42 years after the last Culver Shuttle train ran along the 1.1 mile track that connected the now D and F lines, the first phase of a new affordable housing project is finally set to open in Borough Park, built on a former right-of-way for the elevated tracks that were demolished in the late 1970’s under the Koch administration. Known as the Culver Estates project, the development will encompass 17 four story buildings, ultimately bringing 68 new housing units to Borough Park under the sponsorship of Southern Brooklyn Community Organization (SBCO), a project of Agudath Israel of America Community Services.
Established in 1977 with a dual mission of preserving deteriorating areas in Boro Park, Flatbush and Kensington while also creating affordable housing options, SBCO has been instrumental in restoring outdated buildings and developing new housing projects for low to moderate income families. SBCO first proposed utilizing the Culver El site as early as the mid 1980’s as a way of alleviating Boro Park’s housing crunch. In 2005, with the support of then-City Council members Simcha Felder and Bill de Blasio, Mayor Michael Bloomberg formally launched the project. Years of red tape snarled the Culver Estates project, located on 37th Street between 12th and 14th Avenues, but the first phase is nearing completion, with nine buildings housing 36 condominiums to be finished in early 2018.
“There hasn’t been affordable housing in Borough Park in close to 20 years,” observed Rabbi Avrohom Jaffe, executive director of SBCO. “This is a project that has been nearly three decades in the making. SBCO and Agudath Israel are grateful to the City of New York. With the strong support of Mayor Bill de Blasio, HPD, Senator Simcha Felder, and Assemblymembers Jim Brennan (retired), and Dov Hikind, Council Members David Greenfield and Brad Lander, we stand at the threshold of completing phase one of this landmark new development for the residents of Boro Park.”
Just days after announcing that his Housing New York plan will have met its goal of building and preserving 200,000 affordable housing units in the city a full two years ahead of schedule, and is now increasing its goal to 300,000 units, Mayor Bill de Blasio paid a visit to Culver Estates on Friday afternoon. The mayor expressed his enthusiasm for the project, one that would bring much needed relief to an area where affordable housing is of major concern.
“Dozens of families will own their own piece of Borough Park—that’s the dream these affordable homes will make possible,” said de Blasio. “We’ve been fighting to turn that dream into reality since I represented this community in the City Council. We are excited to see these buildings rise, and look forward to welcoming new homeowners into them next year.”
The marketing process for the new housing apartments has been initiated and a recent SBCO-sponsored educational workshop on home buying was well attended. All of the units in the 40 by 40 foot buildings will be sold by lottery to those who meet all HPD requirements.
For more information on Culver Estates call SBCO at 718-435-1300