Hundreds of new affordable apartments are officially online just a block from the beach in Coney Island, on the former Ravenhall Baths site, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.
Raven Hall, so-named in honor of the legendary Ravenhall Baths — which operated at the site from 1867 until being destroyed in a fire in 1963 — brings 216 affordable apartments to the People’s Playground in a 22-story building at Surf Avenue and West 20th Street.
The new edifice includes 193 apartments designated affordable to those making up to 60 percent of the area median income — for a single tenant, that’s about $50,000, while a family of four would be making about $71,500. An additional 22 apartments are affordable for those making up to 90 percent of AMI, and one apartment will be occupied by a live-in super. 77 apartments are set aside for families experiencing homelessness. New Destiny Housing will provide on-site services and support for those families.
Amenities include a gym, children’s play area, and in-house laundry, plus a large rooftop terrace with impeccable views of Coney Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Raven Hall is located one block north of Riegelmann Boardwalk and Coney Island’s beach, and a block west of Maimonides Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, and the Coney Island Brewery. A short walk will bring tenants to Nathan’s, the Cyclone, and the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue subway complex.
On the ground-level, the development features 8,500 square feet of retail space and a publicly accessible parking garage.
The $133 million project received both state and city funding, with the state providing $19 million in bonds and $16 million in subsidies, and the city providing $37 million subsidy from its Extremely Low and Low-Income Assistance (ELLA) program. According to the Furman Center at New York University, Coney Island had a higher poverty rate than both Brooklyn and New York City at large, with nearly 26 percent of four-person households making less than $37,000 per year. The same year, one-third of Coney Islanders were considered “severely rent burdened,” putting more than half their annual income toward rent.
“My administration will continue to confront the housing crisis through high-quality affordable housing projects that will improve the lives of residents and create vibrant communities,” the governor, currently in the midst of state budget negotiations, said in a statement. “This $133 million mixed-use development in Coney Island will enhance quality of life for residents and the entire community, while building a stronger economic future for this unique, historic neighborhood.”
Raven Hall is part of a larger scheme, Coney Island Bath Site, to develop the plot of land formerly housing the Ravenhall Baths and other long-gone amusements and curiosities. The land had sat vacant and “underutilized” for decades, and was part of the area rezoned for larger development in 2009. Raven Hall is the second of seven developments planned for the site; the first, Surf Vets Place, which includes 135 units of affordable housing including many for homeless veterans, opened in 2019.