Wellness-focused housing development with 238 affordable units coming to Bed-Stuy

January 17, 2023

All renderings courtesy of Marvel Design

A wellness-focused housing development is coming to Bed-Stuy. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development last week selected the “The Steps at Saratoga” proposal from RiseBoro, IMPACCT Brooklyn, and Urbane Development. Planned for the corner of Fulton Street and Saratoga Avenue, the project consists of two new buildings with 238 affordable apartments, including 158 units for low-income families and 80 for seniors. The development will offer residents several wellness and food justice programs, including access to a food co-op, a demonstration kitchen, a greenhouse, and a center dedicated to elderly care.

Households earning up to 50 percent of the area median income (AMI) will be eligible for units in the senior building, and households earning between 30 and 80 percent of the AMI will be eligible for units in the family building. Around 49 of the homes will be reserved for formerly homeless households, including 24 for families and 24 for senior residents.

During the planning process, the developer team reached out to members of the community to understand what they thought a new development should offer. Local residents expressed a need for amenities that promoted healthy lifestyles, such as physical exercise, and “holistic healing services.”

The building for families contains multiple open spaces, including a shared multi-level backyard, community gardens, a fitness center, a game room, a children’s playroom, and a landscaped rooftop terrace.

The senior building has its own private landscaped terrace, a communal laundry room, a wellness room, and a computer room.

“Food justice and affordable housing are pillars of RiseBoro’s whole-community approach,” Scott Short, CEO of RiseBoro Community Partnership, said. “This project is a model of how local communities can have it all — equitable food access, determination around health and wellness, as well as housing affordability — and we are thrilled to contribute to it.”

On the ground level of the building, the Central Brooklyn Food Cooperative will provide low-income residents and community members with fresh, affordable food.

Operating within a front-of-house demonstration kitchen, the Saratoga Food Incubator will teach community members about food literacy, and a separate commercial kitchen in the back will be used to help develop local restaurants. RiverSpring Health Plans will provide older residents with all-inclusive medical care, located on the ground floor.

The women-of-color and worker-owned cooperative Beautifully Fed Food will provide residents with healthy, delicious meals, and collaborate with the Central Brooklyn Food Cooperative and the Saratoga Food Incubator on projects to benefit the surrounding Bed-Stuy community.

The development’s cellar level will be used by the Brooklyn Packers as space for warehousing, processing, and distributing food to Central Brooklyn. The Ishabahlia Ladies of Elegance Foundation will maintain the project’s greenhouse, which is located behind the development.

Residents will have access to case management services, crisis intervention, counseling, entitlement advocacy, and enriching recreational activities for residents and the senior building.

The Steps at Saratoga aims to be the first NYC development with a community-owned local network plant, providing cheaper internet access to residents and local businesses.

RiseBoro’s Wellness Rising Program will provide health workers and a resident nurse for residents in need of extra support, helping them access all of the tools and educational programming the development will have to offer.

“‘The Steps at Saratoga’ is an incredible example of community-driven development that will ensure Bed-Stuy residents have the resources, housing and opportunity they specifically asked for in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Housing Plan,” Jessica Katz, HPD Chief Housing Officer, said.

“Congratulations to RiseBoro, IMPACCT, and Urbane on a great proposal; their team of non-profit and MBE partners is an example of the work we are doing as a City to expand and diversify access to our programs and build more equity through City-financed projects.”

“The Steps at Saratoga” is one of two developments laid out in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Housing Plan, the other being the Norma, an 11-story mixed-use development that will bring 44 homeownership opportunities to first-time home buyers in Central Brooklyn. The building will feature an urgent care center, a community terrace, and will be designed to meet Passive House certification upon completion.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant Housing Plan is an effort by the city to address the housing needs of the evolving Brooklyn neighborhood by listening to insight from community members and local businesses.


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