Brooklyn Boro

Benefits agreement signed for Sunset Park mixed-use development

March 3, 2021 Jaime DeJesus, Brooklynreporter.com

A community benefits agreement (CBA) has been finalized for a new, 14-story mixed-use housing development at 737 Fourth Ave. in Sunset Park.

The CBA was signed by the Fifth Avenue Committee, a well-known non-profit community development corporation, and Brooklyn-based development firm Totem. Also signing on were Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, which focuses on creating employment opportunities; Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation; and Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, which also focuses on employment, job training and education.

The CBA, signed on Feb. 23 and released to the public on March 1, guarantees that all benefits agreed to between representatives of the community and developer — including affordable housing, jobs and infrastructure — will be implemented.

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The rezoning necessary for the new development has been approved by Community Board 7, Borough President Eric Adams and the City Planning Commission.

The development will be built on a site that is currently occupied by a Dunkin’ Donuts outlet.

The project will include 14 stories of residential units, about 25 percent of which are slated to be permanently affordable at an average of 46 percent of average median income (AMI). This means that of the 134 apartments in total, 33 would be set aside as affordable. The development also will include parking and an environment-centric building design.

According to a Brooklyn Eagle article by Sophia Lebowitz published in December, AMI in the entire city is currently about $113,000 for a family of four, but this is higher than Sunset Park’s median household income for a four person household, $80,174. Thus, the lower percentage of AMI would put the development more in line with the neighborhood as a whole.

The development also is slated to include neighborhood-scale retail with about 900 square feet of pop-up space and easy accessibility from the 25th Street train station.

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According to Tucker Reed, co-founder and principal at Totem, more than 50 conversations with the community, community organizations, stakeholders and local leadership have been held about the project.

“This CBA is a direct result of the feedback and input given to us by the community, for the community,” he said. “We know that our project alone can’t fix the housing crisis, but we hope that this CBA sets a precedent for what is possible through inclusionary zoning.”


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