On Tuesday, July 27th, more than 50 people joined Breaking Ground and our partners at the African American Planning Commission, Inc. (AAPCI) for a ribbon cutting and open house celebrating the completion of Edwin's Place, our newest supportive and affordable residence in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Located on Livonia Avenue between Howard and Grafton Streets, Edwin's Place features 69 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, as well as 56 studios. Onsite social services are offered to all residents in the building, funded by a contract between AAPCI and New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Edwin’s Place is Breaking Ground’s seventh building in Brooklyn.
88 units at Edwin’s Place are home to formerly homeless individuals and families, including veterans, and 37 serve low-income community residents. The eight-story, 115,500-square foot building features a 24-hour attended lobby, state-of-the-art security systems, a laundry room, fitness room, and a multipurpose room for tenant and community events. There is also 3,000-square feet of retail space along Livonia Avenue occupied by the Brooklyn-based nonprofit Power of Two, which works with young parents to nurture the inherent potential of every child and family.
The $74.7 million project received financing from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, and Wells Fargo, N.A. The Corporation for Supportive housing provided pre-development financing. Additional support was provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program. Breaking Ground provides onsite property management, and AAPCI provides onsite social and supportive services
Our great friends from MetroIAF's East Brooklyn Congregations(EBC) also joined us for this special occasion. EBC members provided key support and advocacy when Breaking Ground and AAPCI went through the City's Universal Land Use Review Procedure. Edwin's Place stands today thanks to their great assistance.
The current pandemic has made clear that now more than ever, housing is health. Edwin’s Place represents our commitment to developing safe and dignified homes to help vulnerable New Yorkers escape and avoid homeless. Though this project has been many years in the making, it could not have been completed at a more crucial moment.
Upon move-in, each Edwin’s Place resident received an original work of art from a renowned American artist. Inspired by a New York Times story of Breaking Ground resident Buddy Jones who lived in our Prince George building, the artist, who requested to remain anonymous, created 125 unique paintings for incoming Edwin’s Place residents to adorn their new permanent home.
In addition to financing from New York State and City partners, National Grid provided key philanthropic support for the project through a grant from their Cinderella program. This gift helped to build out the community facility space along Livonia Avenue, contributing to the continued economic development along this important Brownsville corridor.
Designed by the renowned Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Edwin’s Place’s entrance is set back from the street to accommodate the curve of the adjacent elevated New York City Subway tracks. A metal and glass window wall above the entry provides a street scale focal point to the south facade and provides daylight to the elevator lobbies. An accessory community facility space is incorporated into the ground floor to contribute to the developing Livonia Avenue retail corridor. The L-shaped building cradles a sunken garden courtyard that provides access to various outdoor amenities as well as natural lighting to lower level offices for building management and social service staff, a fitness center, a computer lab, and meeting rooms.
Edwin's Place continues Breaking Ground's dedication to sustainable and affordable development. The design features a robust yet economical structural system of precast hollow-core floor planks and reinforced concrete block walls; continuously insulated walls; triple-glazed windows; a green roof; and a roof-top photovoltaic solar array – importantly all contributing to reduced energy use. The project was constructed to meet Enterprise Green Standards. The general contractor was Mega Contracting Group, Inc.
Thank you to all who joined us to welcome 125 individuals and families home to Edwin's Place!
Photo Credit (except for Art Gift photograph): Michael Priest Photography