In November, Breaking Ground began construction to transform the former residential hotel at 90 Sands Street in Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood into 491 units of permanent supportive and affordable housing. Take a video tour of the building with our CEO, Brenda Rosen:
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
90 Sands is an important marker in Breaking Ground’s history. We launched 30 years ago, in 1990, focused on transforming old hotels in Manhattan into supportive housing, helping the city’s homeless come indoors, off the streets and have a place to call home. It was a revolutionary concept at the time that is still critical today. In a way, we are returning to our roots with 90 Sands to further our mission and enable more people to forever escape the trauma of homelessness.
Of the 491 apartments at 90 Sands, 185 will be affordable to a wide range of New Yorkers, from extremely low-income to moderate-income households. 305 units will be home to formerly homeless individuals. One unit will be for an onsite building superintendent. The 30-story building will feature a 24-hour attended lobby, security camera system throughout, multipurpose room for community events and meetings, a digital library, a fitness room, and reimagined plaza space for public use at the corner of Sands and Jay Streets. We are also seeking to bring in community-serving uses to occupy more than 28,000 square feet of community facility and commercial space on the ground floor and two lower levels.
The Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) will provide onsite social services to residents of 90 Sands. Breaking Ground and CUCS have a longstanding partnership and 90 Sands marks our tenth building together to provide housing and onsite support for formerly homeless individuals and families. Services provided at 90 Sands will be available to all tenants and will include: case management, primary medical care, mental health services, employment readiness, and benefits counseling, among others.
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 also provided $1.5 million in pre-construction financing. In April of this year Breaking Ground obtained a zoning change for the project after an approval pursuant to the City’s land use review procedure.
The renovation and repositioning of the building as supportive and affordable housing will be 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. JPMorgan Chase is providing a construction letter of credit. Construction completion is expected in the first quarter of 2022.
In addition to public financing, key philanthropic support for the project has enabled Breaking Ground to carry out this project, including gifts from Robin Hood Foundation, Deutsche Bank’s DB SHARE program, National Grid, and generous donors like you.