Fifth Avenue Committee to Bring the First Affordable Housing Development in a Decade to Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Fifth Avenue Committee

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The 6309 Fourth Avenue project will provide 84 affordable apartments targeted to very-low income seniors

Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC)’s latest development will bring affordable homes for seniors to Brooklyn’s Sunset Park for the first time in nearly a decade. The proposed project will provide 84 affordable apartments for very-low income seniors in the immigrant-dense neighborhood southwest of Park Slope and Red Hook.

“The housing crisis is especially acute for low-income seniors, so we wanted to focus on providing homes for them,” said FAC Project Manager Vincent DeCesare.

The neighborhood’s area median income for those 65 and older is $26,700; meanwhile, area market rents are $2,000 for a studio ($24,000 annually) and $2,500 for a one-bedroom ($30,000 annually), so rent for typical apartment would use ALL of a senior’s income.

Rendering of FAC’s 6309 4th Avenue project

Fifth Avenue Committee reached out to NeighborWorks Capital for a $400,000 loan for predevelopment costs for the new construction and rehab project, in advance of securing a LIHTC allocation. This project has significant support, and FAC has also secured major financing from NYC HPD, NYC School Construction funds, and has a permanent loan commitment from CPC.

NeighborWorks’ predevelopment loan augments other predevelopment funds from the committed LIHTC investor, and FAC’s own funds.

“We are grateful for NeighborWorks Capital’s support,” DeCesare said. “The predevelopment loan covered nearly half of our predevelopment expenses, which shows how important it was in helping us get this project off the ground. It helped us have the architects design the project, and lay the groundwork and infrastructure necessary to get to closing.”

Seventy-six senior apartments will go in a new nine-story building, and eight additional apartments will go in the adjacent two townhomes which will be gutted for the purpose. Thirty of the apartments will be studios and 53 will be one-bedrooms. Nine units are reserved for those with physical disabilities, and five are reserved for those with sensory disabilities. Twenty-five will be set aside for formerly homeless residents.

Fourth Avenue is the Main Street of Sunset Park, a moderate and lower-income working-class neighborhood in southeast Brooklyn. Its residents are primarily immigrants from East Asia and Latin America. The neighborhood is well-served by transit and has many retail uses, a public library and two large senior centers nearby.

The project will comply with Enterprise Green Communities standards, and will target a 15% energy savings through Energy Star appliances, LED lighting, triple-pane windows, and a variable-refrigerant flow HVAC system. On the ground floor, there will be space for senior services by a local provider, and five classrooms for a pre-K program, to be leased to the NYC Department of Education.

FAC has a number of other projects in its pipeline. The Sunset Park Library (pictured) is currently under construction and will provide 50 apartments for seniors. With the Renaissance Project, FAC is preserving and renovating 21 buildings for affordable housing. In Jamaica, Queens, their Northeastern Towers Annex is nearly complete, and will provide 158 affordable senior apartments. Additional projects are in early-stage predevelopment.

About Fifth Avenue Committee

Since its founding in 1984, FAC has completed $130 million in real estate development projects and built nearly 1,000 apartments and homes. Many of these are 10 apartments or less. They currently have six projects in its development pipeline. They also focus on preserving their portfolio through recapitalization. In addition, FAC helps 5,000 residents annually through financial counseling, workforce development, adult literacy, and community organizing – which has directly prevented 200 unlawful evictions per year.

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