Developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), the Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments prove that affordable housing can be both well designed and contextual. Completed in 2013 at a cost of $185 per square foot—well below the average for affordable housing—the 69,877 SF project was made possible through a consortium of public and private organizations in partnership with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR).
With the belief that a safe, affordable home is essential to providing stability to society’s most vulnerable population, Catholic Charities, in partnership with Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), proposed transforming some of its underutilized land to help satisfy the need for housing in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The buildings were constructed on land acquired from the Brooklyn Archdiocese where the convent and school of the Church of Our Lady of Loreto once stood. The church itself is still standing.
One of the project’s challenges was that the available parcels were not all adjacent. RKTB’s solution was to base the housing complex on the firm’s innovative affordable infill prototype it developed in 2001. A total of seven projects representing over 400 affordable apartments utilizing the prototype have been completed to date. The Msgr. Anthony J. Barretta Apartments is the most recent.
The Msgr. Barretta Apartments were designed as a sustainable project, complying with NYSERDA guidelines with the intention of obtaining a LEED rating. A key design element is the one central, glass-enclosed stair, located in the front of each building that eliminates the need for an elevator. Conceived as an extension of the street, the visual connection between the stair and the street below also promotes a sense of security. The stair gives access to two apartments per floor on four floors, allowing for each apartment to have two exposures to promote cross-ventilation—another energy/cost-saving feature that leads to savings during the warmer months. Careful materials selection also helps keep costs low.
As with all of the earlier infill projects, the Msgr. Barretta Apartments have garnered acclaim from members of the community, sponsoring city agencies and tenants. The project proves that affordable housing can provide a pleasant, socially acceptable place to live while serving as a strategy for renewing urban neighborhoods. Within the first week of the project’s opening, over 5,000 families applied for the sixty-four apartments that were awarded through a lottery system—eight of which were designated as Section 8 for very low-income tenants.
Material Used :
1. Bathroom Cabinets: Rynone
2. Toilets: Caroma
3. Sinks: Gerber
4. Tubs and Sinks: American Standard
5. Cooktop: G.E.
6. Countertops: Rynone
7. Doors: K-D Frame & Door Corp., Kawneer
8. Exterior Siding,Stone: A. Jandris & Sons
9. Exterior Siding, Cast Stone: Steindlcast Stone
10. Exterior Siding, Brick: Watson Town Brick Co.
11. Flooring, Ceramic Tile – Daltile
12. Flooring, Linoleum - Forbo
13. Garage Doors: Sure Iron Works
14. Garage Operable Gate: International Gate Devices
15. Split AC – Goodman
16. Boilers – AERCO
17. Hotwater Heaters: Hubbell
18. Hardware: ASA Abloy Door HW
19. Insulation: Owens Corning
20. Kitchen Cabinets: Armstrong
21. Kitchen Fittings: Delta
22. Kitchen Fixtures: Elkay
23. Lighting Fixtures: Seagull, Lightoiler, Mercury, Kim
24. Oven / Range: G.E.
25. Paints/Stains/Wall Finishes: Benjamin Moore
26. Refigerator: G.E.
27. Windows: Crystal Windows
28. Storefront: Kawmeer/Pac-Clad/SAF
29. Wrought Iron Fence: Sure Iron Works
30. Laundry Room: Kenmore