A Win for Community Organizing

In one of the lighter moments of the meeting, members of the Key Food Stakeholder group displayed questions discussed during meetings and negotiations. (Photo by Donny Levit / BKLYNER)


Well after a year of negotiations, PSCC is pleased to announce that an agreement was reached between Avery Hall Investments (AHI) and 10 community organizations (the “Community Stakeholders Group”) regarding the future of the 5th Ave Key Food site. The agreement ensures that area neighbors will have a 22,000 square foot, full service supermarket and 41 new units of affordable housing. The proposed supermarket is a bit smaller than the current Key Food, but larger than most area supermarkets and twice as big as the 7th Avenue Key Food. In the agreement, AHI also agreed to offer a 20 year lease on the supermarket and work with the community to find an operator that’s a good fit for the needs of area residents.

In addition to housing the supermarket, the two buildings planned for the site will have a total of 165 units with 25% set aside as affordable housing (41 units out of 165). Of those units, 16 will be set aside for very low-income families (earning no more than 40% of area median income, or AMI, about $36,000 for a family of 4), with the remainder at a mix of 60%, 80%, and 100% of AMI.

Other provisions of the agreement include working with neighbors on traffic safety improvements, offering an opportunity to provide feedback on design, and a process for addressing construction impacts.

The project still depends upon several regulatory changes happening, including modifications to the Baltic Street Urban Renewal Plan and the related Land Disposition Agreement, as well as HPD approval of rents in the affordable units. Additionally, the now-expired 421-a legislation (a tax abatement program) must be replaced with a program that is comparable to the legislation previously in effect. The AHI project will require a vote of the City Planning Commission (CPC), and it is expected that the CPC will refer the proposal to Brooklyn Community Board 6 for review and comment.

The Community Stakeholder Group was organized by Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) and New York City Council Member Brad Lander, and is comprised of the Boerum Hill Association, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), Gowanus Houses Tenants Association, Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, Park Slope Civic Council, Park Slope Neighbors, Park Slope North HDFC, Warren Street Houses Tenants Association, the Wyckoff Gardens Residents Association and FAC.

PSCC commends the local elected officials whose support was so important, especially Brad Lander and his staff, who put in long hours helping craft the agreement. We also recognize the extraordinary technical and staff support provided by the Fifth Avenue Committee and as well as AHI’s willingness to stay at the table during sometime difficult negotiations. We are proud to be a part of a long and thoughtful process that has involved “on the ground” organizing, hosting large public meetings, many strategy discussions among Community Stakeholders Group members and long negotiation sessions.

See the formal press release and a letter of endorsement by local elected officials here.