Billion Dollar Development Project Brings Affordable Units, Cultural Space to Brownsville

The Brownsville Arts Center and Apartments rendering (By Aufgang Architects)

BROWNSVILLE – A billion dollar development is headed for Brownsville, bringing an arts center and nearly 900 affordable housing units across three buildings to the neighborhood, to be built on city-owned sites.

The Brownsville Arts Center & Apartments will contain 230 affordable units, which will include those available to extremely low-income and formerly homeless households. The nine-story building will occupy a large section of the block bounded by East New York and Pitkin Avenues, between Rockaway Ave and Chester Street.

The BACA building will feature 24,000 square feet of cultural space, with a dance and performing arts school run by Purelements, a music school from Brooklyn Music School and a media lab and arts center run by BRIC.

“For far too long Brownsville, home of some of Brooklyn’s most brilliant minds, has been left out of our city’s technological innovations,” said Representative Yvette Clark.

“I am thrilled to hear that development has begun for our proposed Brownsville Cultural Arts Center and Apartments. The new cultural center will be Brownsville’s hub for tech and arts and will also serve as a collaborative space for local organizations to convene.”

A couple blocks east, on the other side of the Howard Houses, at the corner of Glenmore and Christopher Avenues, will be another housing development providing 230 more affordable units: the Glenmore Manor. Along with extremely low-income and formerly homeless households, the development will also have units for low-income seniors. On the ground floor, retail space will be filled by a credit union, a restaurant and a beauty products shop.

Finally, a series of four parcels on Livonia Avenue will contribute another 420 affordable units. Many community and health-oriented additions will be part of the Livonia C project, including a supermarket, a rooftop greenhouse, community gardens, a youth center and a senior center.

Early renderings of the site are by Aufgang Architects, who have designed other large-scale housing developments, like the huge building at 810 Fulton Street in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

“Today, I am proud to see those plans finalize with the selection of developers and community-based partners that will create not only newly constructed affordable housing, but a cultural arts attraction and urban tech hub that will foster future partnerships. With these selections, today is a proud day for Brownsville and I look forward to the process ahead leading to meaningful ribbon cuttings,” said Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-41), a lifelong resident of Brownsville. 

All the development is part of the city’s Brownsville Plan, which represents a $1 billion investment into the Brooklyn neighborhood. While it isn’t a rezoning like neighboring East New York, the plan will develop city-owned land to add affordable housing and homes for sale, along with other neighborhood investments.


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Paul Stremple

Paul was a staff reporter at Bklyner, responsible for covering Northern and Eastern parts of Brooklyn between August 2017 and January 2019.


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