Progress continues to be made on the affordable housing development in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn. After 16 years of vacancy and, finally, demolition, the site is now making major strides.

  • Project leaders are Blue Sea Development and Dattner Architects, selected in 2013 by the New York City Housing Authority and New York City Housing Preservation and Development.
  • Plans illustrate a 4.5-acre site with 364 units. A total of 80 units will be NYCHA public housing and 284 will be affordable housing units.
  • Construction is broken into three phases. The second stage of construction, Prospect Plaza North, is currently wrapping up.
  • Keeping the same name as the housing project that was demolished in 2000, the development is slated for completion by 2017.
Prospect Plaza in 2014, pre-construction/Google Maps Screenshow

Prospect Plaza in 2014, pre-construction/Google Maps Screenshot

Progress continues to be made on the affordable housing development in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn. After 16 years of vacancy and, finally, demolition, the site is now making major strides.

The leads on the project are Blue Sea Development and Dattner Architects, selected in 2013 by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Back in 2000, the NCYHA removed 1,200 residents from Prospect Plaza with intent to rebuild the housing project into something superior. However, clearing of the site didn’t begin until May of 2014.

Although the previous structure stood 15 stories high, the city denied submission for a new six-story configuration with 101 apartments in 2014, according to Brownstoner.

The approved and working plans designed by Dattner Architects illustrate a 200,000 square-foot, 4.5-acre site with 364 units. A total of 80 units will be NYCHA public housing and 284 will be affordable housing units.

3 phases of construction

Construction is broken into three phases: Prospect Plaza South, Prospect Plaza North and the Saratoga Site. Currently, the second stage of construction, Prospect Plaza North, is wrapping up at the site. Phase II will create 111 affordable units of townhouse-style apartments and tall, elevator-equipped buildings.

Phase I reached its final stages at the four-story town-house style apartments las July, according to a YIMBY report. Prospect Plaza South includes a five-and-a-half story building with an elevator, bringing the total number of units in this section to 148.

The final stage, Saratoga Site, consists of 105 units within a four-and-a-half story building complete with an elevator. The development will encompass a central courtyard and is slated for completion by 2017.

With the name remaining unchanged as the former housing project that was shut down over a decade ago, Prospect Plaza will feature a recreation area, rooftop greenhouse, supermarket and community facility, as illustrated in Dattner’s renderings.

In 2013, when the selection of Blue Sea & Partners was first announced by NYC officials, NYCHA sent out an official statement expressing its anticipation regarding the partnership and also made parallels with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing measures.

Affordable housing is a trending issue in Brooklyn and New York City in general. The NYC City Council meets this month to vote on Mandatory Inclusionary Housing– one of Mayor de Blasio’s initiatives within Housing New York.

If approved, Housing New York will generate 80,000 affordable new units, with 20 percent reserved toward those making less than $40,000 per year. East New York is the first of 15 low-income neighborhoods to be rezoned.

Prospect Park is just a few miles away from East New York, but not within the official district.

“During this Administration we have been very successful in using HPD’s pipeline of city-owned land to develop affordable housing. The Mayor’s housing plan has also provided the flexibility to think out-of-the-box to find innovative ways to expand the city’s affordable housing stock beyond our pipeline; our partnership with NYCHA being a key example of this,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua.

Brooklyn rents averaged around $2,666 per month in January, according to MNS. And according to recent reports, Brooklyn is the most inflated housing market in the U.S.

Email Jennifer Riner

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