Brooklyn, NY– Today, the City Council voted to approve two residential developments in Prospect Heights at 870-888 Atlantic Avenue and 1034-1042 Atlantic Avenue. By greenlighting these projects, the City sets a new tone for future land-use proposals, showing that developers can and must offer more than required under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program.
870-888 Atlantic Avenue will provide approximately 228 dwelling units, and 1034-1042 Atlantic Avenue will provide approximately 210 dwelling units. In total, these properties will bring approximately 150 units combined in affordable housing. Both properties will include commercial and community facility space on the ground floor and are located in Brooklyn Community District 8.
The Council secured binding commitments from the developers for record-setting rates of affordable housing units in these projects, raising the standard for development across our City. Per the agreement, 35% of each building’s floor area will be allocated for affordable units, 10% more affordable housing than is required under MIH Option 1. A majority of the units will be set aside for families making between $38,000 and $57,000 per year, or 40% and 60% of the area median income (AMI), respectively. A smaller subset of the affordable units will be set aside for families making 80% AMI, or $76,000 per year.
Additionally, the City has committed to supporting a comprehensive plan of the Atlantic Avenue corridor, including a neighborhood wide rezoning. Local advocates and community members have long demanded a comprehensive plan for this corridor, which has seen an increase in residential development without an adequate analysis of the impact the projects would have on public infrastructure, including schools, sewage, streets, and parks. This community-led plan represents a change in how our city approaches planning by utilizing a bottom-up approach, asking communities what they need, and ensuring developers build what communities want to see.
“We’re setting down a new path today,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson. “For too long, developers have driven the land use and planning process in this City. They’ve convinced New Yorkers that affordability quotas and community demands will stifle development in a time when we need to build more to confront the growing affordability and housing shortage we’re facing. However, the truth is developers can stand to do much more. They can exceed the MIH minimums that do not meet the needs of the majority of working New Yorkers, and they can commit to improving public infrastructure in the communities they purport to serve. Today, we set a new floor for potential projects across the City, and set a new standard that will ensure we create more homes for low and moderate-income earning New Yorkers, not just the ones with the deepest pockets.”
“We should be demanding that developers do more than just the bare minimum in producing affordable housing. As we all reevaluate our communities and rezonings that impact life within these zip codes, we should be laser focused on creating more homes, increasing the number of affordable housing units, and creating spaces that encourage a higher quality of life. Councilmember Hudson has set a new template for these negotiations with this proposal,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.
“As Chair of Committee on Land Use, I have repeatedly stressed the correlation of good development being development that speaks to the needs of the community. The passage of 870-888 Atlantic Avenue and 1034-1042 Atlantic Avenue exemplifies this. Recognizing the need for affordable housing for longtime Brooklynites along the Atlantic Avenue corridor, Council Member Hudson pointedly negotiated a deal that would create more affordable units than required – 150-units in total across both projects – within income brackets affordable to residents of Brooklyn Community Board Eight. A subsequent agreement with the Adams Administration to study Atlantic Avenue for a potential neighborhood rezoning plan will help address the community-identified district needs of the area. I commend Council Member Hudson, the Adams Administration and the respective development teams for coming to an agreement that will benefit the constituents of the 35th Council District,” said Rafael Salamanca Jr., Chair of the Committee on Land Use.
“Unprecedented in its structuring to ensure a level of affordability, the agreements struck between the developers of 870-888 Atlantic Avenue and 1034-1042 Atlantic Avenue and Council Member Hudson represent first steps towards realizing a vision for more affordable housing, job opportunities and protections for both tenants and homeowners in Community Board #8. With a comprehensive plan, the community board looks forward to fostering opportunities with community stakeholders that closely meet the needs of both recent and current residents of our communities. Considering all of the elements that were involved in this process, I appreciate Council Member Hudson’s embrace in the value and importance of compromise and how it was exhibited by her decision,” said Irsa Witherspoon, Chair of Brooklyn Community Board 8.
“As we move forward, a framework has been established so that the M-Crown (Manufacturing, Commercial, Residential Opportunity for a Working Neighborhood) goals of equitable economic development within a truly mixed use neighborhood can prosper. We are pleased that after the many years of community driven work, the Department of City Planning will partner with Community Board #8 to bring its M-Crown vision to fruition,” said Sharon Wedderburn, Chair of Brooklyn Community Board 8’s Land Use Committee.
“This development is a roadmap for how city leaders can put communities first and ensure working New Yorkers are not left behind. We applaud Councilmember Hudson’s advocacy for her community that produced a real win for her constituents. With a comprehensive approach, Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue corridor will see more sustainable development, affordable housing, and good jobs,” said Candis Tall, SEIU 32BJ Vice President and Political Director.
“We salute Councilmember Hudson for her vision and bravery and the developers who boldly agreed to accept the vision. Affordable Housing that is income targeted to meet the needs of the community is a necessity and this project with 35% of the units affordable is a step in the right direction,” said Bernell K. Grier, Executive Director of IMPACTT Brooklyn.