Construction Begins for Nearly 1,000-Unit Affordable Housing Development in Coney Island

Rendering of development. Image credit: HPD/Handel Architects LLP.

The mixed-use development will include affordable units, deployable food barriers, and retail frontage. On November 1, 2018, New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced that the start of construction of a block-sized development on Surf Avenue in Coney Island that will provide below-market-rate housing, retail, and office space to the community. The mixed-use development is projected to cost $253.9 million and will offer 446 affordable units, ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, to formerly homeless and low-income locals. The complex will have two other structures that will add approximately 500 more units of affordable housing, totaling nearly 1,000 units. The development is being led by HPD along with the Housing Development Corporation, BFC Partners, L+M Development Partners, and Taconic Investment Partners.

The plans include 446 units to be priced below 60% area median income (AMI). Based on the chart on HPD’s website, the breakdown includes 45 units for tenants at 27 percent of the AMI, which equals $22,545 for a two-person household, or $28,161 for a four-person household, 45 units at 37 percent AMI or $30,894 for a two-person household or $38,591 for a four-person household, 45 units for tenants at 47 percent of the AMI or $39,245 for a two-person household or $49,021 for a four-person household, and, 178 units for tenants at 57 percent of the AMI, or $47,595 for a two-person household, or a four-person household.

The buildings will feature “distinctive material and color combinations to reflect the palette of its beachfront location.” Additionally, all residential units and mechanical equipment will be located above the ground floor, and the buildings will have deployable flood barriers at the main residential entrances, and the retail spaces will be flood-proofed.

The development is located two blocks from the Stillwell/Coney Island subway stop and two blocks from the historic Coney Island Boardwalk. The development will have retail frontage along Mermaid and Surf Avenues to activate this corridor and expand the Coney Island commercial district west.

“Today marks a major milestone as we break ground on the first of three phases that will ultimately bring more than 1,000 new affordable homes to the heart of Coney Island.  Designed to be resilient in the face of future storms, this development will provide more than 440 affordable homes, vibrant retail space, and a new home for HRA as part of the City’s comprehensive plan to invest in the future of Coney Island,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.

“The start of work on this 100% affordable, 446-unit project – which includes 312 units for residents at or below 60% Area Median Income – is a significant step toward addressing an affordable housing need that is one of the biggest challenges facing Coney Island. I am proud to have worked with HPD, HDC, BFC Partners, L + M Development Partners, and Taconic Investment Partners to ensure that this project benefits our community’s working families and most vulnerable residents. With space for much-needed retail, workforce development, and an HRA office to serve as a critical local resource, this project is a vital part of a brighter future in Coney Island,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.

“We’re excited to build nearly 1000 units of affordable housing in Coney Island, including for formerly homeless and very low income individuals — a critical addition amid the city’s ongoing housing crisis,” said Charles Bendit, Co-CEO of Taconic Investment Partners. “In addition to its affordable housing at a range of income levels, including nearly 500 units in its first phase, this project will generate hundreds of jobs and bring much-needed neighborhood retail to Surf Avenue.”


By: Samantha Albanese. (Samantha Albanese is a CityLaw intern, and a New York Law School student, Class of 2019).


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