Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Eugene Announce Plans to Transform Flatbush Site into Affordable Housing

October 9, 2020

City Launches Request for Qualifications to develop affordable housing and youth services at the former PS90 site in Flatbush

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Member Mathieu Eugene today announced plans to develop affordable housing in Flatbush, Brooklyn at 2286 Church Avenue, the site of the former Public School 90 (P.S. 90). The site will now give rise to approximately 130 critically needed affordable homes and community development space.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to inclusive, equitable housing development,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With 130 affordable apartments and educational and vocational training facilities, this project will restore this historic site as a community anchor for Flatbush and the entire borough.”

The 29,000 square foot development site formerly contained a historic late 19th-century school building, which was demolished in 2015 due to hazardous structural conditions. The City is now launching a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to develop the units and space dedicated to educational and a vocational training program for young Brooklynites, a fitting tribute to the site’s past.

“As the city of New York continues to cope with an unprecedented public health crisis, we must remain focused on our obligation to make affordable housing, education, and job training a top priority for the community,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “This wonderful project will have a positive impact in the lives of so many people, including our youth who are in dire need of opportunities where they can acquire the tools for success. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for his collaboration on this very important initiative that will be an invaluable asset in our community for generations to come.”

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will release the RFQ later this year, followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP) later next year to the qualified respondents of the RFQ.

“We are always looking for opportunities to transform underused public sites into dynamic affordable housing that can serve the broader needs of the community,” said Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Louise Carroll. “We are excited to work with EDC and other partners to begin a new chapter for this long-vacant site via a mindful, community-driven planning process that respects its past.”

In addition to the site’s history as a school, archaeological excavation uncovered a small number of fragments of human remains, which may be associated with a historical burial ground for people of African ancestry. At the time, the human remains were transferred to the minister of the Reformed Dutch Church of Flatbush for reinterment in their consecrated cemetery.

In 2019, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) and the Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) established the need for a Task Force to make efforts to identify any potential descendant communities of the colonial enslaved and freed Africans of early Flatbush, establish a procedure for handling any additional remains if discovered, and discuss potential memorialization of the history of site. The Task Force, working simultaneously with the RFQ process, will be supported by HPD, EDC and technical expertise by LPC.

“Local leaders have advocated for this underused property to better serve the Flatbush community, with affordable housing and educational space,” said James Patchett, President and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation. “I’m happy that today we are taking a big step toward making that a reality, and I’m looking forward to working with the Task Force to meaningfully acknowledge the site’s history and realize a vision of equitable development.”