Sunset Park Library Redevelopment Plan

Affordable housing development plans for Brooklyn is always exciting news because there is such a great need for affordability in our borough. With rising prices for both renters and homebuyers many people are priced out of Brooklyn.

Last month The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) located in Sunset Park announced plans not to only expand the Library but to add affordable housing units to the building. More than 75 residents attended the meeting when library officials presented the plan to redevelop the current branch structure and replace it with an eight-story building with 54 affordable apartments.

The plan calls for a Partnership between nonprofit organization “Fifth Avenue Committee” (FAC) and the BPL to purchase and redevelop the building. The plan included expansion of the library from 12,000 square feet to 17,000 square feet, and 54 units which will include 18 Studios priced at $525.00, 11 one-bedrooms, 14 two bedrooms and 12 three bedrooms, priced at $796.00.

Many residents didn’t like the affordable housing plan – they felt that the priority should be to improve the library space especially since the Sunset Park Branch is one of the busiest branches and is in critical need of renovations for many years now. Residents believed that the redevelopment proposal was not taking the community needs into consideration.

Fast forward today – A modified plan was presented on Monday, December 1st by BPL officials. The plan now includes expansion of the library from 12,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet with 49 affordable housing units above. Such exciting news for the community I believe – the library space will be expanded and redesigned to include an area for children (which is currently lacking), new heating and cooling system, program rooms and a technology area (they currently have one but it isn’t sufficient).

The site which is located at 5108 Fourth Avenue is currently owned by the city. The plan will allow FAC to purchase the building; the new building will then be constructed along with the new library’s core and shell for little cost to the Brooklyn Public Library. FAC will then hand over the new branch to the city and maintain ownership of the rest of the building.

The prices for the proposed affordable units will be based on the Area Median Income (AMI) of Sunset Park. Current AMI 30 – 40 percent, $20,0001 to 40,000; 50 – 60 percent $40,0001 to 60,000 and 80 – 90 percent, $60,001 to 100,000. A total of eight units will available to low-income families whose income falls below 30 percent AMI. All units will be assigned through a city’s housing lottery, A minimum of 50 percent of the units will be for Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace, both neighborhoods are part of Community Board 7.

There will be a total of 50 units, 1 unit will be assigned to a superintendent and the other 49 will be affordable housing units. The average rent will be $550 to $790 per month for the nine studios, $575 to $850 for the 12 one-bedrooms, and $700 to $1,025 for the nine three bedrooms. The units will be priced based on the varying sizes of the apartments.

While the agreement has not been finalized – construction could begin as soon as 2016 and will be completed in 2018.

There are residents against the proposal however many residents are in support.


Image via Brownstoner 

Info via DNAinfo

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