Part of East Flatbushs Kingsboro Psychiatric Center campus is set to be transformed into an affordable housing complex that includes 900 apartments as part of a $400 million redevelopment, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced.
Cuomo said he had selected the winning proposal to redevelop 7.2 acres of the site located at 681 Clarkson Ave to include the affordable homes, ample public green space, a full-sized basketball court, areas for urban farming, a greenhouse and dedicated space for community empowerment programs as part of the $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn initiative. The site will still include the psychiatric hospital.
Cuomo said the COVID-19 pandemic had further exposed the inequalities in the state, including a fundamental need for safe and affordable housing.
“Through the Vital Brooklyn initiative, we are better addressing these needs by transforming underutilized land on the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center campus into a community-oriented development that provides housing and programming to better serve those in-need, building New York back better, fairer and stronger for all, he said.
The development will include supportive and senior housing; opportunities for homeownership; and two homeless shelters, replacing the existing shelters originally built in the 1930s. It will also include free high-speed Wi-Fi, exercise rooms, a 10,000-square-foot grocery store, a 7,000-square-foot community hub with computers and classroom space for after-school programs and workforce development training, performance space and community empowerment programs.
Cuomo said the development would create 3,700 constructions jobs and more than 200 permanent jobs for area residents, of which 30% would go to minority and women-owned business enterprises.
The redevelopment project will be led by Almat Urban, Breaking Ground, Brooklyn Community Services, the Center for Urban Community Services, Douglaston Development, Jobe Development and the Velez Organization. The design team includes Adjaye Associates and Studio Zewde.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said the plan would bring more affordable housing to a community that desperately needs it, and the opportunities for healthier and greener living.
As someone who has long promoted the need to overhaul our local food system, I am particularly glad to see that this project will include urban farming opportunities to connect people to the healthy foods and activities, he said.
Cuomo launched the $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn Initiative in 2017 to address disparities in Brooklyn, with the goal to transform the Central Brooklyn region. The plan is to invest in eight integrated areas and address chronic disparities, like systemic violence and entrenched poverty in high-need communities.
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