Are These 16 Units in Bushwick, Starting at $2,100 a Month, Really Affordable?

At left, the site in 2015. Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark. At right, rendering via ND Architecture & Design

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An affordable housing lottery has opened for 16 units in a 10-story apartment building, dance hall and church under construction at 260 Knickerbocker Avenue, at the corner of Willoughby, in Bushwick.

It will rise above the former two-story Iglesia Bautista Central, a church located across the street from Maria Hernandez Park.

Of the affordable apartments, there are seven one-bedroom apartments and nine two-bedroom apartments. Monthly rents start at $2,100 and top out at $2,300.

The lottery is set at an area median income range of 130 percent. Eligible incomes range between $72,000 and $149,890 for households of one to five people.

The project has been in the works for over five years. In 2014, initial permits filed were disapproved. They were amended a year later and approved.

These units, like many offered via lotteries in Brooklyn, are close to market rate and not affordable to working class people and families in Bushwick who are being displaced by rising rents.

According to building permits, there will be 53 units in total. Parking for 27 vehicles will be available off site, and parking for 30 bicycles will be available on the first floor in addition to the residential lobby and offices. An open roof terrace will be available on the second floor, with an additional outdoor recreation space on the roof.

Market-rate rentals in the building have not yet launched.

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The site in 2018. Photo via GoogleMaps

Building permits show that a house of worship, along with a meeting hall, kitchen, dining room and offices will be located in the cellar. A dance hall and catering will be located on the first floor. (In the 1930s and 1950s, the building was a movie theater and dance hall, old certificates of occupancy show.)

Iglesia Bautista Central remains the owner, and Nataliya Donskoy of ND Architecture and Design is the applicant of record. Renderings show a tall, thin building, the bulk of which will look down on Willoughby instead of the park. The height contrasts with the three- and four-story 19th century tenements ringing the park.

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Maria Hernandez Park in 2015. Photo by Cate Corcoran

Applications for the affordable housing lottery must be submitted by September 9, 2019. Apply through NYC Housing Connect. To learn more about how to apply for affordable housing, read Brownstoner’s guide.

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