Brooklyn Heights

Affordable housing lottery opens for Clinton Hill middle-income rentals

The housing was brokered as part of the Brooklyn Heights Library deal.

August 14, 2019 Mary Frost
Affordable housing lottery has opened for Athena North, at 1043 Fulton St. in Clinton Hill, (shown above), as well as Athena South in Atlantic Ave. (below). Both buildings were developed as part of the deal to sell and redevelop the Brooklyn Heights Library. Rendering courtesy of Marvel Architects

The city’s affordable housing lottery opened on Wednesday for the 114 units of middle-income affordable housing developed in Clinton Hill as part of the deal to sell and redevelop the Brooklyn Heights Library.

The two buildings, dubbed Athena North and Athena South and designed by Brooklyn-based Marvel Architects, were developed on Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue several blocks east of Barclays Center by The Hudson Companies.

Residents who earn between $32,675 (for singles renting studios) and $103,852 to $172,120 (for families up to seven members renting three bedrooms) are eligible to apply.

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The new buildings include landscaped outdoor courtyards with children’s play areas, indoor tenant lounges, fitness centers and bicycle storage, Hudson said in the prospectus. The apartments also have in-home washers and dryers and dishwashers.

Athena North, located at 1043 Fulton St., will include 37 residential units and one ground-floor retail space. Athena South, located at 909 Atlantic Ave., will include 77 residential units and one super’s unit.

Athena South, located at 909 Atlantic Ave. Rendering courtesy of Marvel Architects
Athena South, located at 909 Atlantic Ave. Rendering courtesy of Marvel Architects

Half of the affordable-housing units are set aside for residents of Community Board 2, and a small number are set aside for disabled and municipal employees. Occupancy in both buildings is expected by late fall this year.

“Building high-quality affordable housing in areas that sorely need it is a core element of the overall Brooklyn Heights Library redevelopment project and a big part of what we’ve focused on at Hudson since our inception in 1986,” David Kramer, president of The Hudson Companies, said in a statement. “When we make a promise we keep it, and we’re proud to deliver what we promised to New Yorkers as part of the One Clinton project today.”

Part of hard-fought Brooklyn Heights Library deal

The affordable units were a concession included in the hard-fought Brooklyn Heights Library deal brokered by Councilmember Stephen Levin. The library’s sale was approved by the City Council in December 2015 and the Brooklyn Borough Board in March 2016 after three years of vocal community opposition and a series of raucous ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) hearings.


In an exclusive interview with the Brooklyn Eagle in Dec. 2015, Levin called the proposal to sell and develop the Brooklyn Heights Library branch “the most controversial issue I’ve seen in my district since being elected in 2009.”

To diminish worries that residents of Clinton Hill would be priced out of the affordable housing, the Area Median Income limits at the higher end were lowered during the negotiation process in 2015. Units formerly at 165 percent AMI (31 units) were lowered to 125 percent AMI, and units formerly at 100 percent AMI (60 units) were lowered to 80 percent AMI. An additional 23 units are set at 60 AMI.

The placement of the affordable units in Clinton Hill, far from the Brooklyn Heights luxury component, was criticized by opponents of the deal, who likened it to segregation — but the developer said doing so would allow more units to be built.

Councilmember Inez Barron, who represents Brownsville, was one of the few who voted no on the proposal, saying she still had concerns with the small number of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in the affordable housing complex, as opposed to studios.

As a provision of the library’s sale, the luxury units being developed at the 38-story One Clinton, at the corner of Clinton and Tillary streets in Brooklyn Heights, cannot be occupied until the affordable housing units in Clinton Hill are ready for use.

Sales of the luxury condos began in January. Available units range from roughly $1.2 million for a one-bedroom to $6.4 million for a three-bedroom. They are expected to open next summer.

The sale of the Heights branch was hailed by Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda Johnson, who said in a statement that the sale of the site would enable BPL to fit out a new Brooklyn Heights branch and fund roughly $40 million of BPL’s capital repair needs, estimated to be $300 million.

The luxury building will house the new Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library along with a 9,000 SF STEM lab for students in School District 13.

To apply for an affordable apartment, visit http://nyc.gov/housingconnect. To request an application by mail, send a self-addressed envelope to: Athena Apartment, C/O IMPACCT Brooklyn, 1224 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11216.

Applicants are not required to apply for a specific building; there is one lottery for both buildings. The lottery will close at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 16, 2019.


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