From the pulpit of the Hanson Place Seventh Day Adventist Church Thursday, Mayor Eirc Adams announced the groundbreaking of Hanson Place Community Plaza, a $65.7 million mixed-use development that includes 104 affordable housing units and 22,000 square feet of community space.
Using a bible story to illustrate his point, Adams said that by providing affordable housing to low and moderate income people in Fort Greene, this development will help the area remain accessible for some of its longtime Black and brown residents.
“These 104 apartments, they’re gonna to calm the seas of people [including] some formerly homeless, some low income, some moderate income teachers and accountants, who can’t find a place to stay in the community that they live in,” Adams said. “People forget about them. People forget about Ms. Jones the teacher and Bobby the accountant that has four kids and cannot afford to live in this city. You’re seeing the hemorrhaging of Black and brown individuals from this city because they can’t afford to stay here.”
The project was spearheaded by Hanson Place Church Support Corp. (Hanson Place SDA), MDG Design Plus Construction, the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and several other organizations. Adams secured $2.8 million of funding for the development when he was still Brooklyn Borough President along with city Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner and former City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo.
Hanson Place SDA president Elder Jeremiah Cox said his organization is pleased to see the groundbreaking of this development finally come to fruition.
“This project is a dream come true for the leadership and membership of the Hanson Place Seventh-day Adventist Church,” Cox said. “Since our coming into the Fort Greene community sixty years ago, the church has impacted the community through religious, educational, cultural and welfare programs, and now, we cherish the opportunity to break into the area of providing affordable housing for community residents. We are indeed grateful to the developers and those agencies that combined to provide the funding to make this project possible.”
The 13-story development will have rents affordable for extremely low and moderate income tenants and will boast energy efficient design elements, according to a release
In addition to affordable housing units, the development will contain an 8,000 square foot medical center with affordable healthcare programming for the community as well as conference rooms and office space for Hanson Place SDA to expand its initiatives. Plus, the campus will include a 250-person multipurpose room devoted to community organizations.
Adams has said repeatedly that building more affordable housing was one of his top priorities since taking office in January. When Adams presented his executive budget earlier this week, he announced he wants to allocate $5 billion to building and preseerving affordable housing over the next decade.
The mayor said he thinks this church-sponsored project could be a model for how to develop more affordable housing around the city.
“This groundbreaking is going to be representations of what we can do in this city,” Adams said. “We can look towards our faith based institutions to use the available space to start building the housing, the supportive housing, the Safe Haven beds, all of the things we need to do. Because you’re not in it for the profit, you’re in it for the people.”