Breaking Ground and the African American Planning Commission Inc. recently celebrated the opening of their co-developed residential property at 7 Livonia Avenue in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Known as Edwin’s Place, the property comprises 125 units of affordable and supportive housing in addition to new community space and ground-floor retail.
The grand opening ceremony took place on Tuesday, July 27, where the developers were joined New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance/Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and Wells Fargo.
“Despite the decades of disinvestment and myriad challenges the neighborhood has weathered, there is still so much in Brownsville that makes me optimistic about its future for true community-driven revitalization,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Projects like Edwin’s Place are a case in point. This beautiful new development will provide state-of-the-art housing and amenities to a diverse community, with a particular and much-needed focus on serving formerly homeless individuals and families.”
Residential offerings range from studios up to three-bedroom rental apartments. A total of 88 units are reserved for formerly homeless households and individuals. Another 37 units will be reserved for low-income members of the community.
On-site social services will be offered to all residents in the building, funded by a contract between the African American Planning Commission Inc. and New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the eight-story, L-shaped building sits on an assemblage of lots between on Livonia Avenue between Howard and Grafton Streets. The façade comprises beige brick masonry, triple-glazed windows, gray mullions and metal cladding, and metal canopies surrounding the primary entrance. Amenity spaces include a private sunken courtyard, a roof deck, a fitness center, a computer lab, and flexible meeting rooms.
To improve energy performance, the property also supports a green roof and a photovoltaic array. The project was constructed to meet Enterprise Green Standards.
“Our design approach for providing a backdrop for living is universal,” said Grant Marani, partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects. “When designing Edwin’s Place, as with all of our apartment buildings, we listened to our client’s aspirations and looked to the neighborhood for inspiration. Brooklyn’s rich heritage of well-detailed brick apartment buildings provided the context to create permanent, comfortable, dignified, and welcoming homes for the Edwin’s Place residential community.”
The $74.7 million project received financing from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, and Wells Fargo, N.A. The Corporation for Supportive housing provided pre-development financing. Additional support was provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program, along with a grant from National Grid.
“Edwin’s Place represents our commitment to developing safe and dignified homes to help vulnerable New Yorkers escape and avoid homeless,” said Brenda Rosen, president and CEO of Breaking Ground. “Though this project has been many years in the making, it could not have been completed at a more crucial moment. We are proud to bring this beautiful new residence to the Brownsville community and join our state and city partners in building a New York where people can lead stable, secure lives in thriving neighborhoods.”