Actual Affordable Apartments in Actual Williamsburg

59 Frost St Williamsburg Dunn Development Corp

I know, right? It’s true, though! An all-affordable development at 59 Frost Street, near the southern border of McCarren Park, is under construction and may be renting as early as February 2015. The new building will be pretty much equidistant from the neighborhood’s two new Starbucks locations, which only underscores its dire necessity.

The project is being developed by Dunn Development Corporation, a Brooklyn-based development firm specializing in affordable and supportive housing in New York City. The 47 units in the new building at 59 Frost Street will include studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms, serving tenants earning 50%, 60%, and 80% average median income (AMI). Eight of the units will be set aside for adults with developmental disabilities, and according to The Brooklyn Paper, an additional unit will be reserved for a service worker. The Paper goes on to state that apartments at 59 Frost Street “are reserved specifically for people making more than $23,600 and less than $47,000 per year,” and “people making more than $29,400 [will] pay higher rents.” Rents will begin at $640 for a studio and $843 for a two-bedroom.

This is a far cry from the the “affordable” relativism of the slow-moving Atlantic Yards development, which are becoming less affordable the longer they take to complete. (Tinfoil hats can be found beneath your seat cushion; prepare for full-on conspiracy theorizing.)

As an all-affordable building, 59 Frost Street is an anomaly among the much-discussed and contentious crop of new affordable housing units being built in Brooklyn. Most developers sign agree to offer (and are handsomely rewarded for doing so) 80 percent market rate units and 20 percent affordable units in newly constructed buildings. If not quite the “poor door” treatment of Upper Manhattan, even these 20 percent “affordable” units seem all too begrudgingly granted.

Other Dunn Development Corp. projects include Putnam Court, at 40 Putnam Court in Cobble Hill, which houses 34 formerly homeless adults and offers 24 units of affordable housing for households at up to 50 percent AMI; King Garden Seniors, at 122 Riverdale Avenue in Brownsville, with 59 of 66 one-bedroom units reserved for very low-income seniors; and Livonia Commons, which when completed will feature 278 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments reserved for tenants making below 40 and 50 percent of area AMI.

These projects are a great addition to Brooklyn’s housing stock in any neighborhood, to be sure, but it’s especially nice to see them in Williamsburg these days.

Follow John Sherman on Twitter @_john_sherman.

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