East Flatbush to get 322 fully affordable apartments thanks to new development, Utica Crescent

A 2020 rendering of the Utica Crescent project.
Rendering via New York Governor’s Press Office

A new 100% affordable housing development planned for Rutland Road in East Flatbush dubbed Utica Crescent is moving forward, having secured a new-building permit and construction funding. The Utica Crescent complex is being built with state-financed tax-exempt bonds and subsidies as part of the Vital Brooklyn Initiative.

The 12-story, two-building development, which will rise on a former Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center parking lot at 832 Rutland Road between Utica Avenue and East 49th Street, will have 322 apartments, according to a Department of Buildings permit issued Wednesday. All of the units will be income capped for families earning a maximum of 80% of the Area Median Income, which is currently $101,680 for a family of three, the developers said in a press release Tuesday.

Of the 322 apartments, 89 will be set aside as supportive units for elderly seniors and funded through the state’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative program.

State records show Utica Crescent will have 58 studio units, 160 one-bedroom apartments, 82 two-bedrooms, and 20 three-bedroom units. There will also be two apartments set aside for superintendents.

The development will have one larger building facing East 49th Street and a smaller building facing Utica Avenue. Both 12 stories, the two buildings will stretch from a gas station on the corner of Utica and Rutland Road to an existing two-story blue-gray brick restaurant and event space at 568 Utica Avenue.

While updated renderings of the Bernheimer Architecture-designed Utica Crescent aren’t posted to the developers’ or architect’s websites, a 2020 rendering (which is outdated in comparison to plans included in the new-building permit application) shows a large, fairly plain three-toned orange brick complex wrapping around the petite restaurant building. The development’s ground floor has storefronts with high ceilings and large windows facing the sidewalk.

Utica Crescent is set to rise on a hospital parking lot in East Flatbush.Photo by Anna Bradley-Smith

However, updated plans show the development will not actually wrap around the restaurant. Instead, the area to the south of it will be used for parking.

Bernheimer Architecture has designed a number of other affordable and senior housing developments in Brooklyn, most of which are modern brick buildings in shades of gray, such as Marcus Garvey Village at 461 Chester Street in Brownsville,

Utica Crescent will have recreation and exercise facilities for residents, including a gym and a landscaped rooftop terrace, along with a shared laundry room, bike storage, and building-wide WiFi, according to the press release.

Photo by Anna Bradley-Smith

The buildings will have roughly 22,546 square feet of commercial space and 3,190 square feet of community facility space. Tenants will include Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, a One Brooklyn Health System-operated dialysis center, the 67th Precinct Community Clergy Council, and a grocery, the press release said. Department of Buildings permits show there will be 54 enclosed and 38 open parking spaces.

Monadnock Development, CB Emmanuel Realty, and Equity Developers are developing the project. On December 13, VB CCPOPD Housing Development Fund Corporation and partner VB Utica Crescent Owner LLC bought the property from Brookdale Hospital Medical Center for $26.7 million, public records show. The three developers closed on $256 million in financing on Tuesday, including $122 million in tax-exempt bonds provided by the state’s Housing Finance Agency and more than $106 million in low-income tax credit equity from Hudson Housing Capital, according to the press release.

The Vital Brooklyn Initiative that includes Utica Crescent was launched in 2017 by then Governor Andrew Cuomo to provide $1.4 billion in funding to tackle chronic health, social, and economic issues in central Brooklyn. Through the program, the state aims to build 4,000 affordable apartments on sites such as parking lots and underutilized buildings, often part of state-owned health facilities.

“This significant investment will help to bring our state one step closer to building the affordable, supportive, and sustainable homes that New Yorkers deserve,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in the press release of Utica Crescent’s construction funding.

The project aims to wrap by June 2026.

This story first appeared on Brooklyn Paper’s sister publication Brownstoner.