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City-Owned Parking Lot to Become Affordable Housing in Prospect Heights

Department of Housing Preservation and Development selects minority and women-owned business teams to convert a parking lot into housing for low-income, homeless seniors.
Rendering of the proposed plans for Park Edge at 542 Dean St. shows the new entrance to the park and public space created as part of the design for the affordable senior housing project. Rendering: Provided/GRAPH.

The City is moving forward with plans to transform a City-owned parking lot into affordable housing for older New Yorkers in Prospect Heights. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced Wednesday the selection of Jobe Development, Corp., Mega Group Development, and the Institute for Community Living for the project's development. 

“The City of New York is putting the needs of New Yorkers first. We’re putting the needs of seniors, families, and working people before parking and we’re putting the needs of minority and women-owned businesses front and center. That’s especially true today when we’re announcing the M/WBE-led development team who will convert this underused parking lot into homes for low-income, homeless seniors in Central Brooklyn,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “Uplifting minority- and women-owned development teams is one of the most meaningful ways we can build wealth in black and brown communities while creating the housing New York City so desperately needs.” 

The project at 542 Dean St. will re-purpose the 17,145 square-foot parking lot for housing after a community visioning process and reviews of multiple proposals. The winning plan, Park Edge, gets its name from the site’s proximity to the highly active playground, basketball court and ball field next door. As part of the design plans, Park Edge will create a new entrance to the park along with public seating and planted areas. 

The selection furthers the City’s commitments to uplift minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) in affordable housing development. JDC was one of the first minority developers to partner with HPD and the Enterprise Foundation in the early 1990s. MGD prioritizes putting mental and physical health supports at the center of apartment living. MGD has promised to create apartment homes that are connected to health and wellness amenities, social services, community facilities and open recreational space.

“The selection of Jobe, MegaGroup, and ICL for the Dean Street project advances several equity goals for the City at once,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “We have a major community-led rezoning that will create a more vibrant mixed-use corridor, and an MWBE consortium building affordable housing on a vacant lot. This is a celebratory moment, and after the announcement of our historic housing production numbers, this shows that we’re continuing on the path to an ever-more-affordable New York City.” 

The development team worked with nArchitects to design the building. Inspired by Brooklyn’s surrounding rowhouses and brownstones, particularly their traditional bay windows, Park Edge provides a pair of windows per unit to give the interior rooms a spacious feel and connect the building’s exterior to the neighborhood fabric.

But, Park Edge’s most defining feature is an exaggerated ground floor setback that widens an active sidewalk, allows the continuation of neighborhood gathering, and creates a new entrance and visibility to the neighboring Dean Playground.  

“Park Edge will enable ICL to expand our whole health approach to housing,” said Jody Rudin, President and CEO at the Institute for Community Living. “The Institute for Community Living will offer robust wellness programs, including exercise, nutrition, mindfulness, occupational therapy, and social connection, that have been proven to help build stability, facilitate healthy living, and support people in getting better. We are excited to partner with Jobe Development and Mega Development to provide these homes for older adults perfectly situated near a park and public transportation.”