The development team at Breaking Ground has revealed proposals to redevelop a Jehovah’s Witness-owned property at 90 Sands Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The conversion would repurpose the building for supportive and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households.
Zoning amendments are required to construct the property, which sits on a tax lot designated for manufacturing use.
If approved, the 29-story building will yield 305 studio units of supportive housing for formerly homeless adults with chronic mental illness and 202 units for low- and moderate-income households with incomes ranging from 30 percent to 100 percent of the area median income (AMI). In addition to the supportive and affordable housing units, there will be a unit for the superintendent of the building, bringing the total to 508.
Residents will have access to a multi-purpose room for events, a fitness room, and a computer room. On-site social services would be provided by The Center for Urban Community Services. This includes individualized case management, primary medical care, mental health services, vocational guidance, and benefits counseling. A portion of the ground floor and cellar spaces would support the community facility and manufacturing tenants.
The developers have also proposed a new public plaza along the Jay Street boundary of the site.
In August 2018, Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty sold the former Jehovah’s Witness building that occupies the site for $170 million to Breaking Ground. Rosen originally acquired the property for $135 million and planned to construct a 600-key hotel with developer Ian Schrager. Those plans were eventually scrapped by RFR.
Pending city approvals, the new project is expected to be fully operational by 2022. It is not clear which design architect has been retained for the project, or whether the scope of work also includes a redesign of the building’s aging masonry façade.