320 340 Nevins Street
February 9, 2024

As New York City Faces Lowest Vacancy Rate in Six Decades, Governor Hochul Advances 18 Proposals to Build More Than 5,300 Units of Housing, Including Affordable Housing, in Gowanus

As New York City Faces Lowest Vacancy Rate in Six Decades, Governor Hochul Advances 18 Proposals to Build More Than 5,300 Units of Housing, Including Affordable Housing, in Gowanus
Projects Stalled by the Expiration of 421-A Set to Move Forward Following Governor’s Executive Action – Creating More Than 1,400 Affordable Units
Governor Also Announces Groundbreaking for 654-Unit Development at 320 and 340 Nevins Street – Renderings Available Here
Governor Launched Bold Executive Action To Address The Housing Crisis Last Year, Proposing Strong Legislative Solutions To Housing Crisis In This Year’s Executive Budget

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that 18 new housing developments will move forward under the Gowanus Neighborhood Mixed Income Housing Development Program, unlocking more than 5,300 units of housing, including more than 1,400 affordable units in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. Governor Hochul launched the program last year to save thousands of units stalled by the expiration of 421-A as part of a package of Executive Actions to increase New York’s housing supply. The Governor also announced today the groundbreaking of 320 and 340 Nevins Street – a 654-unit project, including 154 affordable units, being developed by Charney Companies and Tavros Holdings and one of the first projects to move forward under the program.

“After years of stalled construction, we’re putting more than 5,300 new homes back on track and unlocking Gowanus’ housing potential,” Governor Hochul said. “New Yorkers are facing the lowest vacancy rates in six decades while costs continue to rise — they can’t afford to wait for solutions to the housing crisis. The only way to fix this crisis is to build our way out, and until we have a statewide solution, I will keep working to give Mayor Adams and leaders across our state the tools they need to let them build.”

Governor Hochul announced the Gowanus Neighborhood Mixed Income Housing Development Program last year to facilitate the development of housing, including affordable housing, in New York City. The program is aimed at targeting specific benefits and affordable housing obligations in line with the now-expired 421-a tax law for development proposals currently vested under 421-a and capitalize on a local 2021 rezoning covering 82 blocks to accommodate housing growth in Gowanus.

The program, which is being overseen by Empire State Development, is moving forward with 18 individual project sites, whose applications were received last fall. Each individual site’s participation in the program will be considered and voted on by the ESD Directors, followed by Public Authority Control Board review. A full list of projects is here.

320 and 340 Nevins Street is a combined 505,000 square foot mixed-use two tower development situated on 2.3 acres fronting the canal in Gowanus. The project includes ground floor retail space in addition to the more than 650 residential units. The site it is part of the Gowanus Public Access Area and within proximity of public transportation. The project was designed by Fogarty Finger Architects with design and landscape elements done by James Corner Field Operations. Many projects in the Gowanus area, including 320 and 340 Nevins Street, are being facilitated by the Department of Environmental Conservation’s successful Brownfield Cleanup Program, which incentivizes the revitalization of former brownfield sites to protect public health and the environment and support economic development, including construction of affordable housing and other productive reuse.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Boosting New York’s housing supply is critical towards encouraging economic development statewide, but don’t take my word for it – I’ve heard it directly from dozens of companies and businesses headquartered or interested in relocating here. Governor Hochul is committed to solving the housing crisis, and thanks to her leadership, ESD is promoting residential growth through innovative initiatives like the Gowanus Housing program, which will jump-start stalled developments, yield hundreds of affordable units, and contribute to the area’s ongoing revitalization.”

Division of Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Governor Hochul’s long-term strategy to tackle New York City’s housing shortage offers a variety of tools designed to make it easier to build new homes across the five boroughs. After using Executive Action to launch the Gowanus Neighborhood Mixed-Income Housing Development Program last year, the program is already set to yield up to 5,300 desperately needed rental housing units that would have otherwise been lost due to the expiration of the 421-a program.  Today’s welcome milestone at 320 and 340 Nevins Street will result in 654 more homes for New Yorkers, including 154 affordable apartments for low-income households. Thank you to Governor Hochul for her leadership promoting housing growth in Gowanus, and to our partners at ESD for getting this project off the ground.”

State Senator Andrew Gounardes said, “We've worked hard to ensure the housing that is built in Gowanus meets the needs of all the people that call this neighborhood home, and that developers create housing that is truly affordable and stays that way. This is about more than just building housing. It's about building opportunities for families of all backgrounds to put down roots, live, and thrive here. This groundbreaking is a crucial step toward making that vision a reality. I thank the Governor for her partnership in ensuring Brooklyn remains a borough of opportunity for years to come."

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon said, “The urgency of New York’s housing crisis is clear. I commend Governor Hochul for finding a creative way to secure new housing in Gowanus in a manner that provides the developers with ample time for the comprehensive cleanup of these toxic brownfields. The public’s health is paramount, so it's imperative that we prioritize environmental stewardship and adhere to all applicable legal and scientific standards for any new building in Gowanus."

Charney Companies Principal Sam Charney said, “I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Governor Kathy Hochul for her unwavering support and visionary leadership in championing initiatives like the Gowanus Rezoning and boldly creating the ESD PILOT program. Our projects, and the thousands of units the Gowanus will deliver would have never been possible without The Governor’s steadfast commitment to solving the state housing crisis. By preserving rezonings through executive orders and creating opportunities for sustainable development through new tax legislation, she is paving the way for a brighter future for New York City.”

Tavros Holdings Founding Partner Nicholas Silvers said, “As born and raised New Yorkers, we are deeply appreciative of Governor Hochul’s support as we try to make this city that we love a little better every day with the work that we are doing here. We are all shepherds of the Governor’s agenda; her leadership and vision has been unbreakable and foundational to building more housing to guarantee that New York stays affordable, accessible and the greatest city in the World.”

32BJ SEIU President Manny Pastreich said, “The iconic line from the movie Field of Dreams, ‘if you build it they will come,’ doesn’t just apply to a cornfield in Iowa. It’s happening right here In Brooklyn thanks to the leadership of Governor Hochul. And the reason they - local area residents- can come is because with this action we will be taking an important step toward creating the more affordable housing units we need to meet rising demands. More affordable housing supply with good paying livable wage jobs is exactly what our state needs, and I hope that today’s groundbreaking will help spur Albany into taking more action.”

Fifth Avenue Committee Executive Director Michelle de la Uz said, “In July, Governor Hochul announced the state's 421a pilot replacement program that is enabling 8,500 homes in Gowanus, including 2,000 deeply and permanently affordable ones, to become a reality.  I am grateful for her leadership and to see the first project in Gowanus get approved. It is clear that it is past time for the NYS legislature to act to spur housing and especially affordable housing supply.  The latest proof of that is the 1.41% vacancy rate shared in the recent NYC Housing and Vacancy Study."

CB6 District Manager Mike Racioppo said, “The reason we (CB6) supported the Gowanus rezoning was to pave the way for much-needed housing.  Governor Hochul is making that reason a reality, ensuring that housing can be built.”

Governor Hochul’s Housing Agenda

These efforts build on Governor Hochul’s commitment to addressing New York’s housing crisis to make the state more affordable and more livable for all New Yorkers – including by making it easier to build housing in New York City. As part of her FY 2025 Executive Budget, the Governor proposed legislation to incentivize the construction of new housing, including affordable housing; encourage office conversion projects to include affordable housing; allow the City to exceed the floor area ratio cap where appropriate; and legalize existing basement and cellar apartments. The Governor also proposed a $500 million fund to create up to 15,000 units of housing on state-owned land, including SUNY properties and other sites.

Last year, Governor Hochul unveiled the Creedmoor Community Master Plan to redevelop 58 acres of underutilized land at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens into a vibrant community with more than 2,800 new homes. The Governor also announced a proposal to transform the former Lincoln Correctional Facility in New York City into a mixed-use development with 105 units of affordable housing, as well as requests for proposals to redevelop the former Bayview Correctional Facility and Javits Center's Site K in Manhattan as potential housing.

Governor Hochul also signed legislation to build and preserve affordable housing in New York City by authorizing New York City to adopt a new affordable housing rehabilitation program to replace the former J-51 program; giving New York City more flexibility to provide loans and grants for affordable housing and other related investments; and increasing the New York City Housing Development Corporation's bonding capacity.