Brooklyn Affordable Community Breaks Ground

Pennrose and RiseBoro Community Partnership are building the 218-unit development in the East New York neighborhood.
50 Penn. Rendering courtesy of Pennrose

Pennrose and RiseBoro Community Partnership have broken ground on 50 Penn, a 218-unit affordable multifamily development in Brooklyn, New York City in concert with city authorities. The nine-story building at 50 Pennsylvania Ave. in the East New York neighborhood is expected to wrap up construction in July 2021.


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Developed in partnership with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and New York City Housing Development Corp., the mixed-income project is designed for family occupancy. Pennrose is the lead developer, while RiseBoro will provide supportive services and property management.

The project is financed under HDC and HPD’s ELLA programs, with HDC providing about $44 million of tax-exempt bonds and $13.8 million in corporate reserves, while HPD provided $31.1 million in city subsidy. New York City Council Member Rafael L. Espinal Jr. chipped in $2 million in Resolution A funds. Redstone Equity Partners served as the tax credit syndicator, while Citi Community Capital is the tax credit investor.

Half of units permanently affordable

Upon completion, 50 Penn will offer 56 studios, 96 one-bedroom, 48 two-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom apartments. The residences will be earmarked for a range of income earners, from extremely low-income households earning up to 30 percent of the area median income (AMI) to low-income households earning up to 80 percent of AMI.

Forty-two of the project’s units will be reserved for senior supportive housing, with an operating subsidy provided by the York State Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI). RiseBoro will provide on-site supportive services for the residents, formerly homeless and frail elderly households. In addition to that, 102 units will be permanently affordable, 44 of which will enjoy that status due to the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program.

The development will include ground-floor retail, anchored by a grocery store as part of a city program to promote fresh and affordable food in underserved neighborhoods. Neighborhood-scale retailers will lease the two other street-front retail spaces at discounted rents, as 50 Penn will be one of the first developments to pilot the East New York Retail Preservation Program.

Community amenities will include on-site laundry facilities, a community room, fitness lounge, and private landscaped terrace on the second floor. The project, which is designed to meet Enterprise Green Community standards, will also feature green roofs and rooftop solar photovoltaic panels.

Elsewhere in East New York, a partnership of Thorobird Cos. and Bangladeshi American Community Development & Youth Services received a $70 million contract from the City of New York to develop a 167-unit affordable community at 581 Grant Ave. this past May.