter months and is expected to wrap in the spring. A lottery for the affordable units has not yet opened, but we expect it will soon.


Henry Distributors in the former People’s Pleasure Palace theater in 2014, before it was demolished

[Photos: Cate Corcoran | Rendering: Peter Woll]

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