On January 31, 2024, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced that Apex Building Group and Bridge Street Development Corporation will be building 116 homes for low-income families at 516 Bergen Street in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The announcement comes in light of Mayor Adams’ push for affordable housing advancements on publicly owned land. Mayor Adam’s 24 in 24 plan is seeking to create or preserve around 12,000 units of housing in partnership with the HPD, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).
Both Apex and Bridge Street are going to use HPD and New York City Housing Development Corporation’s Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability guidelines for all 116 units. In addition, 15 percent of the unit will be set aside for households that were formerly homeless. In accordance with expressed community residential goals, most units will include two or three bedrooms to address the growing need for family housing.
In addition to the affordable housing, the proposal will redevelop 516 Bergen Street into Bergen Green featuring around 4,000 square feet of multi-purpose community space. The space will include an amphitheater named in honor of George Floyd and a multi purpose social service space. These spaces will be designed with the intent to be used for local not for profit, community organizations, and cultural arts organizations that can provide the community with their support services, specifically to lower income residents. Additionally, the space will hold a 6,500 square foot garden and indoor amenities including a wellness center, a gym, bike storage, and laundry rooms. Case management for formerly homeless households will also be provided by Bridge Street.
The Bergen Green project is included in the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan, seeking to bring more housing and jobs to Central Brooklyn. The New York City Department of City Planning along with HPD and City Council Member Crystal Hudson released a report detailing the community’s need for more affordable housing. Minority and women-owned businesses were encouraged to apply to work on the city-financed affordable housing project. Rodney Leon Architect PLLC (RLA) and Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects worked to develop this project.
Deputy Mayor of Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres Springer said, “By locating affordable homes on a currently underused site, we are showcasing the creativity NYC is employing to meet the pressing need for housing. The selection of Apex Building Group and Bridge Street Development Corporation underscores this administration’s commitment to fostering opportunities for MBE developers, and is an important step towards building over 100 new affordable homes in Prospect Heights. We are excited to continue to deliver on the 24 in 24 effort, advancing 24 affordable housing projects on public sites in 2024.”
HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr said, “New York families are in need, and the city is rising to the occasion to provide safe and affordable homes for all. The urgency for housing and the need for the advancement of minority-owned businesses are met today as HPD is proud to announce our recommendation for mixed-use affordable housing at 516 Bergen Street. Entrusting this MBE-led development team is the most impactful method of building quality housing for New York families in need.”
Dan Garodnick, Director of the Department of City Planning and Chair of the City Planning Commission said, “This is an important step forward for Central Brooklyn and for our whole city as we work to create the housing that New Yorkers need. Bergen Green will deliver on an important community priority from our Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan engagement and shows how the Adams administration is using public land for public good.”
New York City Housing Development Corporation President Eric Enderlin said, “Today’s announcement represents an important step towards delivering over one hundred deeply affordable homes to the Prospect Heights community, while further expanding MWBE participation in the creation and preservation of affordable housing citywide. We look forward to working with the Apex and Bridge Street development teams to transform this underused public site into an asset the community will benefit from for generations.”
By: Meg Beauregard (Meg is the CityLaw intern, and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024).
New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development: “Progressing Toward 24 in 24: HPD Selects Winning Proposal to Build Deeply Affordable Housing in Prospect Heights with Minority-Owned Businesses Taking the Lead” (Jan. 31, 2024).