City taps groups that sued it to develop Broadway Triangle site

Unified Neighborhood Partners will build 380 affordable apartments in South Williamsburg
March 19, 2019 08:37AM

Former HPD commissioner Maria Torres-Springer and the Broadway Triangle affordable housing site

A decade after community groups sued the city over racial discrimination at a Brooklyn affordable housing development, some of those same groups are part of the team that will develop the site.

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development has selected local partnership Unified Neighborhood Partners and for-profit developer Mega Contracting Group to develop 380 apartments at three sites totaling 69,000 square feet, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The city settled a lawsuit in 2017 that claimed a previous plan for the site favored the Hasidic community.

“These are sites that have been long plagued with controversy and lawsuits, but through this process, we have been able to develop a path forward,” former HPD commissioner Maria Torres-Springer said on Friday, which was her last day as commissioner.

Construction on the first site is set to begin in 2020, and all three sites are expected to be complete by 2025.

Unified Neighborhood Partners includes local community groups Southside United HDFC-Los Sures, St. Nicks Alliance, RiseBoro Community Partnership and the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg.

Juan Ramos, executive director of Los Sures, also led one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the city, Broadway Triangle Community Coalition. United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg was one of the groups that had been awarded a development bid under the previous plan.

Astoria-based Mega Contracting Group, the nonprofit partner at the development, was ranked as the city’s top general contractor for mid-sized multifamily projects by The Real Deal last year.

The city’s plan for the sites also includes a nonprofit coffee shop and bakery, a community space, and a workforce-development center.

Elsewhere in the Broadway Triangle, at the intersection of Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick, Rabsky Group is working on a 1,146-unit, eight-building development in partnership with Spencer Equity. A discrimination suit against the developer was dismissed in July. [WSJ] — Kevin Sun