Youth and Community Clubhouse opens at Marcus Garvey Apartments

October 19, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brownsville Community Justice Center youth participants developed the plans to activate this formerly vacant lot at MGA with a clubhouse. Photo Credit: C+C Management ​
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Brownsville Community Justice Center (BCJC), a project of the Center for Court Innovation, and L+M Development Partners announced on Wednesday the grand opening of a youth clubhouse built on a vacant lot at Marcus Garvey Apartments (MGA).

Last June, BCJC youth participants developed plans to activate a vacant lot at MGA with a clubhouse. The participants met with experts at the Columbia School of Design and two young people from the cohort fine-tuned their plan at an urban design conference with Made in Brownsville at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

The clubhouse is made up of redesigned shipping containers and will double as workshop and meeting space. Planned programming includes a back-to-school event, resource fair, entrepreneurship work space, spoken word, music and dance performances. BCJC will also use the shipping containers as its onsite office space at MGA. BCJC program participants helped clean the lot, and will keep it activated and conduct horticulture maintenance.

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“L+M and the Justice Center are partners in working to improve safety and provide more options for young people in Brownsville,” said James Brodick, director of BCJC at the Center for Court Innovation. “The youth clubhouse is a prime example of what can be accomplished when young people are given the chance to be creative. We challenged them to address the issue of safety in the neighborhood and they came up with a plan to activate a vacant lot and turn it into this amazing clubhouse and resource for their community.”

Since 2015, L+M has partnered with BCJC to engage justice system-involved MGA and other community residents between the ages of 16 to 24 and connect them to resources including GED and college assistance, internships and job training. 

“We are very pleased to partner with the Justice Center on this special project to enrich the quality of life for our residents and provide young people with a safe space to learn, explore and grow,” said Debbie Kenyon, vice chairman and senior partner of L+M Development Partners. “It is our hope that this clubhouse will become an invaluable resource for our residents at Marcus Garvey Apartments and for neighboring community members.” 

MGA is a 625-unit Mitchell-Lama apartment rental complex that spans 10 blocks near the intersection of Rockaway and Livonia avenues in Brownsville. Built in the 1970s, the complex had fallen into a state of complete disrepair when L+M acquired it in 2014.


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