BROWNSVILLE, Brooklyn (PIX11) – A new affordable housing development in Brownsville is the first of its kind to bring manufacturing to the same building tenants will call home.
Bridge Rockaway is the pioneering development on Rockaway Avenue, and the people behind it broke ground on the property on Tuesday. The new property will soon provide 174 units of affordable housing and the ground floor will have 40,000 square feet of space available to lease for light manufacturing.
Brian Coleman is the CEO of Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center.
“[It will have] woodworkers, metal fabricators, we’ll have lamp-makers, costume-makers, jewelry-makers,” Coleman said. “Things that are not big smokestack industries.”
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso was also in attendance.
“If COVID taught us anything, it is that we need to start thinking about being … self-sustainable in moments of crisis not to have to depend on other countries, on other states and being able to produce stuff,” he said.
Of the 174 units, 87 will be provided supportive services and Ruthanne Visnauskas, CEO and Commissioner of New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, explained how it will help the homeless population.
“It will offer the opportunity for 87 homeless adults, including seniors and veterans and adults living with serious mental illness, the ability to live in a safe, comfortable home with access to services that will allow them to live stably in this community,” Visnauskas said.
With new development throughout the borough driving gentrification, Emanuel Kokinakis, development principal of MEGA Development, said this model is different.
“The term developer has had a negative connotation as of late and we’re hoping a project like that can change that perception,” Kokinakis said.
They also hope to replicate the model and encourage other developers to copy it too.
The units will be available to households earning 70 percent of the area median income or below. Tenants will enjoy a roof garden and community garden.
The project is worth nearly $120 million dollars and will provide access to education with a school across the street.
Shonelle Hall, principal of P.S. 41, said this will benefit families with children.
“174 affordable housing units in this space will not only build the financial investments in this community but also educational impacts that it will have here at P.S. 41,” Hall said.
The anticipated completion is spring 2024.