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Friday, November 4, 2022

A New Beacon of Hope in Brooklyn

On Thursday, November 3, over 100 people joined us to celebrate the ribbon cutting at our newest supportive and affordable residence, 90 Sands in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Breaking Ground's first hotel conversion in more than two decades, 90 Sands is scaled for impact, bringing 491 affordable and supportive apartments to one of New York City's most expensive neighborhoods. 305 apartments are set aside for people who have experienced homelessness, 185 apartments are affordable to households with low to moderate incomes, and one unit is for an onsite superintendent.

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The 30-story building features a 24-hour attended lobby, security camera system throughout, multipurpose room for community events and meetings, a digital library, a fitness room, and extensive bike storage. 90 Sands also includes a newly activated plaza for public use at the corner of Sands and Jay Streets, adding a new green space to the Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO communities. Breaking Ground plans to bring in community-serving uses to occupy more than 20,000 square feet of community facility and commercial space on the ground floor and lower level.

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We also worked closely with New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ administration to implement a unique pilot program that allows for the direct referral of homeless clients from street outreach and transitional housing programs to a supportive apartment at 90 Sands. This streamlined process, made possible by cross-agency collaboration, cuts the time it typically takes to complete a permanent housing placement by more than two months. Michael, featured in the video below, was among the first to move in under this accelerated program.

90 Sands was previously a residential hotel operated by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society until August 2017, and Breaking Ground purchased the hotel in August 2018 for $170 million. For the acquisition of 90 Sands, Breaking Ground received $2 million from the New York City Council, a $155 million loan from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and a $10 million grant from Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. Breaking Ground provided a $6.7 million sponsor loan to finance acquisition and pre-construction costs. The Leviticus Fund provided $1.5 million in pre-construction financing. Subsequent to the acquisition, Breaking Ground obtained a zoning change for the project in 2020 after an approval pursuant to the City’s land use review procedure.

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The renovation and repositioning of the building as supportive and affordable housing was financed by 501c3 and taxable bonds totaling more than $70.4 million issued by the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC). HDC provided an additional $6 million in capital subsidy. Construction financing was also supported by a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program. JPMorgan Chase provided a construction letter of credit. Monadnock Construction, Inc. is the general contractor, Beyer Blinder Belle is the project architect, and W Architecture and Planning designed the public plaza space at the corner of Jay and Sands Street.

Key philanthropic support for the project has enabled Breaking Ground to create new supportive and affordable housing at 90 Sands, most prominently a $3 million lead grant from Wells Fargo. Additional support was provided by Deutsche Bank’s DB SHARE program and National Grid.

See our related press release for more information and a full set of quotes from elected officials and project partners.

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