BFC Partners advances 430-unit Coney Island project

Downsized offering is third phase of huge affordable housing development

BFC Partners Plans 430 Affordable Apartments in Coney Island
BFC Partners' Donald Capoccia and Joseph Ferrara; rendering of 1709 Surf Avenue (BFC Partners, Linkedin, Axel Dupeux)

Surf’s up for BFC Partners in Coney Island.

Donald Capoccia and Joseph Ferrara’s firm is moving forward with the final phase of a large affordable housing project in the southern Brooklyn neighborhood.

The developer plans a 12-story building with 430 apartments and 2,800 square feet of commercial space at 1709 Surf Avenue, according to the Department of Buildings.

Construction is expected to begin in 2024, Capoccia said. S9 Architecture and Engineering is the architect of record for the nearly 350,000-square-foot structure.

Reports in July had indicated that 464 apartments would be built, plus 12,000 square feet of retail. 

The new building, to be across the street from the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball stadium, is the third phase of a city-sponsored affordable housing project that will deliver more than 1,200 income-restricted units between West 16th and West 20th streets along Surf Avenue.

Prior phases included a 10-story building with 376 affordable housing units at 1607 Surf Avenue and 446 apartments at 2926 West 19th Street, developed by L+M Development Partners, Taconic Investment Partners and BFC. Wells Fargo provided debt and equity financing.

BFC has a history of pioneering development in emerging neighborhoods including the Lower East Side, East Harlem and Downtown Brooklyn. In Coney Island’s community district, half the population is rent burdened, according to government data.

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The developer is also nearing completion of a 250,000-square-foot affordable housing development at 475 Bay Street that will bring 270 apartments to Staten Island’s Stapleton neighborhood. 

BFC recently turned the page on a disastrous project nearby, handing over its outlet mall on Staten Island. The 340,000-square-foot Empire Outlets was purchased at auction by one of the project’s lenders.

The mall was expected to help renew Staten Island’s North Shore, but became one of several investments there to fall by the wayside. Mayor Eric Adams recently announced a $400 million investment for the North Shore, promising 2,400 housing units, a school and open space.

Coney Island is demographically similar, but with greater name recognition, a famous amusement district, a much larger beach and better transit connections. Developers have launched a slew of mostly residential projects there in recent years, and Thor Equities has proposed a casino.

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