HPD Celebrates Opening of New Affordable Building with 275 Units in East New York

The ribbon cutting at Chestnut Commons. Image Credit: HPD.

The building includes a community center with a variety of programs to promote economic growth and youth development. On October 4, 2022, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) joined other city agencies, MHANY Management, Urban Builders Collaborative and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation to celebrate the opening of Chestnut Commons Apartments in East New York, Brooklyn. Chestnut Commons Apartments, located at 110 Dinsmore Place, is a new 275-permanently affordable unit building. 

The 275 units are a mix of studios, one-, two-, and three- bedroom apartments. Fifty-five units will be set aside for formerly homeless New Yorkers. The remaining units will be available to a mix of incomes between 20 to 80 percent area median income. The building also features a rooftop garden, a bike storage room, laundry room, a second floor patio garden, 24 hour security, and a community/recreational room for residents. 

The building also features the Cypress Hills East New York Community Center, a 34,000 square foot space that includes a gym and fitness studio, computer lab, and a commercial kitchen that can serve small culinary businesses in the area. Other programs to be offered by the community center include but are not limited to:

  • The Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC), which operates the community center and offers workforce development, college success, youth and family services, and public benefits enrollment. CHLDC will also operate the commercial kitchen 
  • A satellite campus for CUNY Kingsborough Community College offering introductory courses and career track certification training programs. 
  • Construction trainings and certifications through Menotti Enterprises, a safety consulting company
  • IT workforce trainings through Per Scholas
  • Music instruction for children through the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
  • Emergency food distribution through the Cypress Hills-East New York Coalition
  • A healthy food cafe operated by Collective Fare, a Blac-owned chef-collaborative 

In addition to the community center, there are three commercial spaces on the ground floor. Two of the spaces have been given to the Brooklyn Federal Credit Union and East Brooklyn Mutual Aid. Brooklyn Federal Credit Union will offer financial education and homeownership workshops to the community and pilot a credit building rent payment program. East Brooklyn Mutual Aid sources groceries from predominantly Black distributors and delivers these groceries to the elderly, disabled New Yorkers, and low-income families. 

The building is certified to meet Passive House standards and includes solar panels along with the rooftop garden. A composting program in the building will help compost and generate fertilizer for building use and distribution to local farms and gardens. 

The project is the largest public site designated after the 2016 East New York rezoning, and is the product of direct work through the East New York Neighborhood Plan

The project was funded through Housing Development Corporation (HDC) Tax-Exempt bonds, HDC subsidy, HPD subsidy, Brownfield Cleanup tax credits, Low Income Housing tax credits, Bank of America, and Reso A funds allocated by then Brooklyn Borough President Adams and former Council Member Rafael L. Espinal. 

Mayor Adams stated, “Chestnut Commons combines all the aspects of healthy living – with homes for the lowest-income New Yorkers and those who formerly experienced homelessness, space for the community and small businesses, and sustainability best practices. his project delivers on priorities for the community in East New York, including, most importantly, hundreds of affordable homes. I was proud to support this project as borough president with half a million dollars, and I am excited to see it housing our neighbors as the mayor.”

HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. stated, “Today marks a significant milestone in fulfilling the commitments we made in the East New York neighborhood plan. The development team, including locally-based non-profit organizations with deep ties to the community, has brought to life a dynamic project with a wide array of community services, culturally-rich programming and hundreds of deeply affordable homes that will benefit local residents for generations.”

City Planning Director Dan Garodnick stated, “Chestnut Commons is a perfect example of how saying yes to good planning and the creation of new housing leads to great results. With hundreds of new affordable homes and affordable retail space made possible by the East New York rezoning – this graceful energy-efficient building shows how equity, economic opportunity, and sustainability work hand in glove to create a bright future for New Yorkers.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018).


Leave a Reply

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