This week, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) released a call for developers to build affordable housing and a community facility space in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The city-owned vacant site at 2286 Church Avenue was formerly occupied by Public School 90. Preliminary plans for the 29,000-square-foot property call for approximately 100 affordable housing units and a community center with youth educational and vocational programming.
“This administration is deeply committed to putting the city’s dwindling supply of vacant land to use as affordable housing coupled with community resources,” said HPD commissioner Louise Carroll. “We are excited to work with the local leaders, the community task force, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the Economic Development Corporation on a community-driven process that will ensure the plans for this long-vacant site capture and respect its special history while bringing desperately needed affordable housing and youth services to the Flatbush neighborhood.”
The historic 19th-century school building that once occupied the corner site was demolished in 2015 because of structural issues. In addition, archaeological excavation found a small number of fragments of human remains, possibly associated with a historical burial ground for people of African ancestry. In 2019 a task face was formed, supported by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Economic Development Corporation, and HPD, to identify any potential descendant communities of the colonial enslaved and freed Africans of early Flatbush. Goals include establishing procedures for handling any additional remains if discovered, as well as the potential memorialization of the site’s history.
The deadline for submissions is March 5, 2021.