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1,163 affordable apartments come to East New York as The Fountains opens its doors

11629 Seaview Ave., one of six residential buildings at The Fountains in East New York.
The Arker Companies

East New York is adding 1,163 affordable apartments as The Fountains, a $425 million, six-building residential complex, opened its doors Monday.

The complex is located across the street from the Gateway shopping mall and bound by Erskine Street and Seaview, Fountain, and Vandalia avenues. It sits on the former site of the Brooklyn Developmental Center, a state-owned residential care center for people with developmental disabilities, which operated between 1973 and 2015, when it closed as part of the state’s long-planned deinstitutionalization strategy.

The land was redeveloped as part of disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn initiative.

Cuomo’s successor, incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul, called the development “transformative” for eastern Brooklyn.

“The Fountains are the embodiment of our commitment to provide equal opportunity for each and every New Yorker, and this complex goes above and beyond to provide quality, affordability, and access to the resources needed to live healthy and successful lives,” Hochul said in a statement. “This mixed-use development provides housing, services, and amenities that will reenergize the community and build a brighter future for all, but especially for our most vulnerable residents.”

The project’s $425 million price tag included $216 million spent by the state’s Homes and Community Renewal agency. The Arker Companies purchased the property from the state’s Dormitory Authority for $10 million.

“This is an incredible moment for our affordable housing community,” said Alex Arker, principal at the Arker Companies. “We are proud to work alongside our partners, ESD, HCR, and HPD, to open the Fountains and provide a safe, stable home for thousands of New Yorkers. The Fountains has revitalized this site with almost 1,200 apartments, supportive services, a public plaza and more. As we are still trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an honor to do our part in helping New Yorkers who need it most.”

Almost all of the complex’s apartments, housed in six-to-nine story buildings, are reserved for those making less than 60 percent of area median income, which is $50,160 for a single person, $57,300 for a couple, and $71,580 for a family of four. Eighty-five will be available to those making up to 100 percent of AMI, which is $83,600 for a single person, $95,500 for a couple, and $119,300 for a family of four.

A total of 200 apartments will be set aside for seniors over age 62, all in the same building, with 60 of them set aside for homeless seniors. An additional 192 apartments are set aside as supportive housing with on-site services for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The complex also features a new public plaza, Schroeder’s Walk, plus over 20,000 square feet of ground-level retail space.

Two of the six buildings at the site, 11629 Seaview Ave. and 911 Erskine St., opened their doors last year for new tenants.

Update (Oct. 5, 9:30 am): This story has been updated to include comment from the Arker Companies.

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