City Reveals Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan to Bring Affordable Housing and Open Space to Central Brooklyn

DCP Director Dan Garodnick, Council Members Crystal Hudson and Chi Ossé, and Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue join together to announce the details for renovations to St. Andrew’s Playground, which is part of the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan. Image Credit: NYC Planning.

On September 7, 2023, the New York City Mayor’s Office and New York City Department of City Planning released plans for new affordable senior homes and a revamp of St. Andrew’s Playground in Central Brooklyn. The departments’ objective was to further their ‘Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan’ by building in a zone of Brooklyn that has been stifled by restrictive zoning regulations.

Overall, the draft included a zoning framework and a significant commitment to investing in a 13-block stretch of Atlantic Avenue. Around 4,000 homes will be added to the area including 1,550 income restricted homes. These buildings are of mixed use, having one to two floors for commercial use while the remainder of the building serves as residential homes. The Bedford-Atlantic Armory will also be brought into greater compliance with current zoning for the potential for renovations in the future.

In addition to the new buildings, $23.9 million has been allocated to revamping St. Andrew’s Playground. The investment will serve to improve the Playground’s amenities beyond just the physical playground including, sports courts, restrooms, turf fields, and running tracks. The Playground will also be made more accessible with restroom updates for ADA-accessibility as well as new accessible entrances to the Park. Of the funding, $13 million was allocated through the New York City Strategy for Equity and Economic Development Fund and $10.9 million through NYC Parks’ Community Parks Initiative. City Planning Director Dan Garodnick joined Council Members Crystal Hudson and Chi Ossé, Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue and community members to announce the details about St. Andrew’s Playground on September 18, 2023.

Drafts for the project were presented at a community discussion on September 6, 2023. An additional community discussion will take place in October and the upcoming months will be dedicated to a continuation of partnering with local stakeholders, holding community outreach meetings, identifying additional investments, and preparing a draft environmental impact statement. The proposal is expected to be certified and begin the Uniform Land Use Reform Procedure (where applications affecting land use of the city must be publicly reviewed) in spring 2024. This project largely furthers the goals of Mayor Adams’ ‘Get Stuff Built’ plan and ‘City of Yes’ plan to change zoning to create new housing in all five boroughs.

Mayor Adams said, “In the midst of a severe housing shortage, New York City must use every inch of space it can to create new homes and invest in communities across the city. I represented this community for more than a decade as a state senator and as Brooklyn borough president, and now as mayor, and I’ve fought for these kinds of investments throughout my career. I’m proud to be the mayor advancing this neighborhood plan for Atlantic Avenue to create thousands of new homes, deliver long-overdue investments in St. Andrew’s Playground, and advance the community’s vision for a more vibrant neighborhood in Central Brooklyn.”

Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer said, “This framework highlights our administration’s ‘Build Everywhere’ strategy that aims to unlock housing opportunity across New York City. The proposed zoning along the Atlantic Avenue corridor will create over 4,000 homes, including affordable homes, in an area that currently does not permit any housing.”

DCP Director Garodnick said, “With this zoning framework and investments in affordable housing, open space, and more, we are delivering the improvements that our neighbors who participated in the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan engagement process have been asking for. For too long, outdated zoning has restricted housing opportunity and reinforced a car-and truck-centric streetscape on Atlantic Avenue. This is an important step forward to create a more vibrant Central Brooklyn.”

Council Member Hudson stated, “Parks are not just sites of joy and recreation. They are also environments that are especially conducive to nurturing and strengthening our shared sense of community. When considering changes to our built environment, we must guarantee that these same changes spur improvements that benefit all residents. Today’s announcement from the Department of City Planning and NYC Parks is a testament to this belief and the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan’s potential to deliver tangible results for our neighbors. As a new mother, I’m heartened by an investment of this size in our community, securing the installation of sorely needed upgrades and ensuring our youth and our communities have the opportunity to play, to congregate, and to build community for years to come.”

By: Meg Beauregard (Meg is the CityLaw intern, and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024).

New York City Mayor’s Office and New York City Department of City Planning: “Mayor Adams, DCP Director Garodnick Unveil Plan for New Affordable Housing, Open Space in Central Brooklyn” (September 7, 2023); Parks Dept.: NYC PARKS & CITY PLANNING ANNOUNCE FULL TRANSFORMATION OF ST. ANDREW’S PLAYGROUND IN BED-STUY AS CITY INVESTS IN CENTRAL BROOKLYN REDESIGN (September 18, 2023).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.