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Work starts on stacks: Library leaders break ground on new Sunset Park branch

New chapter: Library bigwigs and local officials broke ground on the new Sunset Park Library and affordable housing project at the local branch on Feb. 6.
Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about dirty books!

Sunset Parkers joined local pols and bookworms at a ground-breaking ceremony to kick off the redevelopment of their neighborhood’s library, which will reopen at twice its size inside a building that also boasts dozens of below-market-rate units when complete.

The new Sunset Park Library building will provide a valuable resource to residents looking for a good read — and those locals in need of so-called affordable housing in the fast-developing neighborhood, according to its councilman.

“Sunset Park is now home to both a modernized public library that is grounded in a community-driven design effort, and one-hundred-percent affordable housing units,” said Councilman Carlos Menchaca. “This is a celebration and a pioneering effort, one that establishes Sunset Park as a model for other communities across the city that are looking to call for resources to meet critical needs.”

The branch at Fourth Avenue and 51st Street closed its doors last April to make way for the massive project, which will result in a branch roughly half the size of a football field, with a dedicated space for teens, a community room, and outlet-equipped tables when it opens sometime in 2021, library bigwigs previously told this newspaper.

The new building will also include 49 permanently affordable apartments — a mix of 11 studios, 13 one-bedroom, 13 two-bedroom, and 12 three-bedroom units — that will be doled out via the city’s housing lottery as follows:

• Nine apartments will be offered to locals making 30 percent of the area median income, which is $25,050 for a two-person household or $31,290 for a four-person household, data shows.

• Nine apartments will be offered to locals making 40 percent of the area median income, which is $33,400 for a two-person household or $41,720 for a four-person household.

• Nine apartments will be offered to locals making 50 percent of the area median income, which is $41,750 for a two-person household or $52,150 for a four-person household.

• 12 apartments will be offered to locals making 60 percent of the area median income, which is $50,100 for a two-person household or $62,580 for a four-person household.

• 10 apartments will be offered to locals making 80 percent of the area median income, which is $66,800 for a two-person household or $83,440 for a four-person household.

Nine of those units will be reserved for domestic-violence survivors from the neighborhood, with roughly ten percent set aside for eligible city employees, another ten percent for physically disabled locals, and half for residents of Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace, according to information from the library, which notes the median income within the district of local Community Board 7 was $48,112.

Sunset Parkers seeking a good book during their branch’s makeover can swing by the interim library that opened inside a former Fourth Avenue courthouse last year, which also offers public computers, classrooms, and a self-service laptop dispenser to patrons.

Updated 6:27 pm, February 7, 2019
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