A new apartment building just opened up in Prospect Heights, offering 240 affordable housing units, along with a 60,000-square-foot public plaza and 3,412 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
The two-tower development at 595 Dean St., which offers 798 total apartments ranging from studios to two bedrooms, is finally finished after over a decade of planning and construction, and sits just blocks away from both Barclays Center and Grand Army Plaza.
Of the 798 apartments, 240 will be earmarked under the city’s affordable housing program, with rents slated for those making 130 percent of the area’s median income (AMI).
The two towers of the Brooklyn megaproject are 23 and 28 stories high.
On the ground floor, Brooklynites will find retail space — including 1,522 square-feet being leased to Simo Pizza, and 1,890 square feet to Chinese eatery, Ni Hao.
The project also includes 60,000 square-feet of publicly-accessible open space.
“This project far exceeds public amenity offerings in typical contemporary multi-family housing and goes above and beyond by providing a large public park. The park is easily accessible from the street and leads visitors to a variety of spaces with facilities for all ages all within a lushly planted and performative landscape that contributes to biodiversity and stormwater management,” said Signe Nielsen, the founding principal of MNLA, which designed the project.
The public outdoor green spaces include a picnic grove, shaded woodland gardens, a fountain, and a central lawn surrounded by walkways. Beside the East Tower, wood-cladded steps will offer seating and a series of water jets will spray from the ground so locals can cool off during the warmer months. Beside the West Tower, there is a colorful playground and a dog run. Between the two towers, the public can access a grassy field surrounded by native plantings and benches.
As a homage to the Ward Baking Company Building, which occupied the site starting in 1911, a monument is sited near the former storefront, featuring artifacts from the original industrial baking plant. The development also provides 455 additional parking spots to alleviate the increase in people to the area.
“Like all of our projects, 595 Dean St. was developed with a focus on enlivening and catering to the local community. As our Brooklyn portfolio expands, we’re excited to bring much-needed, exquisitely designed, constructed, and managed housing to Prospect Heights, and look forward to welcoming new residents to our largest ground-up residential project in Brooklyn,” said Zoe Elghanayan, the principal and senior vice president at TF Cornerstone, the developer behind the project.
The project, and the upzoning that made it possible, came as part of the Atlantic Yards redevelopment projects (which has now been rebranded as ‘Pacific Park’), that also included the initial construction of Barclays Center.
That rezoning has been a major point of contention over more than a decade, with some pols calling for fines levied against Greenland Forest City Partners, the initial developer of Atlantic Yards, for missing construction deadlines and breaking promises around affordable housing.
The completed Atlantic Yards project is slated to hold 6,430 apartments in 16 buildings, with the developer on the hook to build 2,250 affordable housing units by a May 2025 deadline. With just two years left, the developers still haven’t met commitment for affordable units.