Market-rate construction isn’t hard to find in eastern Crown Heights and Ocean Hill, but it’s still pretty unusual a few blocks south in Brownsville, where the neighborhood’s reputation tends to scare off investors.
But one developer has decided to build market-rate rentals with ground floor retail at 110 Thatford Avenue, between Pitkin and Belmont Avenues. The five-story building would rise on a short block squeezed between two large public housing projects, Brownsville Houses and Howard Houses. While the location might seem like a drawback, the densely populated area has plenty of amenities, including several small parks, a library, and a handful of supermarkets.
The 23-unit development would have 25,089 square feet of residential space, for a surprisingly large average unit of 1,090 square feet. The developer, Kulwant Singh, told us it would be mostly two- and three-bedrooms, which accounts for the large apartments. Residential would begin on the second floor, with four to six units per story and a duplex on the third and fourth floors.
Since the property goes through the block, the building would have three retail spaces on Thatford and one at 451 Rockaway Avenue. There would be 9,800 square feet of ground floor retail, and a 13-space parking garage in the cellar.
The architect of record is Jamaica-based Manish Savani.
Although some will worry that new market-rate housing means rising rents, new apartments in Brownsville and East New York will offer more affordable options to renters priced out of fast-gentrifying hoods like Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. Unfortunately, contextual zoning has severely restricted the number of units that can be built in those areas, even as property values and construction costs have pushed up rents.