A new development is providing 218 affordable housing units as well as greater access to fresh food choices in Brooklyn, New York.
Developers Pennrose and Riseboro Community Partnership celebrated the grand opening of 50 Penn, a nine-story building featuring 56 studio, 96 one-, 48 two-, and 18 three-bedroom homes for residents earning up to 80% of the area median income. Forty-two units are set aside for formerly homeless and frail elderly residents with operating subsidy provided by the New York state Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. Officials also note that 102 units are permanently affordable, with 44 made possible through the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program.
In addition to the affordable housing, the ground floor is anchored by an 18,500-square-foot Key Food grocery store as part of the Department of City Planning FRESH program, which supports convenient, accessible grocery stores in underserved neighborhoods.
The two remaining street-front retail spaces will be leased as one of the first developments to pilot the East New York Retail Preservation Program, which is intended to preserve opportunities for longstanding East New York businesses to operate within the boundaries of the rezoned neighborhood at rents that facilitate the ability to source their workforce from within the community and provide job training and benefits.
“Mixed-use developments like 50 Penn are important steps forward in tackling our housing shortage and providing communities with the local amenities and resources everyone should have outside their door. This project not only gives over 200 New Yorkers and families a new place to call home, but in partnership with the NYC FRESH program, it brings a full scale grocery store to the neighborhood as well,” said New York City chief housing officer Jessica Katz.
The apartments feature modern, fully-equipped kitchens with electric ranges and dishwashers; spacious closets; vinyl flooring; resident-controlled heating and cooling; and on-site laundry facilities. The development includes a fitness center, a community room, a professionally landscaped terrace, bike storage, and easy access to the ground-floor retail and grocery store.
Residents are within close proximity to the Broadway Junction, J/Z ,and A/C subway lines. 50 Penn was designed to meet Enterprise Green Community standards, and features rooftop solar photovoltaic panels and green roofs that are intended to offset the carbon footprint of the project and minimize stormwater runoff.
Pennrose served as the project’s lead developer, and RiseBoro will provide on-site supportive services and property management. The development team also included Dattner Architects and Mega Contracting.
50 Penn was financed under the city Housing Development Corp. and Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Extremely Low- and Low-Income Affordability programs. HDC provided approximately $44.03 million of tax-exempt bonds and $13.75 million in corporate reserves. HPD provided $31.06 million in city subsidy. Former New York City council member Rafael L. Espinal Jr. provided $2 million in Reso A funds. Red Stone Equity Partners acted as the tax credit syndicator; Citi Community Capital is the tax credit investor and provided a letter of credit for the construction.