JV to Build 274 Affordable Units in Brooklyn

HPD and HDC designated the joint venture between MHANY Management, Urban Builders Collaborative and Cypress Hills Local Development Corp. to develop Chestnut Commons, which will be East New York’s largest affordable community.

By Laura Calugar

A rendering of the Chestnut Commons in New York

A rendering of the Chestnut Commons in New York

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Housing Development Corp. (HPC) selected MHANY Management, Urban Builders Collaborative and Cypress Hills Local Development Corp. to build a mixed-use community in East New York, Brooklyn. Dattner Architects has been selected to design the community, dubbed Chestnut Commons, which will bring 274 deeply affordable housing units to the Cypress Hill neighborhood.

Located on a underused public land bounded by Dinsmore Place, Chestnut Street and Atlantic Avenue, Chestnut Commons will be affordable to households earning up to $51,540, with more than 80 units reserved for households earning up to $25,770. The project includes a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, which will be affordable to formerly homeless, extremely low-, very low- and low-income households through financing from the city’s ELLA program. Chestnut Commons is designed to have a low carbon footprint by incorporating passive house elements that will reduce operating costs.

Community-driven approach

Aside from the residences, the building will also feature a satellite campus for CUNY Kingsborough Community College, a new performing arts center run by ARTS East New York, a food manufacturing incubator, a social services center run by the Cypress Hills Local Development Corp., and a 2,000-square-foot Brooklyn Federal Credit Union branch.

“A new community center with cultural, educational and workforce development programming promises to be an incredible benefit to the entire neighborhood. This kind of multi-purpose, community-driven approach to local development, as part of a rezoning process, is exactly the kind of model we should be replicating across the borough,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, in a prepared statement.

This project is part of the East New York Neighborhood Plan, which was released in 2016 as part of the East New York new neighborhood rezoning. The plan outlines a commitment to expedite the construction of deeply affordable housing, with approximately 425 units projected for public sites. This project builds on the de Blasio Administration’s commitment to create or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units by 2022.

HPD is also involved in the conversion of a 24,687-square-foot historic site in the far west side of Manhattan into a mixed-use project that will include 234 affordable units, a grocery store, dormitory space and more.

Image courtesy of Dattner Architects

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