Final phase of Coney Island development project to bring 464 units of affordable housing to Surf Avenue

rendering of affordable housing project
BFC Partners is set to begin work on the third and final phase of their affordable housing project in Coney Island.
Photo courtesy of BFC Partners

The final phase of a three-part development project in Coney Island is set to bring more than 400 affordable housing units to Surf Avenue.

Developer BFC Partners said it aims to transform the popular street by adding a “much needed” mixed-income residential building at 1709 Surf Ave. with 464 units, 76 onsite parking spots, a community center, and 12,000 square feet of retail space. 

Don Capoccia, managing principal for BFC Partners, considered the project an opportunity to bring stability to southern Brooklyn.

“BFC Partners has a longstanding commitment to building and preserving high quality affordable housing, and we are proud of the work we’ve done on Coney Island,” Capoccia said in a statement. “Projects like these strengthen and stabilize New York City’s neighborhoods.”

This newest Surf Avenue building is the third housing development to be built by BFC Partners, marking the final phase of their project.

The first phrase wrapped up in December 2021. Developers built housing on West 19th Street with 446 units, parking for 96 cars, and 64,000 square feet of community facility space that is now the long-term home of the New York Human Resource Administration.

Phase Two is set to be completed in December 2023 and will bring 375 affordable units, 12,000 square feet of retail space, and onsite parking for 61 cars to 1607 Surf Ave. Construction on Phase III is expected to  in December 2023, and will take about three years.

All together, the project will provide over 1,000 housing opportunities — and each building will have space allocated for formerly unhoused New Yorkers, according to a BFC Partners spokesperson. 

“I applaud BFC Partners for all three phases of this project, as there is a critical need of building these affordable housing units in my district,” said Council Member Ari Kagan, who represents the district. “Coney Island suffered tremendously during the pandemic and the final phase of bringing hundreds more units online is a crucial step in its recovery and rebound.”

coney island
Affordable housing is badly needed in Coney Island, where more than 90% of tenants are considered rent burdened. File photo by Derrick Watterson

Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the New York Building Congress, said the project not only enriches the neighborhood by bringing more homes, but will also generate 500 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs in the nabe. 

“As these three affordable housing buildings evolve on Surf Avenue, it’s exciting to see this transformation of the streetscape, filling in three vacant blocks directly across from the ballpark,” Scissura said. 

Since its inception in 1984, BFC Partners has built 11,400 new housing units in New York City. The Coney Island Project is their first development on the southern peninsula.

Affordable housing is badly needed in the People’s Playground – according to city data, one in seven New Yorkers live in New York City Housing Authority housing, with Coney Island being home to over 12 NYCHA complexes. Data also shows that more than 90% of renters in Community District 10 — which includes Coney Island and Brighton Beach — are considered “rent-burdened,” and pay at least 30% of their income in rent. More than 30% pay half of their income in rent, and are considered “severely rent-burdened.” 

To fund their work, BFC Partners worked with Wells Fargo, which provided both debt and equity funding for both Phases I and II and will provide secured debt and equity financing for the final phase.  

“The strong relationship we have with BFC Partners continues with our ongoing support for this 1300-unit large-scale, mixed-use, affordable development project on Surf Avenue in Coney Island,”  Alan Wiener, vice chairman of Wells Fargo Community Lending, said in a statement.  “We are proud of our longstanding commitment to finance affordable housing projects throughout the City and are especially pleased to be involved in the transformation of the Coney Island neighborhood.”