Renderings are up for a new affordable housing development in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, which has been dubbed Prospect Plaza; a press release from January of last year gives an overview of the planned scope. NYCHA and HPD selected Blue Sea Development Company to build the site, and Dattner — which is the firm behind the new images — is the architect of record.
Prospect Plaza presents an opportunity for small-scale revitalization, though the project’s relatively low density is somewhat underwhelming. Still, the new buildings will replace already-demolished public housing, and the urban-friendly concept is a marked improvement over the site’s former design.
364 units of affordable housing will ultimately be built under the plan; 80 will be placed under NYCHA, while the remainder will be low-income. The project also includes a community center, a supermarket, and several new recreation areas.
While Prospect Plaza satisfies the goals of affordable housing advocates, a truly mixed-income approach would be more beneficial to the community. Though Brownsville is currently peripheral, the neighborhood has access to both the 3 and L trains — with the A and C also within walking distance — and it will likely see a major influx of new residents over the coming years, as areas closer to Manhattan continue to gentrify.
Accommodating immediate needs is easier than planning for the future, which is the take NYCHA and HPD appear to have taken with Prospect Plaza. Though Dattner’s plan is ultimately a major improvement for the site, the allowable density is still quite limited, and additional market-rate housing would mitigate the eventual impact of gentrification on other parts of the neighborhood.
Dattner’s website indicates that the three-phase development is expected to be completed in 2015.
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