Connect with us

Community News

Groundbreaking of Dekalb Commons

It takes a village: Community leaders and partners break ground on new development.

Brooklyn, New York – Wednesday, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration) and St. Nicks Alliance (St. Nicks) celebrated the groundbreaking of Dekalb Commons, three new 100% affordable housing developments in the heart of Central Brooklyn. The development includes 652 Dekalb Avenue, 639 Dekalb Avenue, and 1187 Fulton Street. Special guests in attendance included Council Member Chi Ossé, Assembly Member Stefani Zinerman, and Assembly Member Phara Souffrant Forrest.
Restoration and St. Nicks were selected in 2017 by NYC Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) to develop the 3 vacant City-owned sites. The project will create 85 affordable residential apartments for low- and moderate-income households (27%–77% of AMI), including 13 supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals and one superintendent’s unit. The development will also feature 1,187 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

Blondell Pinnock, CEO & President, Restoration Corp., hosted the groundbreaking event.

Dekalb Commons’ sustainable Passive House design enabled the project to receive the NYSERDA’s Buildings of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award totaling $1 million. The competition recognizes and rewards the design, construction, and operation of clean, resilient, and carbon neutral-ready multifamily buildings. The passive house model is revolutionizing new construction by demonstrating that low-carbon, green buildings can be built to create clean, resilient, healthy, and affordable living spaces that minimize operational costs and are cost-effective for owners.
Dekalb Commons continues Restoration’s legacy as a leading affordable housing developer in Central Brooklyn. Since its founding in 1967, Restoration has constructed and preserved over 7,500 affordable housing units and helped over 1,500 prospective owners secure $60 million in mortgage financing. In addition to developing affordable housing, Restoration provides a range of housing services for local residents including rental assistance and eviction protection.

The $62.3 million project received financing from a variety of sources including HPD’s Extremely Low- and Low-income Affordability (ELLA) program, HDC’s tax-exempt city bonds along with the NYSERDA award. The project also received NY City capital grant funds from City Councilmember Chi Osse and former Brooklyn Borough President now Mayor Eric Adams. Construction and Permanent financing is being provided by Webster Bank. CREA LLC with HSBC Bank is making the Tax Credit equity investment in the project.
The Dekalb Commons team includes design by Magnusson Architecture & Planning and sustainability consulting by Bright Power. CP Contractors (A joint venture between Procida Companies and Constructomics LLC) is the general contractor for 652 and 639 DeKalb Avenue, and Shamas Contracting Co. Inc. is the contractor for 1187 Fulton Street.

NYS Assembly Member Stafani L. Zinerman said, “Dekalb Commons is a testament to our commitment to green infrastructure, sustainability, and affordability in the 56th Assembly District. This Blue Ribbon Award-winning development is crucial to combating climate change, addressing New York State’s Climate Act goals, and creating a healthy environment for Bedford Stuyvesant families. With this project, Restoration and St. Nicks Alliance have proven that it is possible to achieve true affordability when the government invests in local community development. I applaud the efforts of this coalition and their intentional efforts to develop a nurturing space where every resident can thrive.”
“The start of construction of Dekalb Commons is a major win for Bed-Stuy and Central Brooklyn,” said Blondel Pinnock, President and CEO of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. “New York is in the midst of a housing crisis and our community is under threat of displacement. We know that housing stability is at the heart of a successful community and Restoration is proud to serve as a co-developer on this project to significantly increase the neighborhood’s affordable housing supply”
Michael Rochford, Executive Director of St. Nicks Alliance said, “St. Nicks Alliance is honored to partner with Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration to develop these city-owned lots and provide desperately needed housing in Central Brooklyn. Our organizations have a long history of collaborating on many initiatives and advocacy over the years and it is extremely gratifying that we can add these much-needed 85 apartments to benefit the low-income residents in the community.”
“Dekalb Commons will generate essential 100% affordable housing right in the heart of Central Brooklyn. What Brooklyn needs, HPD delivers.” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “NYC stands stronger when community and government work together and HPD is excited to partner with Restoration and St. Nicks Alliance in tackling the housing crisis.”
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA said, “NYSERDA is excited to see the Dekalb Commons housing development begin construction which is a major step toward the creation of new affordable, healthy and resilient living spaces for Brooklyn’s residents. Dekalb Commons stands out as one of our Buildings of Excellence Competition winners for incorporating both renewable energy and energy efficient features which will make this multi-use complex more sustainable and showcase how the State’s investments in buildings located in underserved communities can yield tremendous benefits for all.”