On December 12, 2019, plans were approved to create a 266-unit, 100% affordable housing redevelopment called Kingsbrook Estates on the site of the old Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center North Campus in Central Brooklyn, New York.
Kingsbrook Estates will offer affordable housing and a wide array of health, wellness, employment and support services for residents and the broader community. The housing development is part of the state’s $578 million commitment to create 4,000 units of affordable housing through the $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn Initiative.
“The transformation of the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center North Campus is the latest step forward in our effort to revitalize Central Brooklyn with a $578 million investment in affordable housing,” New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said.
“The new Kingsbrook Estates will be an outstanding development that delivers top-quality affordable housing and much needed health and social services to residents of Central Brooklyn,” he added.
As part of the proposal, three existing buildings on the 102,000 square-foot Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center North Campus will be demolished and replaced with two newly constructed buildings. The Leviton Building, another building on the campus, will be redeveloped from hospital use into housing units.
The final development will be 266 apartments in three buildings with units affordable to a range of income levels. Residents will include older adults and disabled veterans. There will be access to health and wellness classes, vocational training and employment skills development, physical activity programs and integrated care. On-site amenities will include a therapeutic garden, outdoor exercise equipment, walkways, children’s play areas, outdoor kitchens and grills as well as an indoor teaching kitchen.
Additionally, the development will provide a nurse’s station with on-site services and counseling space, fitness, activity, and community rooms, lounges, laundry rooms, and bike storage. Free Wi-Fi will also be provided in residential units and throughout the campus, which is a hallmark of Vital Brooklyn’s commitment to increasing internet access across Central Brooklyn. One Brooklyn Health System and Kingsbrook Estates will also provide all-inclusive care for the elderly in the development’s 7,000 square-foot PACE Center. These services will be available to residents of the development and the surrounding community.
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, “Access to safe, affordable, supportive housing is critical to helping vulnerable older adults stay connected to the vital community resources they need to remain healthy and engaged. The Vital Brooklyn Initiative is the gold standard in furthering our efforts as the first age-friendly state, and this investment in Kingsbrook Estates is another example of the Governor’s ongoing commitment to make New York the healthiest state in the country and a great place to grow up and grow older.”
The development will include a host of energy efficiency strategies such as Enterprise Green Communities Certification, addressing more than three times the energy savings requirement. The Project will also meet the standards of the ENERGY STAR multifamily high-rise program to satisfy Climate Bond Initiative requirements and will include solar photo voltaic panels and green roof systems on the buildings.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Governor Cuomo’s Vital Brooklyn Initiative is a transformative investment that will enhance the quality of life in Central Brooklyn for decades to come. When complete, Kingsbrook Estates will have 266 affordable and energy-efficient homes with amenities that encourage a healthy, active lifestyle and services that promote wellness, education and career improvement. Too often, high-quality health care and housing is out of reach for lower-income or special-needs households. With this holistic approach to neighborhood revitalization, we are breaking down these barriers and building a stronger, healthier Central Brooklyn for all.”
Kingsbrook Estates will be developed in partnership by Monadnock Development/Construction, CB-Emmanuel Realty, LLC and Brooklyn Community Housing and Services, Inc.
LaRay Brown, Chief Executive Officer, One Brooklyn Health System, Inc. said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s tremendous support, One Brooklyn Health System has made important strides towards ensuring access to high quality healthcare in Central Brooklyn. The Kingsbrook Estates development furthers OBHS’ mission to build health and wellness services that address social determinants of health through partnerships. By creating affordable, as well as supportive housing, this exciting development will enhance the quality of life for the entire community. I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor, Brooklyn legislators, state agencies and the sponsors of Kingsbrook Estates to enable Central Brooklyn residents to live their healthiest lives possible.”
Revitalizing Central Brooklyn
Central Brooklyn is one of the most vulnerable areas in all of New York State. 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.
This announcement adds to four winning proposals the Governor announced last November to create more than 2,700 affordable homes in Central Brooklyn. The projects include apartments and supportive services for the developmentally disabled, individuals aging out of foster care and chronically homeless families.
The Vital Brooklyn Initiative
Governor Cuomo launched the Vital Brooklyn Initiative in spring 2017 in order to address this array 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.
All images courtesy of One Brooklyn Health System.