New Feats in Affordable Housing
Architect/Designer: Dattner Architects
Builder: Blue Sea Construction Co., LLC
Developer: Oceanhiill, LLC
Prospect Plaza Site 1 is the first completion of a three-phase HOPE VI/LIHTC affordable housing development in Brownsville, Brooklyn, N.Y., where long abandoned public housing towers were demolished after fifteen years of standing vacant.
The 136,906 square foot, LEED Platinum, NGBS Gold, Energy Star certified development comprises 110 apartments (18 1-bedroom, 85 2-bedroom, and 7 3-bedroom) in 4-story attached townhouse and 6-story elevator buildings. Affordable to families earning 20-60 percent of the New York City Area Median Income (AMI), 38 apartments have been set aside as public housing units.
The buildings’ modernist design departs from a banal monolithic aesthetic to create a more energized human scale environment. The plain facades that have come to define urban low-income housing have been replaced with rhythmic façades, varying as much in their articulation, as in their material selection. Constructed of durable structural precast concrete, brick, and metal wall panels with concrete plank floors, these modern residences help set a new standard for low-income housing. With the incorporation of open layouts, wide plank luxury vinyl flooring, multiple zone heating/cooling, ash veneer kitchen cabinetry, color video intercoms, LED lighting, USB charging outlets, and oversized Passive House rated tilt/turn windows typically found in luxury developments, help to reinforce the belief that quality, sustainability and affordable are not mutually exclusive.
Currently at 84% occupancy after receiving 41,000 applications this April in a housing lottery; full occupancy is expected by the end of 2016. Located in a neighborhood with a disproportionately high rate of obesity, heart disease, and asthma, Prospect Plaza is designed to help combat these issues in part through the use of Active Design, for which it received the first national certification for affordable housing from The Partnership for a Healthier America, an organization headed up by Michelle Obama, and is the subject of a Mt. Sinai School of Medicine clinical study on long term effects.