Innovative Shared-Use Building to Bring Affordable Housing and Modern Library to Sunset Park

Image Credit: Magnusson Architecture and Planning/HPD

The shared-use building is expected to be completed in December 2020. On February 6, 2019, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer announced that HPD is joining Fifth Avenue Committee, Inc., Brooklyn Public Library, and New York State Homes and Community Renewal in bringing a new, first of its kind, shared-use model building to Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The eight-story building will house both Sunset Park’s new state-of-the-art public library and 49 deeply affordable apartments. The project was financed through $35.5 million in public and private investment.

The development will be an improvement over the former Sunset Park library which was too small to meet the needs of the community and needed more than $6 million in repairs. The new Sunset Park library will be twice the size of the old library, occupying more than 20,000 square feet of the new building. The library will offer modern collections, technology, and flexible space to serve Sunset Park’s diverse and growing community.

The 49 apartments will be constructed above the library, containing a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The apartments will be affordable for tenants with incomes spanning 30 percent to 80 percent of annual median income (AMI), with the majority of units reserved for those with incomes at or below 50 percent of AMI. A minimum of ten percent of the apartments will be reserved for City employees, five percent for persons with physical disabilities, and a portion of the units will be set aside for formerly homeless households.

Fifth Avenue Committee is constructing the building at no cost to the Brooklyn Public Library. The Brooklyn Public Library will fit out the new library using part of their proceeds from the Brooklyn Heights branch redevelopment. The City will own the branch in perpetuity.

The expansion of the library and the development of more affordable housing in Sunset Park comes at a time when the growth and increasing gentrification is impacting the neighborhood.

“Through Housing New York, we are looking to pair affordable housing development with the dynamic community assets that neighborhoods need to thrive.  This innovative project will bring a new and improved public library to Sunset Park and 50 deeply affordable homes that will help anchor the community for generations to come,” said Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.

“The Sunset Park Library and Affordable Housing project is the realization of a vision for deeply and permanently affordable housing and an expanded and modernized public library for a community that desperately needs and deserves both,” says Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director of Fifth Avenue Committee.


By: May Vutrapongvatana (May is a CityLaw Intern and a New York Law School Student, Class of 2019).


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