Press | August 5, 2014

Affordable Housing Project Being Proposed For Grand Street in Williamsburg

Brooklyn Magazine

By Jessica Militare


Well, this is good news for a neighborhood where the average cost of a studio as of June is $2,867.


Brownstoner reports that a new 51-unit affordable housing project with ground-floor retail, slated to be located at 695 Grand Street in Williamsburg, is being proposed to the city by Magnusson Architecture and Planning, and next week, will be up for debate at a Community Board 1 public hearing. Nestled between the thoroughfares of Graham and Manhattan avenues, the 14,000-square-foot lot must pass requirements designated by the Department of Housing Preservation & Development’s Urban Development Action Area program to reap affordable housing benefits, which will be up for vote by the board. Fingers crossed!


The “mixed-use, mixed-income” building would house studios and up to three-bedroom apartments; and if MAP’s designs are contracted, residents will inhabit some sweet digs.


The sustainable edifice will feature a 2nd-floor landscaped roof with a play area and community room, as well as sedum trays located on the 6th floor “setback roof.” Nice. The south-facing recessed exterior is cloaked in a green wall, “generating visual interest from the street while alluding to the sustainable nature of the building.” And apartments will be energy-efficient: equipped with PTAC units, Energy Star appliances, and low-flow plumbing fixtures.


Is Mayor de Blasio’s pressure on posh Domino Sugar factory developers to include more affordable housing units in redevelopment plans seeping into the far corners of the ‘Burg? We hope so.


Right now, a Rainbow and Gem Super Value Discount store occupy the ground space of the current construction. Here’s to hoping this building is approved, those businesses find a new home (or are allowed to stay), and Williamsburg won’t forget its less-moneyed denizens.


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