Officials cut ribbon on more than 300 affordable apartments at Greenpoint Landing

greenpoint landing ribbon cutting
Officials cut the ribbon on more than 300 permanently-affordable units at Greenpoint Landing on April 3.
Photo courtesy of Aria Isadora

A 22-story apartment building offering more than 300 permanently-affordable units opened at Greenpoint Landing last week, part of a massive development along the East River.

The building, located at 35 Commercial St., has a total of 374 units — 57 of which are reserved for formerly-homeless New Yorkers. All of the apartments were funded through the city’s Extremely Low and Low-Income Affordability Program, and are available to New Yorkers who earn between 30% and 110% of the Area Median Income — or between $42,639-$155,320 per year. The cheapest apartments start at just over $400 per month.

greenpoint landing affordable housing
All of the units in the new building are permanently affordable. Photo courtesy of Lester Ali

“I’m thrilled to celebrate the addition of nearly 400 new affordable homes in Greenpoint,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer, in a statement. “I’m grateful for the partnerships that have driven this project forward; particularly at a time when the housing vacancy rate is so low, it’s critical to work together to create more affordable homes for New Yorkers across all neighborhoods in New York City.”

Earlier this year, the vacancy rate in New York City hit a record low of 1.4%. A “healthy” vacancy rate is between 5-8%, according to the New York Times, and Mayor Eric Adams said in February that the city is in a “housing emergency” as New Yorkers struggle to find affordable apartments. 

Though the median household income in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, is significantly higher than is is elsewhere in the five boroughs, city data show at least 21.5% of households in Community Board 1 earn less than 30% of the Area Median Income each year — or less than $38,130 for a family of three. Additionally, 44.3% of households in CB1 are spent more than 30% of their income on rent and are considered rent burdened — and 22.9% are severely rent-burdened, and pay more than 50% of their income in rent. 

According to the NYU Furman Center, median gross rent in CB1 jumped by more than 116% from 2006 to 2021 — from $1,150 to $2,490. 

restler at greenpoint landing event
Council Member Lincoln Restler said the units were badly needed in Greenpoint. Photo courtesy of Aria Isadora

“With hundreds of new permanently affordable homes — including apartments for formerly homeless New Yorkers — 35 Commercial Street is a model development,” said Council Member Lincoln Restler, in a statement. “Too many Greenpointers have been displaced or are severely rent burdened. 35 Commercial Street will help more working class families afford to call Greenpoint home.”

The building is all-electric, and each unit is outfitted with all-electric appliances, plus a shared laundry room, communal lounge, a fitness center, free WiFi, and indoor and outdoor play areas for children. Nonprofit Breaking Ground will furnish the 57 units for formerly-homeless tenants and provide social services. 

outdoor space at 35 commercial street
The development includes 11,000 square feet of outdoor space.Image courtesy of Lester Ali

Greenpoint Landing, a 22-acre development site along the East River, sits on a plot of land designated for housing in the 2005 Williamsburg-Greenpoint Rezoning. When finished, the development is expected to include 5,500 units, with roughly 1,400 affordable apartments.  

“Today, we start the latest chapter for this fantastic site and a new beginning for 374 families, amongst them 57 New York families and individuals who’ve known the struggle of homelessness and will now get the incalculable comfort and stability of a permanent home,” said Adolfo Carrión Jr., commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.