New library to lend low-income apartments

Brooklyn Paper
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The Sunset Park library’s controversial redevelopment will create homes for the neediest Brooklynites, developers say.

The group that’s buying the book-lender from the city and rebuilding it with 49 below-market-rate apartments on top plans on renting the pads to a range of low-income tenants, including those who qualify for federal housing assistance, a rep said.

“All 49 units are going to low-income, it’s just for a variety within that,” Jay Marcus, director of Housing Development for developer The Fifth Avenue Committee.

The company aims to buy the library at the corner of Fourth Avenue and 51st Street from the city, raze the 43-year-old structure, and erect an eight-story apartment complex with a library on the bottom. Critics have opposed the plan on the grounds the city is privatizing public land.

The apartments will be available through a city-run affordable-housing lottery open to people with annual incomes between $22,500 for a single person and $86,967 for a family of four. Half the units will be set aside for current residents of Community Board 7, and nine will got to local domestic violence victims currently living in a shelter, plans show. In addition, eight units will be handicap-accessible and eight will accept Section 8 vouchers.

Rents in 39 units will range from $532 monthly for the lowest-priced studios to $1,272 a month for the most expensive three-bedrooms. The Fifth Avenue Committee has not said what it will charge for the remaining 10 units — intended for higher-earning-but-technically-low-income tenants — but the digs will definitely be below market rate, according to information from the Committee.

The developer has signed an agreement to keep rents artificially low for at least 50 years, even if it sells the building.

The plan is still going through a public review process. Developers will pitch it to Community Board 7’s land-use committee on Nov. 3, but Council has the final say whether it goes through.

Meantime, the Fifth Avenue Committee is working with area housing groups to let locals know about the impending apartments, which could be ready by spring 2019.

“What’s very important to us is to make sure that everybody gets to apply and we want to make sure we’re reaching the hardest-to-reach,” said Marcus. “Particularly because people earning about minimum wage very often work longer hours or have the longer commutes.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Bridget Kelly from Trenton says:
Time for some traffic problems in Sunset Park!
Oct. 17, 2016, 11:12 am
JUSTINE SWARTZ from Brooklyn Heights says:
TOGETHER WE CAN SAVE THE LIBRARIES! Libraries are one of the pillars of a free and open society. For countless years, people have relied on the information and public space provided by libraries to grow as individuals and as a community. Now, the government has plans to deprive us of this opportunity. Join us in the fight to save by coming to our Fundraiser making a donation. Every contribution makes a difference! www.lovebrooklynlibrariesinc.o...
Fall Fundraiser
Sunday, October 23rd
James Weir Florist
155 Montague Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
Oct. 17, 2016, 11:32 am
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
The Brooklyn Heights library is an attractive building; the Sunset Park branch is a too-small building design suited to more suburban areas of the borough. It replaced a lovely Carnegie structure. I don't think many people will miss it. The old 68th precinct building should be converted into a library and community center.
Oct. 17, 2016, 1:12 pm
S from Clinton Hill says:
If anyone reading this actually "loves Brooklyn libraries", I would recommend making a donation to Brooklyn Public Library itself:

...rather than donating to a group that plans to "save" the library system by dragging it through costly and stupid legal battles in an effort to halt the construction of new libraries.
Oct. 17, 2016, 5:54 pm
Fred from Windsor Terrace says:
Justine, this is a win-win situation for the community. Affordable housing will be added and an improved library will be constructed. Why complain?
Oct. 17, 2016, 6:05 pm
JUSTINE SWARTZ from Brooklyn Heights says:
"With a Library on the bottom".
What is the Square Footage area? What is the occupancy limit? How long will the Real Estate Moguls permit the library to inhabit a dismal Basement Location before eviction?
There are empty tracks of land in NYC. Why are Public Libraries the new frontier for Real Estate Developments?
An 8 storied structure, 49 units, plus Lobby, multi-level parking garage, a library, and whatever's are supposed to be Ready For Use in Spring 2019.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .....
The World Famous Donnell Library, containing 300,000 books, was demolished Aug 30, 2008. The Baccarat Hotel opened in its footprint. Eight years later the new library re-opened June 21, 2016. The New York Magazine wrote " The New 53rd St. Library is Nice, Unless You Like To Read Books"
Oct. 18, 2016, 12:41 pm
Marilyn Berkon from Brooklyn Heights says:
Justine Swartz asks the right questions about this dismal project at Sunset Park and adds the perfect comment regarding the Donnell Library. It is shameful that private developers steal our public assets, shameful that Linda Johnson, president of the BPL, proudly states that she regards libraries as real-estate possibilities, shameful that the city cooperates with these wealthy developers by intentionally underfunding the libraries for any needed repairs, shameful that de Blasio has accepted two pay-for-play donations from the developer who plans to demolish the Brooklyn Heights Library and put a 36-story luxury condo on the site with a library less than half the size of ours beneath it, shameful that his affordable housing is pushed two miles away in Clinton Hill and is not really affordable. The list of shame could go on and on. Reports of the two-play-for-play donations are filed with Preet Bharara. We have to continue our fight against the corruption that abuses us, trespasses with impunity, and tries to steal, hoping that we're too witless or helpless to do anything about it.
Oct. 18, 2016, 3:13 pm

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