Sunset Park

Fifth Ave. Committee wins grant for Sunset Park Library

November 22, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The architect’s rendering shows what the new version of the Sunset park Library will look like once the rebuilding project is completed. Image courtesy of the Fifth Avenue Committee
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A Brooklyn organization’s innovative design for the rebuilding of a storied library, which envisions constructing housing units at the site, has won the group a $125,000 grant from a foundation.

The Fifth Avenue Committee, Inc. has been awarded a $125,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation’s Housing for Everyone grant competition.

The Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) announced that the funds will be used to support the organization’s development project for the Sunset Park Library at 5108 Fourth Ave., which calls for a complete renovation of the library along with the construction of 49 units of residential housing at the site.

FAC plans to construct an eight-story building at the Fourth Avenue site. 

“Fifth Avenue Committee is grateful for the overwhelming support this project has received and that FAC and our partners will be able to move forward to bring a 21st-century public library and 100 percent truly and deeply affordable housing to the Sunset Park community,” FAC Executive Director Michelle de la Uz said in a statement. “This project is a model in how to ensure that the community can achieve the maximum benefits possible as part of redeveloping public land for public good. We are thankful for TD’s support and look forward to this project beginning construction in early 2018.”

The library renovation project was developed in partnership by FAC, the Brooklyn Public Library and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

The project marks the first time a public library and affordable housing units will be sharing the same space.

The Sunset Park Library is one of the busiest in the Brooklyn Public Library system, according to FAC, which said its attendance and circulation rank in the top 10 of Brooklyn Public Library’s 60 branches.

The library building was constructed in 1972, but is too small to meet the needs of the Sunset Park community, according to FAC. 

Technology upgrades are part of the design for new library.

The building will contain 49 apartments in the six stories above the library. The units will range from studios to two-and three-bedroom apartments. Most of the apartments will rent for $500 to $1,000 per month, according to FAC.

In addition, at least 50 percent of the apartments will be reserved for residents of Community Board Seven, which represents Sunset Park. Ten percent of the housing units will be set aside for city employees and another ten percent will be reserved for the physically disabled. 

Nine apartments will be reserved for survivors of domestic violence with the tenants’ referrals coming from a local domestic violence shelter.

The housing is needed, according to FAC, which pointed to a recent study by City Comptroller Scott Stringer which found that Sunset Park’s population grew 34 percent between 1990 and 2014, double the citywide growth rate. 

Stringer also found that the median rent for an apartment in Sunset Park has increased at a rate that far outpaces the growth in residents’ median income. 

FAC will construct the eight-story building at no cost to Brooklyn Public Library, officials said. 

The Brooklyn Public Library will fit out the new library at an estimated cost of $10 million, using some of the proceeds it earned from the redevelopment of its Brooklyn Heights Library.

New York City will own the Sunset Park Library in perpetuity.

While the construction is taking place, an interim library will be placed at 4201 Fourth Ave., officials said.


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