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Team selected to transform Kingsboro Psychiatric Center into 7-acre mixed-use community

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today 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, public green space, a full-sized basketball court, areas for urban farming, a greenhouse, and dedicated space for community empowerment programs.

The redevelopment project will be led by Almat Urban, Breaking Ground, Brooklyn Community Services, the Center for Urban Community Services, Douglaston Development, Jobe Development, and the Velez Organization.  The design team includes Adjaye Associates and Harlem-based Studio Zewde. Jobe Development and the Velez Organization are certified MWBEs.

Renderings via Adjaye Associates

The development is part of Governor Cuomo’s $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn initiative targeting and investing 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 percent towards the New York State’s certified MWBE goals.      

Amenities include free high-speed Wi-Fi, exercise rooms, a 10,000 s/f grocery store, a 7,000 s/f community hub with computers and classroom space for after-school programs and workforce development training, performance space and community empowerment programs.

In August 2020, Empire State Development – in collaboration with New York State Homes and Community Renewal – requested proposals to bring a modern, mixed-use wellness-oriented development to the campus of the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center, one of Brooklyn’s largest health institutions.

The winning proposal presented the most comprehensive vision for this prime property in East Flatbush, with affordable housing and a set-aside for permanent supportive housing units and shelter beds. 

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.”

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.

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.

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