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Last brick laid at 1,163-unit East New York development

The Arker Companies has completed The Fountains, its 1,163-unit mixed use development in East New York.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the completion of the $425 million development on the site of the former Brooklyn Developmental Center, a residential care and treatment center for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The decommissioned state property, purchased through Empire State Development’s competitive request for proposal process, was developed by the Arker Companies. The Arker Companies paid $10 million for the property, which was previously owned by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

Built over several phases, The Fountains complex includes 1,163 apartments across six residential buildings. Most apartments are affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income with 85 homes for households earning up to 100 percent of the AMI. There are 200 apartments reserved for adults 62 or older.

192 homes throughout the complex are reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities who will have access to on-site supportive services provided by the Block Institute. Funding for services and rental subsidies are being provided by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. Additionally, OPWDD will lease office space on the complex.

The complex also includes Schroeder’s Walk, a new one-acre public plaza that extends Schroeder’s Avenue for pedestrians. The Fountains also features 21,700 s/f of new ground floor commercial space and off-street parking.

“The Fountains are the embodiment of our commitment to provide equal opportunity for each and every New Yorker, and this complex goes above and beyond to provide quality, affordability, and access to the resources needed to live healthy and successful lives,” Governor Hochul said. “This mixed-use development provides housing, services, and amenities that will reenergize the community and build a brighter future for all, but especially for our most vulnerable residents.”

The six completed buildings include:

A six-story building at 11629 Seaview Avenue with 65 affordable apartments. 17 units are reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. 10 apartments are fully accessible and adaptable for residents with mobility, hearing or vision impairments.

A nine-story building at 911 Erskine Street with 267 affordable apartments. 67 apartments are reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

A seven-story building at 10 Schroeder’s Walk with 200 apartments for residents 62 and older and 11,100 square-feet of commercial space on the ground floor.  60 of the apartments are reserved for homeless seniors.

A nine-story building at 702 Vandalia Avenue, with 65 affordable apartments. 13 homes are reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. 10 apartments are fully accessible and adaptable for residents with mobility, hearing or vision impairments.

A nine-story building at 881 Erksine Street with 144 affordable apartments. Twenty-nine homes are reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The ground floor has 10,600 square-feet of commercial space.

A nine-story building at 894 Fountain Avenue with 422 affordable apartments. There are 85 apartments for households earning up to 100 percent of the AMI. Sixty-six homes are reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

 All six buildings were constructed to meet Enterprise Green Community standards and include energy efficient features such as ENERGY STAR labeled appliances, heating and cooling systems, and lighting.

State financing for The Fountains includes over $216 million in resources from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Additional support was provided by OPWDD, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The Fountains is part of the state’s $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn initiative which is targeting and investing in eight integrated areas, from health care to housing. The initiative will create 4,000 affordable homes in Central Brooklyn’s neighborhoods.

Alex Arker, Principal at The Arker Companies (above), said, “This is an incredible moment for our affordable housing community. We are proud to work alongside our partners, ESD, HCR, and HPD, to open the Fountains and provide a safe, stable home for thousands of New Yorkers. The Fountains has revitalized this site with almost 1,200 apartments, supportive services, a public plaza and more. As we are still trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an honor to do our part in helping New Yorkers who need it most.”

The Brooklyn Developmental Center was built in 1973 to take some residents of the infamous Willowbrook State School on Staten Island which was shut down following revelations of abusive treatment of its developmentally disabled patients. The property continued to serve as a place of last resort for those individuals who were unable to live at home or at a group home.

However, propelled by a 1999 Supreme Court decision that favored integrated settings for people with mental disabilities, Governor Andrew Cuomo closed the 35-acre center in 2015.

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