For the second time in two days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today unveiled plans for a multi-services affordable housing development in East Flatbush as part of his $1.4 Billion Vital Brooklyn initiative, which targets investments in eight integrated areas, from health care to housing to address chronic economic and racial disparities in Brooklyn’s high-need communities.
Named Clarkson Estates, the 291-unit apartment building and supportive services is slated for 329 Clarkson Avenue between Nostrand and New York Avenues on the border of East Flatbush and Prospect Lefferts Garden.
“As the pandemic creates significant hardships for New Yorkers, it’s more important than ever that we expand access to safe, affordable housing during these difficult times,” said Cuomo. “This project is going to result in nearly 300 new affordable and supportive housing units that will help hundreds of our friends and neighbors in Central Brooklyn, and the State will continue to find ways to support the New Yorkers who need it most as we address the unprecedented challenges of today.”
Project developer and manager CAMBA Housing Ventures will set aside 146 of the 291 units for youth aging out of foster care, formerly incarcerated individuals, and formerly homeless young adults.
The on-site supportive services offered by CAMBA will be supplemented by an extensive network of benefits available to the larger community in the development’s 30,000-square-foot “HUB”. Many of the Community HUB’s facilities will be open to the public and help encourage community engagement.
Resources available at the HUB include:
- Childcare services;
- Health screening center;
- Small business services incubator and workforce training;
- Violence prevention and mediation center;
- Youth education and development center;
- Technology training center that includes adult education and financial literacy classes;
- Recording and rehearsal studio, and performance space;
- Full-sized basketball court for general community use and access, competitive basketball leagues, and community events;
- Food pantry and café; and
- Design studio and exhibition space
The HUB will be named for and dedicated to the memory of Dr. Roy A. Hastick, a gifted, caring and visionary business leader who passed away from COVID-19 in April. Dr. Hastick devoted his time to the health of the community in Brooklyn and the Caribbean diaspora, founding the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (CACCI) and convening more than 600 small business seminars to benefit the community.
Clarkson Estates will be constructed on a parcel called “Site L” which is land currently owned by Health Science Center at Brooklyn Foundation. The building will also include an underground parking garage with 80 parking spaces for use by residents and people utilizing the community facilities at the HUB.
On-site amenities for residents will include laundry rooms, supportive services and case management spaces, fitness room, a training kitchen, library, computer room, bike storage, and a community room. In addition, there will be a CSA drop-off point for fresh fruits and vegetables for residents and a Health and Homes Screening Center to provide nurse visits and health screenings.
In addition, Clarkson Estates qualifies for Enterprise Green Communities Certification, and meets the standards of the ENERGY STAR multifamily high-rise program to satisfy Climate Bond Initiative requirements.
The development’s green roofs and solar panels contribute to community and individual health. Residents and visitors will also be provided free Wi-Fi, which is a hallmark of the Vital Brooklyn initiative’s commitment to increasing internet access across Central Brooklyn.
“The impact of COVID on our communities, especially my district, has exacerbated the issues that far too many residents struggle with – namely housing, health care, social services, and access to commerce and recreation,” said State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park)
“Clarkson Estates will help our most vulnerable citizens recover from this pandemic and create generational change for Central Brooklyn. I want to thank Governor Cuomo, [New York State Homes and Community Renewal] Commissioner Visnauskas and her team at HCR, and our many partners who are making this project a reality,” he added.
Assembly Member Diana Richardson (D-Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) said one of the most critical challenges facing Central Brooklyn is ensuring residents have access to safe and affordable housing. At the same time, the COVID crisis has hit the community the hardest and laid bare the inequities in the healthcare system and social safety net.
“The Vital Brooklyn initiative seeks to address these systemic issues by creating affordable and sustainable developments like The Clarkson Estates. This project is unique because we will bring not only desperately needed affordable housing to our community but a state of the art community facility space,” said Richardson.
“The Dr. Roy A. Hastick Sr. Community Hub will provide a multitude of services including childcare, workforce development, and a small business incubator. I want to thank Commissioner Visnauskas and her team at HCR for their diligent work and most importantly, the residents of the 43rd Assembly District for their input and support throughout this process. Our partnership with Governor Cuomo will create a landmark project that will have a lasting impact on our community for decades to come.”