Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York City, declared that the proposal of redeveloping a 7.2 acres Kingsboro Psychiatric Center (KPC) Campus, taken by the Adjaye Associates and the Studio Zewde. The campus is in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. The winning proposal represents the most modern and sustainable vision for this campus property in Brooklyn includes affordable housing set aside for permanent supportive housing units and shelter beds.
The project aims at ecological development that emphasizes residential and commercial facilities.
The $400 million development project is part of the $1.4 Billion Vital Brooklyn Initiative. The Billion Vital Brooklyn initiative is a community-based development program initiated in the year 2017. This initiative focuses on eight areas that require improvement— education, economic empowerment, open space and recreation, healthy food, community-based violence prevention and health care, and affordable housing units in Brooklyn’s central zone.
Development of the existing campus in East Flatbush
The development of the campus will see the addition of green, urban farming, greenhouse, grocery store, community hub, and other community amenities serving the residents of the central Brooklyn neighborhood. The development team includes various organizations such as the Douglaston Development, Brooklyn Community Services, Almat Urban, Breaking Ground, the Center for Urban Community Services, Jobe Development, and the Velez Organization.
The architectural firm Adjaye Associates (New York City) and Studio Zewde, the urban design firm led by Sara Zewde Harlem-based landscape architectural firm are a part of the $400 million affordable housing development project.
The redevelopment project proposal aims to achieve 30% of New York State’s nation-leading certified MWBE goals. The proposal is expected to create around 3,700 construction jobs and more than 200 permanent jobs for the residents of the city. The Vital Brooklyn Initiative helps in establishing a new standard for economic and racial disparities in the city.
Opinions of the campus redevelopment initiative
President Eric Adams said, “The redevelopment of the part of Kingsboro Psychiatric Center Campus in Brooklyn, brings affordable housing to a community that desperately needs it and opportunities for a healthy and greener living.”
The Governor’s Office said, “The proposal it is described as a modern, mixed-use structure which is a wellness-oriented development.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the inequalities among the states and the communities in danger requirement, that has the requirement for a safe and affordable housing. The Vital initiative addresses those needs by transforming underutilized land on the KPC campus. The campus redeveloped into a community-oriented which provides housing and programs to serve better to those in need, building New York back better, fair, and stronger for all.”
Programs in the redevelopment project
The redevelopment project includes affordable residential units 900 in number, and other amenities and facilities such as sports areas, 10,000 square foot grocery store for the residents, community areas like public green spaces, basketball court, lands for urban farming, greenhouse, 7,000 square foot community hub with training facilities and public space for community activities and engagement. The project creates a green, sustainable, healthy zone within the Brooklyn city precinct.
The 10,000 square foot grocery store serves as a prime commercial center for the residents of the new development campus. The redevelopment project in Brooklyn is community-centred and includes a 7,000-square-foot community hub with a workforce training centre, performance venues, computer-equipped classrooms, exercise facilities, and community empowerment spaces that serve as the civic heart of the redevelopment campus. Facilities such as free public Wi-Fi will be available for their residents.
Some sections of Central Brooklyn are considered one of the worst food deserts in New York City. The project programs like the urban farm and grocery store create the main feature of the wellness-centered proposal of the project. The proposal not only consists of 900 affordable housing units, supportive housing, and senior housing. A portion of the apartments is set aside for homeownership programs. The program includes new homeless shelters and the structures at present are shelters for men, Kingsborough Star Men’s Shelter and the Salvation Army Men’s Shelter.
The project is an example of a modern ecological approach to a housing and community-centric project. It is a modern approach project to a wellness-centred design. The project revolves around affordable housing (acknowledging lesser economic communities) as a zone for community interaction. The future looks forward to creating a more economical, sustainable, ecological approach to design.