Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced plans to transform the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center North Campus in Central Brooklyn into a 266-unit affordable housing development.
Dubbed Kingsbrook Estates, the development will offer affordable housing and a wide array of health, wellness, employment and support services for residents and the broader community. The housing development is part of Cuomo’s $578 million commitment to create 4,000 units of affordable housing through the $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn Initiative.
“The transformation of the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center North Campus is the latest step forward in our effort to revitalize Central Brooklyn with a $578 million investment in affordable housing,” said Cuomo. “The new Kingsbrook Estates will be an outstanding development that delivers top-quality affordable housing and much needed health and social services to residents of Central Brooklyn.”
As part of the proposal, three existing buildings on the 102,000 square-foot Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center North Campus will be demolished and replaced with two newly constructed buildings. The Leviton Building, another building on the campus, will also be redeveloped from hospital use into housing units.
The final development will be 266 apartments in three buildings with units affordable to a range of income levels. Residents will include older adults and disabled veterans. There will be access to health and wellness classes, vocational training and employment skills development, physical activity programs and integrated care. On-site amenities will include a therapeutic garden, outdoor exercise equipment, walkways, children’s play areas, outdoor kitchens and grills as well as an indoor teaching kitchen.
Additionally, the development will provide a nurse’s station with on-site services and counseling space, fitness, activity, and community rooms, lounges, laundry rooms, and bike storage. Free Wi-Fi will also be provided in residential units and throughout the campus, which is a hallmark of Vital Brooklyn’s commitment to increasing internet access across Central Brooklyn.
One Brooklyn Health System and Kingsbrook Estates will also provide all-inclusive care for the elderly in the development’s 7,000 square-foot PACE Center. These services will be available to residents of the development and the surrounding community.
The development will include a host of energy efficiency strategies such as Enterprise Green Communities Certification, addressing more than three times the energy savings requirement. The Project will also meet the standards of the ENERGY STAR multifamily high-rise program to satisfy Climate Bond Initiative requirements and will include solar photovoltaic panels and green roof systems on the buildings.
Cuomo launched the Vital Brooklyn Initiative in spring 2017 in order to address this array of disparities that affect residents of Brooklyn and to create a new model for community development and wellness in Brooklyn’s most vulnerable communities.
At the launch, Cuomo then charged each Central Brooklyn assembly member with convening a Community Advisory Council consisting of community leaders, local experts, advocates, and other stakeholders to consider the unique needs and opportunities in their districts, and to develop long-term solutions.
State senators representing parts of Central Brooklyn were also actively engaged in the process. A total of 25 community meetings brought together nearly 100 key community stakeholders.
“We are strongly committed to transforming the lives of Central Brooklyn’s residents with expanded access to real affordable housing, health care, and job training. Kingsbrook Estates will provide 266 much-needed affordable and supportive homes for my constituents and will be an asset to the community for years to come,” said Assembly Member Diana Richardson (D-Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Garden).
“This development encompasses 100% affordable housing, providing stability and economic opportunity for its residents. I look forward to working with the winning developer and I want to thank [New York State Homes and Community Renewal] Commissioner [RuthAnne] Visnauskas and the team at HCR who worked diligently to ensure this project reflected the community’s priorities.”
“Everyone deserves quality housing and healthcare services, yet every day, people come into my office who are in desperate need of these basic necessities. The redevelopment at Kingsbrook Jewish Hospital for affordable housing, along with the creation of a hub for health-related services, is a welcome addition to our district and I look forward to its completion. I commend the community and my colleagues in government who worked tirelessly to make this a reality,” said State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park).
Central Brooklyn is one of the most vulnerable areas in the state. Residents experience measurably higher rates of health problems; limited access to healthy foods or opportunities for physical activity; and high rates of violence and crime. Central Brooklyn is also affected by wide economic disparities due to unemployment, high poverty levels and inadequate access to high-quality health care.
The announcement adds to four winning proposals the last November to create more than 2,700 affordable homes in Central Brooklyn. The projects include apartments and supportive services for the developmentally disabled, individuals aging out of foster care and chronically homeless families.