Sunset Park Project

The New Sunset Park Library

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC), a 38-year-old nonprofit with extensive affordable housing, community development and social service experience, are partnering to redevelop Sunset Park Library. We are proposing to build a new, nearly 21,000-square-foot branch topped by 49 units of 100% permanently affordable housing— including 9 units reserved for survivors of domestic violence.

La nueva Biblioteca de Sunset Park全新的日落公园图书馆

Why a new library?

Sunset Park is home to one of Brooklyn’s busiest libraries, with attendance and circulation that rank in the top 10 of Brooklyn Public Library’s 60 branches. At 12,200 square feet (7,500 square feet publicly accessible), the current branch is too small, and too badly outdated, to meet the needs of the patrons who depend on its collections and services.

Sunset Park Library requires over $6 million in repairs just to maintain the library at its current size. The branch’s air conditioner is broken and has been replaced by loud portable chillers that do a poor job of cooling the branch on hot days. There are only 12 electrical outlets available to patrons, and too much of the library’s space is inaccessible to the public.

Community Board 7 Presentation (pdf)
On November 3, 2016, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC), Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) presented at a public hearing held by the Land Use Committee of Brooklyn’s Community Board 7.

For more information about the Sunset Park Project, please click the tabs at the top of the screen.  You may also contact BPL at SunsetParkProject@bklynlibrary.org.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The New Sunset Park Library

Why a new library?
What will the new branch look like?
Who will own the new library?
Will Sunset Park lose library service during construction? 

100% Permanently & Deeply Affordable Housing

How affordable will the housing be?
How will the units be financed?
Who will be eligible to apply for the affordable housing?
How tall will the building be?


Why a new library?

Sunset Park is home to one of Brooklyn’s busiest libraries, with attendance and circulation that rank in the top 10 of Brooklyn Public Library’s 60 branches. At 12,200 square feet (7,500 square feet publicly accessible), the current branch is too small, and too badly outdated, to meet the needs of the patrons who depend on its collections and services.

a portable chiller at sunset parkSunset Park Library requires over $6 million in repairs just to maintain the library at its current size. The branch’s air conditioner is broken and has been replaced by loud portable chillers that do a poor job of cooling the branch on hot days. There are only 12 electrical outlets available to patrons, and too much of the library’s space is inaccessible to the public. Back to top.

 


 

What will the new branch look like?

The new Sunset Park Library will be an inviting, inspiring space that is worthy of the great neighborhood it serves. The new library will meet the needs of today’s patrons, with modern technology, and more flexible workspaces, in addition to traditional reading areas. Public feedback will inform the planning and design of the new branch. There will be several community and stakeholder planning sessions beginning later this year to shape the library before it is designed. Back to top.


Who will own the new library?

The City of New York will own the new library, just as it owns the current branch.

Fifth Avenue Committee will purchase the current building and land from the City of New York during construction. Proceeds from the sale will fund the construction of the new, larger library’s core and shell at no cost to BPL. When construction is complete, the Fifth Avenue Committee will return the Sunset Park Library to the City of New York for $1, ensuring that the location will remain a public library in perpetuity. BPL will then pay approximately $10 million to fit out the expanded library, primarily with funding from the proceeds of its Brooklyn Heights redevelopment project, along with Community Investment Funds from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. At nearly double the branch’s present size, the new Sunset Park Library will serve a neighborhood that is diverse, growing and desperately in need of a larger library. Back to top.


Will Sunset Park lose library service during construction?

The construction of the new library will not begin until an interim space is ready to be occupied. Interim library service will be provided at 4201 Fourth Ave (43rd street), in space made available by the New York City Police Department. Back to top.


How affordable will the housing be?

The redevelopment of Sunset Park Library will generate new, 100% permanently affordable housing for a mix of incomes, all well below the current market rents in the neighborhoods.

Under the current proposal, 49 units of housing affordable to Sunset Park residents:

30% AMI - 9 units 0 BR - 11
40% AMI - 9 units 1 BR - 13
50% AMI - 9 units 2 BR - 13
60% AMI - 12 units 3 BR - 12
80% AMI - 10 units  

 

Most of the apartments will rent for between $500 and $1,000/month.

 

Minimum 50% apartments receive preference for Community Board 7 residents, 5% for city employees and 10% for physically disabled, and 5% for the visually or hearing impaired. 9 units reserved for survivors of domestic violence from Sunset Park. Back to top.


How will the units be financed?

Fifth Avenue Committee has received an allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which will provide over half of the $25 million development costs. Other funding comes from New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYC HPD) and local elected officials. FAC has committed and government regulatory agreements will require that the housing remain affordable in perpetuity. As a nonprofit whose mission is to advance economic and social justice, FAC is dedicated to keeping the apartments permanently affordable and requested this requirement be added. FAC developed nearly 1,000 units over 38 years, currently manages over 500 affordable apartments, including over 120 in CB 7. Back to top.


Who will be eligible to apply for the affordable housing?

Anyone meeting the eligibility guidelines may apply. Those include having sufficient income, credit and/or access to rental assistance to pay the monthly rent and the appropriate family size for the apartments available. Anyone with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), regardless of immigration status, is eligible to apply.

The apartments will be made available via an affordable housing lottery overseen by FAC and NYC HPD. As indicated above, Community Board 7 residents, individuals with certain disabilities and municipal employees will receive preference in the lottery. FAC will hold several workshops in Sunset Park in English, Spanish and Chinese beginning several months before the building is ready for occupancy to encourage residents to apply for housing and will offer financial and credit repair counseling. To learn more about affordable housing in New York City, go to www.nyc.gov/housingconnect, or to review a presentation on the affordable housing lottery in New York City, visit www.fifthave.org. Back to top.


How tall will the building be?

The building’s height will be 85’ (8 stories), with a setback above the 6th floor.

The proposed building height is generally consistent with the area zoning and the building will be designed to fit the neighborhood context, which consists mainly of residential, commercial and mixed-use low- to mid-rise brick buildings. Back to top.

BPL is redeveloping the Sunset Park Branch Library in collaboration with Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) and the Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC), a non-profit developer.  While the project is still in the planning phase, below is a link for information about our partner.

http://www.fifthave.org/