Lottery opens for 185 units at former Jehovah’s Witnesses hotel in Dumbo, from $537/month

April 4, 2022

Image courtesy of Breaking Ground

A housing lottery opened this week for 185 mixed-income units at a residential tower in Brooklyn. Located at 90 Sands Street in Dumbo, the 30-story building offers affordable units to those with extremely low to moderate incomes and formerly homeless New Yorkers. Once a hotel owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the property was acquired by nonprofit Breaking Ground in 2018 for $170 million and converted into supportive and affordable housing. New Yorkers earning 30, 40, 60, 100, and 120 percent of the area median income are eligible to apply for the apartments, priced from $537/month studio apartments to $2,132/month one-bedroom apartments.

The building was first developed in 1992 by the Jehovah’s Witness as a hotel for its volunteers and staff, with the tower once housing more than 1,000 people, according to Breaking Ground. RFR Realty purchased the property in 2017 for $135 million with the intention of converting it into a luxury hotel but the plans never came to fruition and the developer sold it to Breaking Ground the following year. In April 2020, the city granted the project a zoning change and construction began that fall.

Renovated by Beyer Blinder Belle, 90 Sands has 491 total apartments, 185 of which are affordable and available through this lottery and 305 units set aside for formerly homeless New Yorkers. About half of the units will remain permanently affordable, with the remaining units affordable under a 60-year regulatory agreement.

Amenities include a 24-hour attended lobby, security camera system, on-site resident manager, laundry room, multipurpose room, a digital library, fitness center, and a reimagined public plaza space at the corner of Sands and Jay Streets.

Residents will have access to onsite social services provided by the Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS), including case management, primary medical care, mental health services, employment readiness, benefits counseling, and more.

The property is located close to public transportation, including the A, C, B, D, F, M, Q, 2, and 5 subway trains.

Qualifying New Yorkers can apply for the affordable units until June 2, 2022. Complete details on how to apply are available here. Fifty percent of units are set aside for residents of Brooklyn Community Board 2. Questions regarding this offer must be referred to NYC’s Housing Connect department by dialing 311.

If you don’t qualify for the housing lotteries mentioned, visit’s no-fee rentals page for other apartment deals in the city.


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