The historic project, Sunset Park Library and Apartments, is now open. Brooklyn Public Library and Fifth Avenue Committee cut the ribbon on the affordable housing and expanded public library project on Wednesday. The first of its kind in New York City, Sunset Park Library and Apartments establishes a new development model of co-located housing.
“Sunset Park has always been one of our busiest libraries, and we’re thrilled to welcome the neighborhood back to a new space built on a foundation not only of concrete, but of community input, engagement and passion,” said Linda Johnson, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library. “In addition to providing a large, inviting and functional library for visitors to enjoy our programs and collections, the building also provides urgently needed 100 percent affordable housing in Sunset Park — the first collaboration of its kind in the city. We are profoundly grateful to Fifth Avenue Committee for their invaluable partnership, to the State and City of New York, and to our elected officials and other key partners who helped make this project a reality.”
Occupying the first two and a half levels of the eight-story building, the state-of-the-art Sunset Park Library spans more than 20,000 square feet, almost twice the size of its predecessor. The new library is bright and comfortable, with an open, flexible design and up-to-date technological infrastructure. Its essential components, including the HVAC system, are all brand-new. The new library features the largest dedicated space for teens of any library in the borough, a recording studio, and a community program room available for scheduled community functions both during and outside of library hours.
“The Sunset Park Library and Apartments project combines innovation and ingenuity to increase our affordable housing stock while providing this diverse community with an expanded, state-of-the-art library,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Under our administration, New York City is a ‘City of Yes’ — not only saying yes to more affordable housing, but yes to more opportunities in our backyards, neighborhoods, and city. We must use every tool in our toolbox to address and solve our city’s housing crisis. This first-of-its kind project is once again New York City leading the way on how to ‘Get Stuff Done.’”
The second through eighth floors of the building are occupied by the Sunset Park Apartments, a 100% affordable development providing 49 units of permanently affordable housing. Half of the apartments are studios and one-bedroom units, and the other half are two- and three-bedroom units, owing to the need for more affordable housing for families. Units are for low- and moderate-income residents who earn between 30% and 80% of Area Median Income. Eight units receive Section 8 subsidies. Nine of the units are set aside for formerly homeless households.
Total development costs for the library portion were $17 million – approximately half of what building a similarly sized stand-alone library is estimated to cost. The funding sources included capital funds from Brooklyn Public Library, revenue from the sale of Brooklyn Heights library, and an NYSED State Grant.
“Sunset Park Library and Apartments is what it looks like to build with the public good in mind,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “I’m so proud that Brooklyn is home to this historic, state-of-the-art project that will not only provide 49 units of permanently affordable housing, but also new and expanded public library facilities that will serve as a vital community resource. Thank you to the Brooklyn Public Library, Fifth Avenue Committee, and the many members of the teams that made this accomplishment possible.”