Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the selection of the winning proposal to redevelop 7.2 acres of the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center campus in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The development will include 900 affordable homes, ample public green space, a full-sized basketball court, areas for urban farming, a greenhouse, and dedicated space for community empowerment programs. The $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn initiative targets and invests in eight integrated areas, including health care and housing, establishing a new standard for addressing chronic economic and racial disparities in Brooklyn’s high-need communities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic further exposed the inequalities among the state’s at-risk and in-need communities, including a fundamental need for safe and affordable housing,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through the Vital Brooklyn initiative, we are better addressing these needs by transforming underutilized land on the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center campus into a community-oriented development that provides housing and programming to better serve those in-need, building New York back better, fairer and stronger for all.”
The more than $400 million project includes approximately 900 units of affordable and supportive housing, and senior housing; opportunities for homeownership; and two state-of-the-art homeless shelters, replacing the existing, aging shelters originally built in the 1930s. The development will create 3,700 constructions jobs and more than 200 permanent jobs for area residents. The project proposal achieves 30% towards the New York State’s nation leading certified MWBE goals.
Amenities include free high-speed Wi-Fi, exercise rooms, a 10,000-square-foot grocery store, a 7,000-square-foot community hub with computers and classroom space for after-school programs and workforce development training, performance space and community empowerment programs.
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, said, “This winning proposal addresses the urgent need for affordable, supportive and senior housing units and home ownership opportunities all in one location, but it accomplishes something even more exciting — it creates an all-encompassing community where social, recreational, educational, health care and other everyday needs will be met. Developments like this demonstrate the importance of thinking broadly and creatively as we work to fulfill our mission to create more affordable housing across our State.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, “The redevelopment of a portion of Kingsboro Psychiatric Center will bring more affordable housing to a community that desperately needs it, and the opportunities for healthier and greener living. As someone who has long promoted the need to overhaul our local food system, I am particularly glad to see that this project will include urban farming opportunities to connect people to the healthy foods and activities. I thank the State for this partnership, and look forward to continuing to advance the needs of Brooklynites living in underserved communities.”
Revitalizing Central Brooklyn
Central Brooklyn has long suffered from disinvestment and marginalization that hinder the wellbeing of its residents. 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.
Today’s announcement adds to nine winning proposals that will advance the Vital Brooklyn initiative’s commitment to creating 4,000 affordable homes in Central Brooklyn. Past winners incorporated social, medical, and community services; recreational and educational opportunities; family housing; and apartments with supportive services.
About the Vital Brooklyn Initiative
Governor Cuomo launched the Vital Brooklyn Initiative in spring 2017 to address the range of disparities that affect residents of Brooklyn and to create a new model for community development and wellness in Brooklyn’s most vulnerable communities. The Governor then charged each Assembly Member in Central Brooklyn 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.