CITY OFFICIALS, LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS AND COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS BREAK GROUND ON CATON FLATS IN FLATBUSH, BROOKLYN
14-story residential building will include 225 units of 100 percent affordable housing, and over 20,000 square feet of community space
Transformational project will revitalize Flatbush Caton Market, a longtime anchor of Caribbean commerce and culture in New York City
Brooklyn, NY – Today, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Housing Development Corporation (HDC), BRP Companies and project partners broke ground on Caton Flats, a mixed-use development that will contain 255 100% affordable apartments, 20,000 square-feet of community space and a permanent, state-of-the-art home for the revitalized and expanded Flatbush Caton Market, a 20-year-old indoor marketplace through which a variety of Caribbean merchants can operate year-round.
“We’re thrilled to break ground on Caton Flats, a project that promises to bolster and revitalize the Flatbush community,” said James Patchett, President and CEO of NYCEDC. “Caton Flats will provide affordable housing, community space and a new Flatbush Caton Market for all to enjoy. We thank our partner agencies, local elected officials, community stakeholders and development partners for their support and collaboration to deliver this project to the Flatbush community.”
“Today we celebrate the beginning of a new chapter for a pillar of the Flatbush community,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “Thanks to the support and partnership of BRP, the Caribbean-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and all of our development partners, construction on 255 affordable apartments and a new permanent location for the Flatbush Caribbean Market is now underway. This exciting development will enhance a long-time anchor of the community and provide opportunities for culturally significant commerce and affordable housing for years to come.”
With 255 truly mixed-income affordable homes – nearly half of which are permanently affordable – in addition to vibrant commercial and community space, Caton Flats will be a lasting asset for the Flatbush neighborhood,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to all our valued partners and elected officials for their efforts to foster greater diversity and inclusion, as well as promote economic opportunities for our city through this dynamic project.”
Located at the northwest corner of Caton and Flatbush Avenues, Caton Flats will be a 14-story building that is poised to deliver:
- Just over 220,000 square feet of residential space for the affordable housing units
- 16,000 square feet of space for the market, small business incubators and offices
- 5,000 square feet of supplemental community space to be owned and operated by Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI)
- 10,000 square feet dedicated to local retail.
The residential units will range from studios to three-bedroom apartments and will be 100 percent affordable to a range of incomes from very low-income to middle-income households. Additionally, the development will also include the new Flatbush Caton Market on the ground floor, featuring upgraded amenities for the market’s existing small business owners, expanded space for food vendors including a bar, café, and shared commercial kitchen, as well as flex space for the community.
On the second floor of Caton Flats will be a new permanent headquarters for CACCI and the Caribbean American Trade Center, which promotes small business development and trade and investment opportunities between the United States and the Caribbean.
The ongoing collaboration and partnership between NYCEDC, BRP Companies, CACCI and Urbane will focus on training and business development programs for local enterprise vendors, enhancing overall operations of the Caton Flats multi-use facility.
Urbane Development took over management of Flatbush Caton Market in fall 2017 and will continue to support vendors through this transition (the market still operates 6 days a week in its temporary location at 2184 Clarendon Road in Flatbush), while building out marketing and support services for the fully operational future space.
“I am proud to witness the groundbreaking for the redevelopment of the Caton Flats here in the community that raised me,” said U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke. “From providing business development programs to community building activities, this vital redevelopment will create mobility and foster greater resources in the Caribbean community. The Flatbush Caton Market will promote and uplift Caribbean history, businesses and commerce, entertainment and art, and more. It is a blessing that our community and the rest of New York City will be able to experience and share in the richness of our culture that is stored here in Flatbush.”
“Breaking ground at Caton Flats is a positive development that has been a long time in the making for Flatbush,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “When completed, this project will provide hundreds of 100 percent affordable housing units while boosting our small business community. I am also thrilled that it will house the Flatbush Caton Market, a true community institution and a hub for Caribbean-American vendors. My administration recognized the potential of this site from the beginning, investing millions of dollars into the project to bring it to fruition, and I believe it should serve as a model for community-based development throughout the five boroughs.”
“I want to commend the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the Housing Development Corporation, as well as the many community partners who have worked diligently to make Caton Flats a reality,” said Councilmember Mathieu Eugene. “Flatbush Caton Market was a cultural institution in our district, and I am pleased to be part of its transformation into a mixed-use development for housing and commerce. This project is an investment in the community, and should be a great opportunity for our hardworking residents, who have put so much of their energy towards supporting the local economy. It is my hope that by working together, we can continue to create new housing and business growth in the 40th district.”
“The groundbreaking ceremony is part of the extensive process of the redevelopment of the Caton Flats, formerly known as Flatbush Caton Market, which began in 2001,” said Dr. Roy A. Hastick, Sr., President and Founder of CACCI. “It is a critical step in strengthening Brooklyn's Caribbean American, African American and other minority communities.”
“Our vision is to position Flatbush Caton Market as the definitive destination for Caribbean commerce, entertainment, and culture in New York City. Our market program introduces food, fashion, art, and personal care products and services that leverage the vibrancy of the Caribbean community with a world-class retail destination in the heart of Flatbush,” said James Johnson-Piett, CEO and Principal of Urbane Development.
“Caton Flats is an example of what can be achieved when real estate development is custom-tailored to the needs and culture of the local community,” said Meredith Marshall, co-founder and managing partner of BRP Companies. “This project is a true partnership between many community groups and local leaders, connected in their commitment to serving the Flatbush community, and we’re so excited to bring it to fruition.”
“Community Board 14 is pleased to play a role in a project that will suitably situate a pillar of our community – CACCI – with the exciting entrepreneurial and economic development opportunities that the market will expand upon, along with urgently needed affordable housing in our community,” said Ed Powell, Chairman, Brooklyn Community Board 14. “Community Board 14 has a poverty rate of over 20% and a greater percentage than the Citywide and Borough wide averages of residents who are severely rent burdened. We look forward to continuing to work with CACCI, Urbane, BRP and EDC as this project comes to fruition.”
While the site is under construction, the Flatbush Caton Market continues to operate out of a temporary location at 2184 Clarendon Road in Flatbush. Construction is estimated to be complete by 2021, at which time the market will reopen at its original location.
NYCEDC selected BRP Companies in 2015 through a competitive process to redevelop the city-owned Flatbush Caton Market into a mixed-use building that includes affordable housing as well as the market. BRP Companies was the only respondent to offer a temporary location for the Flatbush Caton Market to operate during the construction period. Relocation costs for the vendors are being covered by the development team and Urbane Development is working closely with the vendors to provide additional support and mitigate disruption during the transition period.
Caton Flats is financed under HDC’s and HPD’s Mixed-Middle (M2) Income Program. HDC is providing $15 million in recycled bonds, and HPD is contributing $29.434 million in subsidy, in addition to $14 million in Housing Infrastructure Funds (HIF). Citibank provided a $55.92 million taxable participation loan. Credit enhancement during the permanent phase will be provided under a Freddie Mac/HDC risk share structure.
About the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities.
About BRP Companies
BRP Companies is a New York-based real estate firm that is at the forefront of mixed-use development and acquisition of urban, multi-family properties. The firm offers a full complement of development, acquisition, construction, property, and investment management. With an experienced staff of 70, a track record of over 1.3 million SF of completed real estate projects and nearly 3 million SF currently in development, BRP is uniquely positioned to meet the demands of urban housing consumers. The firm is an innovator in developing mixed-use, mixed-income, “walkable" urban housing with high-quality, and energy efficient properties throughout the city of New York and beyond. Please visit: www.brpcompanies.com
About The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC)
The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency and is charged with helping to finance the creation or preservation of affordable housing under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan. Since 2003, HDC has financed more than 150,000 housing units using over $21.2 billion in bonds and other debt obligations, and provided in excess of $1.9 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves. HDC ranks among the nation’s top issuers of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing on Thomson Reuter’s annual list of multi-family bond issuers. In each of the last five consecutive years, HDC’s annual bond issuance has surpassed $1 billion. For additional information, visit: http://www.nychdc.com
About the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan which was recently expanded and accelerated through Housing New York 2.0 to complete the initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule—by 2022, and achieve an additional 100,000 homes over the following four years, for a total of 300,000 homes by 2026. For full details visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.
About Urbane Development
Urbane Development (Urbane) is a community development venture and certified MBE based in New York City that is committed to building the conditions for true wealth generation in dynamic, but historically under-resourced, neighborhoods and communities. Since 2008, Urbane has worked in more than 35 urban and rural communities to develop solutions to entrenched challenges. The team has worked with over 1,000 small businesses, representing over 1.1 million square feet of commercial and community facility space. Urbane has helped raise over $55 million to help small business, commercial projects, and community development initiatives in low-income areas with the goal of promoting community wealth generation and asset accumulation. Urbane provides clients with market intelligence and insights, customized program development, organizational capacity building, technical assistance, and place-based investment and development that create value for enterprises and communities.
About the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce (CACCI)
The Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (CACCI), founded in August 1985, is a statewide membership organization, which has developed expertise in providing business assistance to small and start-up business owners, in areas of business planning, financing, certification, procurement, business expansion, and export/import opportunities. CACCI has developed a partnership with NYC Department of Small Business Services (NYC DSBS) to provide business services to Women and Minority Business Enterprises (MWBE), to expand their capacities and increase their access to procurement contracts.