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Greenpoint Affordable Units Starting at $400-A-Month to Be Ready by 2017

By Serena Dai | June 26, 2015 5:56pm | Updated on June 28, 2015 10:58pm
 Greenpoint Landing Associates is building some 5,500 units along the Greenpoint waterfront over the next decade.
Greenpoint Landing Development
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GREENPOINT — Nearly 300 affordable units in the sprawling Greenpoint Landing development along the waterfront are expected to be completed in the next two years, officials announced Friday — with rents starting between $400 to $500-per-month.

The 5,500-unit mixed use development on Commercial Street, near Franklin Street, will include roughly 1,400 affordable units after it's completed over the next decade, according to developer Greenpoint Landing Associates.

But nearly 300 affordable units in three buildings, which will be permanently affordable, are being frontloaded in the construction process and will be ready for move in by 2017, the developer announced at a groundbreaking ceremony at the site on Friday.

The first building at 21 Commercial St. — a building with 93 units — will be ready for tenants as early as next year, according to Johanna Greenbaum, vice president at the company. People earning between 40 percent and 60 percent of area median income, or $34,520 to $51,780 for a family of four, will be eligible to live there.

A fully affordable building at 33 Eagle St., with 98 units for residents who earn between 40 percent and 120 percent of the area median income, will open late 2016.

And the developer also broke ground on a 103-unit property at 5 Blue Slip on Friday that will be available for people earning between 30 and 60 percent of area median income. It is expected to open in 2017.

Rents will range based on income and unit size, but they could start as low as between $400 and $500 per month, a Greenpoint Landings spokeswoman said.

Half of the units will be two-bedroom apartments to provide more housing for families.

Greenpoint Landing Associate's plan for several 40-story towers faced opposition from the community years ago, with locals calling them monstrosities along the waterfront.

But several city officials commended the company on Friday for providing more affordable housing than the law requires, land for a new school, four acres of public park space and cash for the Newtown Barge Park project.

The School Construction Authority has alloted $45 million to build a 640-seat public elementary school on land that the developer set aside.

Greenpoint Landing is a "blueprint" for future city developments, with built-in infrastructure to create a community, said Vicki Been, commissioner for the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development.

"This is a win-win-win," she said.

In addition to the affordable housing, the three properties that will be finished within the next two years will also have 9,000-square-feet of retail space on the ground floor.

Most of the market-rate towers have not yet been designed, but Greenbaum said the finishes inside the apartments will be the same for both the affordable and market-rate units.

Affordable housing in North Brooklyn has been highly competitive as the neighborhood gentrifies.

Nearly 60,000 people applied for 105 units at mixed-used development 1133 Manhattan Ave., and more than 70,000 applied for 38 units in Williamsburg.

"It's important to see this [economic] diversity more than ever," said Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna.