January 31, 2024
HPD Continues Month-Long Push Forward on Plans Announced in Mayor Adams’ 2024 State of the City Address to Advance Affordable Housing Projects on 24 Public Sites in 2024
With this Announcement, City Furthers Commitment to Uplift and Build Capacity for Minority-Owned Businesses While Furthering Mission to Provide Affordable Housing for Low-Income Families
Combined With the Selection of Another Minority-Owned Development Firm on Nearby Dean Street, HPD is Setting Into Motion Plans to Build Approximately 270 Affordable Homes in Prospect Heights
NEW YORK – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced today the selection of Apex Building Group and Bridge Street Development Corporation to build approximately 116 homes for low-income families in the Prospect Heights, Brooklyn neighborhood. The announcement comes as HPD continues a month-long push to advance affordable housing projects on publicly owned land across the city putting into motion New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ 24 in 24 plan. Earlier this week, HPD kicked off their 24 in 24 plans by launching the planning and community engagement process to build affordable housing and public greenspace on city-owned land along the Harlem River waterfront in Inwood, Manhattan, inviting Inwood residents to get involved. Through the 24 in 24 plan, the Adams administration aims to create or preserve over 12,000 units of housing through partnerships across HPD, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).
“By locating affordable homes on a currently underused site, we are showcasing the creativity NYC is employing to meet the pressing need for housing,” said Deputy Mayor of Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “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.”
“New York families are in need, and the city is rising to the occasion to provide safe and affordable homes for all,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “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.”
“Apex is honored to be a part of the winning team bringing much needed affordable housing to the Prospect Heights community,” said CEO of Apex Building Group Lee Brathwaite. “As a MBE developer our mission is to strengthen and revitalize communities through the development of projects like Bergen Green. We are proud that our mission and the Bergen Green project supports Mayor Adams’ 24 in 24 plan.”
“We are extremely proud and honored that our development team, led by Apex Building Group -- and comprising many MBE and M/WBE partners -- has been selected as part of Mayor Adams' 24 in 24 initiative,” said President and CEO of Bridge Street Development Corporation Gregory Anderson. “We are excited by the opportunity to continue and expand upon our longstanding partnership with HPD to create new, high quality, family-oriented and affordable housing at Bergen Green.
Apex and Bridge Streets proposal to redevelop 516 Bergen Street, which they’ve named Bergen Green, features over 4,000 square feet of multi-purpose community facility space, including a double-height amphitheater named in honor of George Floyd and a multi-purpose social service space for Bridge Street. The community spaces are conceived as places where local not for profit, community-based, and cultural arts organizations can provide much needed supportive services and cultural exhibitions. They also will serve as community gathering spaces that are accessible and affordable to local area residents generally and lower income residents specifically.
Located on Bergen Street between 6th Avenue and Carlton Avenue, Bergen Green will be developed on a 17,000-square-foot site where a satellite office for HPD’s Emergency Repair Program stands today. There will be a landscaped, 6,500-square-foot outdoor garden in the rear of the building, as well as landscaped terraces. Indoor amenities will include indoor recreation rooms, a wellness center for yoga, meditation, and aerobic exercises, a gym, bike storage, and laundry rooms on every floor. Additionally, case management for formerly homeless households will be provided by Bridge Street.
Apex and Bridge Street have proposed to use HPD and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC)’s Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability guidelines for the 116 units, producing some of the deepest levels of affordable housing possible. In addition to a 15 percent set aside for formerly homeless households, the building will include affordable units for households earning no more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income.
The development team honored the community’s residential goals as they were mapped out through a community visioning report for both the Dean and Bergen Street sites, as they are reflected in the vibrant, exciting, non-residential programs available at Bergen Green. A substantial share of the homes will be 2- and 3-bedroom units making the building a good fit for families.
Today’s announcement also comes as HPD selected plans to build approximately 154 units of affordable housing for older New Yorkers on an adjacent lot next to the Dean Playground in Prospect Heights less than six months ago. This project, named Park Edge for its proximity to Dean Playground, is led by Jobe Development, Mega Group Development, and the Institute for Community Living. The development of both the Bergen and Dean Street sites will be led by certified minority-owned business enterprises.
Both Bergen and Dean Street sites are included in the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan (AAMUP), a community-led proposal to bring housing, jobs, infrastructure improvements, and other investments to Central Brooklyn. The New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) recently conducted a robust series of public engagement events with HPD and City Council Member Crystal Hudson for the AAMUP plan, and released a community priorities and recommendations report, which identified more affordable housing, especially on vacant or underused city-owned land, as a key goal. The City is designating development teams for the Bergen and Dean Street sites as a downpayment on AAMUP commitments, which will also include rezoning these sites for more affordable housing. DCP held an environmental scoping meeting in October and is currently conducting environmental review on the broader plan.
Bergen Green and Park Edge were both selected from a request for proposals process where development teams led by minority- and women-owned businesses were encouraged to apply as part of an initiative to provide more opportunities for minority- and women-owned developers to work on city-financed affordable housing projects.
The development team worked with Rodney Leon Architect PLLC (RLA), a certified MBE and Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects, an M/WBE firm, that provided the landscape architecture design.
“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,” said Dan Garodnick, Director of the Department of City Planning and Chair of the City Planning Commission. “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.”
“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,” said New York City Housing Development Corporation President Eric Enderlin. “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.”
For more information on the 516 Bergen site, visit the HPD website.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) promotes quality and affordability in the City's housing, and diversity and strength in the City’s neighborhoods - because every New Yorker deserves a safe, affordable place to live in a neighborhood they love. We maintain building and resident safety and health, create opportunities for New Yorkers through housing affordability, and engage New Yorkers to build and sustain neighborhood strength and diversity. HPD is entrusted with fulfilling these objectives through the goals and strategies of Housing Our Neighbors: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness, Mayor Adams’ comprehensive housing framework. To learn more about what we do, visit nyc.gov/hpd and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.