Developers and elected officials recently gathered to celebrate the completion of Nevins Street Apartments, a 129-unit affordable housing property in Downtown Brooklyn. Located at 50 Nevins Street, the property now comprises 6,000 square feet of commercial space and over 100,000 square feet of residential area.
The developer of the complex is Institute for Community Living, which retained Dattner Architects to lead the design and completion of Nevins Street Apartments. Mega Contracting Group served as general contractor.
“In the wake of the pandemic, it is critical that we take bold action to make New York a more affordable place for all, and that is why my administration launched a comprehensive $25 billion affordable housing plan to help ensure every New Yorker has access to safe, affordable housing,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “New York is committed to tackling the housing crisis with transformative projects like Nevins Street Apartments that drive neighborhood revitalization and provide New Yorkers with the support and stability they need to thrive.”
The full scope of work included a comprehensive gut renovation of a century-old building and construction of a ten-story addition that occupies the neighboring lot and envelopes the historic building. The original structure was completed in 1912 as a single-room occupancy residential facility by the YWCA for single women. Over the last 30 years, the developer operated the building as an Office of Mental Health-licensed transitional housing facility.
The affordable homes are reserved for households earning at or below 60 percent area median income (AMI). The residential component also includes 78 supportive units reserved for formerly homeless individuals, including formerly homeless veterans, individuals with histories of substance use, people with serious mental health concerns, and young adults who have aged out of foster care.
On-site amenities include a laundry room, a community room, a fitness center, a yoga room, and a flexible learning space. Residents will also have access to comprehensive on-site support services including counseling, parenting and life skills, family reunification and stabilization, health education, social and recreational services, and linkage to community services.
“The extensive renovations of the existing building will not only make the building fully accessible, but will also improve the energy performance of the building with efficient systems coupled with on-site renewable power generation,” said Dattner Architects principal John Woelfling. “In addition to the renovation, the project was able to expand the building footprint and density of the project through a rezoning that required support from the NYC Department of City Planning and community partners. As the saying goes, ‘It takes a village…’”
Total project costs hover around $72 million. State financing for the development includes $13.6 million in tax-exempt bonds, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $27.3 million in equity, and $9 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Mayor Adams supported the Nevins Street Apartments project as Brooklyn borough president with $500,000 in discretionary funding in fiscal year 2021.
“We need to solve the crisis of homelessness with the crisis of housing, and I am proud to have supported a project as borough president and now as mayor that helps us do exactly that,” Adams said. “This project represents exactly what we need more of in New York City: collaboration between city and state to provide affordable homes for families in shelters, New Yorkers struggling with mental health challenges, or veterans who have served our country bravely and need a place to call home.”
The New York State Office of Mental Health will provide $1.9 million annually for rental assistance and services for the supportive units through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) provided an additional $10.6 million from the Supportive Housing Loan Program.
A housing lottery and call for applications launched in March 2022 and will close later this month.