HPD and Private Developers Partner to Bring 235-Unit Affordable Building to Bedford-Stuyvesant

Rendering of proposed 14-story development at 1921 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn. Image Credit: CPC.

The project will be financed under an HPD program that requires low and extremely low income affordability and set-asides for the formerly homeless. On March 27, 2019, the City Planning Commission voted to approve an application that will bring a 14-story affordable mixed-use development with 235 residential units to 1921 Atlantic Avenue in the Bedford/Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The application was brought by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development in conjunction with DTF Atlantic, a joint venture between two developers, Dabar Development Partners and Thorobird Companies. City Planning held a public hearing on the application on February 27, 2019.

The development site fronts on Atlantic Avenue, directly across from the Long Island Rail Road, and is comprised of twelve City-owned lots controlled by HPD and three lots owned by the developers. The site is located with Herkimer Street to the north, Atlantic Avenue to the south, Prescott Place to the west, and Bancroft Place to the east. Currently, the entire site is vacant with the exception of two unoccupied buildings located on the privately-owned lots.

To construct the new development, the applicants sought disposition of the twelve City-owned lots and designation of the entire development site as an Urban Development Action Area Project (UDAAP). The site is currently zoned with a mix of manufacturing and residential uses, as part of Special Mixed Use District MX-10, and as part of the Saratoga Square Urban Renewal Plan. The proposed development would not be currently permitted as the Urban Renewal Plan designation limits the site to industrial type-uses.

The applicants requested to rezone the area to a mix of residential and commercial uses, to amend the Saratoga Square Urban Renewal Plan to permit the applicant-proposed residential and commercial mixed-use development, and to eliminate the Mixed-Use district designation. The applicants also requested to designate the area as Mandatory Inclusionary Housing.

With these approvals, the applicants propose to build a 14-stoy building with 235 affordable units and a ground floor commercial and facility space. A portion of the building, along Bancroft and Prescott Place, would only rise to six stories, with the frontage along Atlantic Avenue rising to the full 14 stories. The ground floor will feature a grocery store, an aquaponics education center, an art gallery, a neighborhood resources center, and an office with services to support the residents transitioning from homelessness that will be run by Urban Pathways. Some of the ground floor will also be for residential use.

The new building will have 44 parking spaces, with 28 to be used by residents, in addition to 108 bicycle parking spaces.

The development will be financed through HPD’s Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) Program. Projects funded through the ELLA program require a minimum of 70 percent of the units to be at low income rents affordable to households earning up to 60 percent AMI, with up to 30 percent having rents affordable to moderate income households earning up to 100 percent AMI. At least 10 percent of the units must be set aside for formerly homeless households.

Pursuant to applicant-selected ELLA Option 1, 10 percent or 23 units in the new building will be set aside for the formerly homeless, 10 percent or 24 units will be set aside for households earning up to 30 percent AMI, 10 percent or 24 units for those earning up to 40 percent AMI, 10 percent or 24 units for those earning up to 50 percent AMI, a maximum of 30 percent or 70 units to households earning up to 70 percent AMI, and 70 units at 80 percent AMI.

The rents are expected at $251 for the formerly homeless; between $367 and $658 for the units capped at 30 percent AMI; between $524 and $929 for the units capped at 40 percent AMI; between $680 and $1,200 for the units capped at 50 percent AMI; between $1,040 and $1,820 for the units capped at 70 percent AMI; and between $1,197 and $2,096 for the units capped at 80 percent of AMI.

The new building will be constructed to Enterprise Green Community Standards and with variable refrigerant flow system, highly efficient appliances, rain water treatment elements, water sense labeled fixtures, and water monitoring to detect leaks in the plumbing. Given the site’s proximity with the LIRR, the building will also have sound-attenuation features such as triple-glazed windows.

On January 7, 2019, Brooklyn Community Board 3 voted 38 in favor, 0 against and 0 abstaining in favor of approving the application.

On February 21, 2019, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams issued a conditional approval of the application. The Borough President asked that HPD incorporate in its Land Disposition Agreement with the developers, requirements such as outreach efforts to assist senior households, utilization of locally-based affordable housing non-profits to serve as administering agent, memorializing a bedroom mix of at least 50 percent two- and three-bedroom affordable housing units, commitments to locally-based building service workforce, and exploring additional resiliency options, among several others.

The only person to testify at the City Planning hearing was a member of the 32BJ SEUI asking the Commissioners to urge the developers to committing to prevailing wage property service jobs as part of their recommendation for the development.

On March 27, 2019, the City Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the application. The application will now proceed to the City Council for review and approval.


By: Viktoriya Gray (Viktoriya is the CityLaw Fellow and New York Law School Graduate, 2019).


One thought on “HPD and Private Developers Partner to Bring 235-Unit Affordable Building to Bedford-Stuyvesant

  1. i”m looking for an apartment as soon as possible would love to get an application to be able to apply for a location what would i have to do to get the application and where please send me info about locations and when will they be available for low income people, thank u my email is on file

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