‘Urban village’ of 2,100 affordable housing units proposed for East New York

A real-estate developer has partnered with the Christian Cultural Center to propose a “innovative urban living” community in East New York.
Photo courtesy of PAU

Developers are moving ahead with a proposal to construct a massive “urban village” in East New York, which would bring an influx of discounted housing and a slew of state-of-the-art amenities to a coastal stretch of one of the borough’s poorest neighborhoods. 

The planned 13-building mixed-use complex would live on an 11-acre campus adjacent to the Christian Cultural Center megachurch on Flatlands Avenue — offering 2,100 residential units offered at rates based on tenants’ income, in addition to a daycare, a performing arts center, a trade school, retail storefront, and a grocery store, according to a draft scope report filed on Jan. 31.

The project stems from a partnership between developer Gotham Organization and pastor Rev. AR Bernard  — who purchased the land surrounding the house of worship in the 1990s in an effort to curb gentrification in the neighborhood and provide affordable housing options, according to the New York Times.

Bordered by Louisiana and Pennsylvania avenues, the sprawling scheme calls for 1,825 of the 2,100 living units to be slated as so-called “affordable,” with the remaining 267 units reserved for seniors. 

The project’s 13 buildings, will range in heights between two and 17 stories, and will include nearly one-and-a-half football fields worth of publicly accessible space at the site — which is currently occupied mostly by an enormous parking lot, according to the report.

As proposed, the plan would require approval from the city to skirt current zoning laws, which caps building heights at four stories tall. 

The developers will also need to obtain a “large-scale development” permit to lower the amount of distance required between buildings, as well as a reclassification for the area as within a “transit zone” to lessen the amount of parking spaces they would be obligated to include in the finished product.

The project includes a garage featuring 593 parking spaces for non-residential use, with an additional 528 above-ground spaces for residents.

The environmental review process will kick off on March 3 at 3:30 pm with a public scoping meeting slated for the Christian Cultural Center at 12020 Flatlands Ave.