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Mayor Adams Opens Over 250 Affordable Homes at Caton Flats, Revitalized Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace

May 13, 2022

Project Includes 100 Percent Affordable Housing and 20,000 Square Feet of Community Space

New Business Accelerator Will Offer Special Support for BIPOC Entrepreneurs

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today kicked off a weekend-long grand opening celebration for Caton Flats, a new mixed-use development with 255 affordable homes, a revitalized and expanded Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace, and 20,000 square feet of community space. The project was developed by Urbane and BRP Companies.

“This project is such a fitting celebration of our city’s vibrant Caribbean community and our strong, inclusive economic recovery,” said Mayor Adams. “We are building a more equitable economy that will help lift up all New Yorkers, in every neighborhood and every borough. This project is a model for community-based development across the city, which is why I was proud to fight for it as borough president and even prouder to see it completed today as the mayor.”

“We are thrilled to share the new and improved Flatbush Central with the public and to continue the legacy of the market as a vital hub for Caribbean commerce as well as a unique and inviting gathering space for the community,” said James Johnson-Piett, CEO and principal, Urbane. “Urbane is proud to usher in a new era of the market with upgraded and enhanced facilities serving the community at large. We’re looking forward to watching the market grow and evolve as a first-rate retail and cultural destination in this new space.”

“This project in its entirety exemplified a true partnership and alignment between real estate, community groups, local leaders, and construction entities, all equally dedicated in their commitment to serving the Flatbush community,” said Meredith Marshall, cofounder and managing partner, BRP Companies. “In addition to the 255 units of new affordable housing developed at Caton Flats, Flatbush Central serves as a vital staple within the Flatbush community that supports small businesses and community entrepreneurs, while celebrating and preserving Caribbean culture in New York City, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating its grand opening.”

A $136 million project, Caton Flats rents are capped to be affordable to households considered between very low- and moderate-income, between 40 and 130 percent of the area median income. The Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace occupies the lower level of the building, with upgraded amenities, including expanded space for food vendors, a shared commercial test kitchen, a bar, and a lounge.

The market will also host a Mangrove business accelerator — an economic mobility platform and incubator program that will focus on offering Black, Indigenous, and People of Color entrepreneurs state-of-the-arty facilities for food and culinary needs, as well as facilities to produce natural body care and cosmetics, new media, and textiles. From industry-specific technical assistance to access to capital to business classes, the accelerator at the market will help facilitate necessary partnerships to help small businesses grow.

In 2015, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) selected BRP Companies — a minority-owned business — and Urbane Development through a competitive bidding process and following an extensive community engagement process with local stakeholders and community members to create a mixed-use development that served local businesses, improved community quality of life, and allowed the neighborhood to grow and thrive. The completion of this project represents the culmination of a years long visioning process with NYCEDC, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) — in partnership with former New York City Councilmember Dr. Una Clarke, Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry founder Dr. Roy Hastick, local elected officials, and community members — to deliver affordable housing, good-paying jobs, and support for local small businesses.

Throughout the weekend, there will be several live musical performances and activities for families and community members — including cooking demonstrations, dance classes, and more — to celebrate the official grand opening of Caton Flats. New Yorkers can find more information online.

Images and video of Caton Flats can be found online (credit: Marino). A video overview of the Flatbush Central community can also be found online (credit: Marino).

“Investing in strong communities and entrepreneurs is key to our city’s recovery,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “The affordable housing coming to hundreds of New Yorkers and the renovated space for dozens of small businesses at the Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace will further strengthen the vibrant Flatbush community.”

“Congratulations to EDC, BRP, Urbane, the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce, and partners on bringing this great market back to life alongside much-needed affordable housing,” said New York City Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “We have a lot of work to do to tackle our city’s housing needs, but Caton Flats — as a mixed-used, mixed-income project — is exactly the type of project that will get us there, while supporting thriving neighborhoods. I am honored to stand with the Flatbush community in celebration of this new project and especially with the 255 families that we are welcoming to their new homes.”

“Caton Flats and the new Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace will strengthen the Flatbush and Caribbean communities for years to come,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “NYCEDC is proud to deliver on a project that offers affordable housing, supports local small businesses — which are so important to this community — and enriches our city. We thank the mayor, our city partners, elected officials, community members, developers, and all who worked with NYCEDC on this transformational project.”

“Building new affordable housing is a top priority for the city of New York, so today we celebrate the grand opening of 255 new affordable homes at Caton Flats,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “The Flatbush Central Caribbean Market, now reopened on the ground floor, has been essential to the social fabric of this community for decades. Including the market in this project enhances a longtime anchor of this community and provides opportunities for culturally significant commerce and affordable housing for years to come. Welcome home to the new residents of Caton Flats and the entrepreneurs and small businesses who bring this market to life. And thank you to Urbane and BRP Companies on a job well done. Bravo!”

“Caton Flats provides new space for the revitalized Flatbush Caton Market, in addition to 255 affordable homes — 76 of which will be permanently affordable,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Congratulations to the residents and local entrepreneurs that will contribute to the success of this dynamic community, and many thanks to all our valued partners and elected officials for their dedication to fostering greater economic opportunity for New Yorkers through projects like Caton Flats.”

“Investing in opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs is what SBS’s partnership with the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry is all about,” said New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “The expanded and improved Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace is a bridge to economic opportunity for BIPOC entrepreneurs, a hub of culture, and a pillar for our five-borough economic recovery plan. The future is bright for Caton Flats and the new Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace, and we’re excited to continue our partnership.”

“I am proud to see the grand opening of Caton Flats and Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace provide vendors and entrepreneurs from our community with a permanent home,” said Dr. Una Clarke. “Over four long decades of work as a civil rights leader have led to this moment. Caton Flats is a realization of the contributions Caribbeans have made to Flatbush and this longstanding institution is a symbol of pride for us all.”

“More than 20 years ago, my mother, former New York City Councilmember Dr. Una S. T. Clarke, founded a marketplace for Brooklyn’s Caribbean community on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Caton Avenue. The Flatbush Caton Market soon burgeoned into a hub where a host of Caribbean, West African, and South American vendors gathered to share culture and sell their goods,” said U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke. “What started out as a small gathering on blankets and in tents soon became an invaluable resource for all of New York, especially the Caribbean community. On today’s grand opening of the Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace, after decades of work, progress, and growth, the fruits of my mother’s dreams, labor, and vision are coming into view and producing a great harvest. This center of community will stand in perpetuity as a source of economic potential, cultural celebration, and so much more, and I am beyond blessed to witness it come to fruition.”

“Caton Flats is a source of pride for people of Caribbean heritage across Brooklyn,” said New York State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. “The grand opening of this project helps create affordable housing, spur economic development, and celebrate our rich cultural heritage. I am excited to see the community prosper and evolve at this space. The growth of these micro-businesses at the Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace was the dream of Dr. Una Clarke and Dr. Roy Hastick, Sr., who sought to inspire and provide opportunities to Caribbean entrepreneurs and small businesses through this business incubator, the Mangrove accelerator. His legacy is something the whole community can embrace. Congratulations to everyone who played a role in the success of this project.”

“I’m thrilled to celebrate a project that is bringing hundreds of affordable homes to a beloved Brooklyn neighborhood,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Not only is this development helping us combat the housing crisis, but it is also providing a new home to the historic Flatbush Caton Market, preserving this critical community and cultural resource for future generations. This project is a model for community-driven development, and we should continue to emulate this approach in our affordable housing projects.”

“The opening of Caton Flats represents a major win for Central Brooklyn,” said New York City Councilmember Rita Joseph. “From the affordable housing, community space, and Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace, this development is truly exciting. The distinctly Caribbean character of Flatbush is one of the many reasons I’m so proud to represent the neighborhood in the Council, and I know that the Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace will be a beacon of culture in Central Brooklyn for both Caribbeans and non-Caribbeans. I’m thankful for all the leaders who made the opening possible.”

“The original creation of Flatbush Caton market was imaginative and necessary,” said New York City Council Member Chi Ossé. “Today’s expansive redevelopment to include the broader community and provide much-needed housing is a realization of an innovative culture vision. Congratulations to all of the partners that have come together to make this an affordable reality.”

“Brooklyn Community Board 14 is incredibly proud to see one of the few 100-percent affordable housing developments unveiled in community district 14,” said Jo Ann Brown, chair, Brooklyn Community Board 14. “The units are affordable at Caton Flats, and the income structure to qualify is some of the lowest available citywide. This is much needed in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and our city. Most impressive is the return of Flatbush Central Caribbean Market to its original location. Flatbush Central has been integral to showcasing and preserving the rich and diverse culture of Flatbush. Residents of Flatbush and beyond will be drawn to this new, exciting social scene, including a new bar and lounge area that looks out onto this historic avenue. Community Board 14 looks forward to our continued partnership with Flatbush Central Caribbean Market, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Urbane, and BRP Companies for years to come!”


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