Transformative redevelopment of the former Greenpoint Hospital will also feature 557 homes of affordable housing, community facility space, open space, and retail
Project Renewal, St. Nicks Alliance, and The Hudson Companies, along with the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), today celebrated the groundbreaking of the Barbara Kleiman Men’s Shelter in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This vital development is championed by Mayor Eric Adams, former Council Member and current Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Council Member Jennifer Gutierrez.
Construction of the 200-bed shelter is part of the first phase of the long-awaited redevelopment of the former Greenpoint Hospital campus into the new Kingsland Commons, a mixed-used development that will also feature approximately 557 affordable homes for seniors and families, a senior center, a health center, a cafe, and public open space. The multi-phased development will replace an existing homeless shelter and former hospital buildings.
Kingsland Commons will be the culmination of a 40-year community led process to develop the approximately 3.4-acre site. Planning and advocacy was led by the Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corporation (GREC), a consortium of 11 organizations that have guided an innovative grassroots effort to redevelop the one of the few remaining large public sites in the city. The process balanced local priorities for affordable housing, open space, and community facilities with a citywide priority for safe shelter for homeless men. The project team were designated by HPD in 2018 out of a Request for Expressions of Interest based on the community’s priorities.
“My husband Guido and I, along with my neighbors at GREC, devoted 40 years of our lives to redeveloping the campus. We were there for a 40-night vigil to ‘right size’ the former 1,150 bed shelter, attended every community board meeting to advocate, and invested countless hours with my neighbors to shape the plan for the campus,” said Theresa Cianciotta, of Concerned Citizens of Withers Street and GREC.
“We are honored to work with GREC community leaders over the past 40 years and thrilled that we were able to bring together outstanding joint venture partners in Hudson Company and Project Renewal to realize the GREC Community Plan,” said Michael Rochford Executive Director of St Nicks Alliance. “We are equally proud that Hudson Companies has committed to investing in training for 30 neighborhood residents to work and develop career skills, as well as joined with St Nicks Alliance to invest in improving Cooper Park across the street from the site and $1 million in the new School Settlement Community Center nearby.”
The development’s first phase is an extensive renovation of the campus’ historic Nurse’s Residence at 19 Debevoise Avenue to convert it into the new purpose-built shelter. The 54,000-square-foot facility will be converted in partnership with the New York State Historic Preservation Office to preserve and restore some of the building’s historic interior and exterior structural elements, along with brand-new building systems, finishes, a rooftop courtyard, and landscaping. Construction began in December, with an expected completion in October 2025.
Project Renewal, which has served New Yorkers experiencing homelessness for more than 55 years, will provide services for the shelter’s clients, including employment counselling, occupational therapy, psychiatry, and primary care at an on-site medical clinic.
“Kingsland Commons exemplifies the kind of holistic and sustainable solutions that are essential to revitalizing historic city infrastructure and spaces to create high-quality affordable and transitional housing for our vulnerable communities,” said Department of Social Services Acting Commissioner Molly Wasow Park. “As we continue to make vital investments in innovative models while expanding access to quality care for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, we are grateful to all of our incredible partners and the community for their decades-long commitment to the realization of this tremendous initiative.”
“We’re finally breathing new life into this historic site with today’s groundbreaking at the Greenpoint Hospital campus which has sat vacant for far too long,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “Just imagine, when Kingsland Commons is complete, more than 700 families and individuals will have shelter and affordable housing, older New Yorkers will have a brand-new senior center, and the community can enjoy public open space that has been inaccessible for decades. Thanks to our partners DHS, Project Renewal, St. Nicks Alliance, and Hudson Companies for working to make this dream a reality.”
“Kingsland Commons presents a rare opportunity in New York City to gut-renovate a building and redesign it as a shelter that centers the needs of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness,” said Eric Rosenbaum, President and CEO of Project Renewal. “Project Renewal looks forward to bringing our 55 years of experience to bear, making this a place of comfort and stability, with targeted services that break the cycle of homelessness. We are proud to partner with The Hudson Companies and St. Nicks Alliance on this innovative mixed-use development and we look forward to being part of the Kingsland Commons community.
“Kingsland Commons is a reminder that when we fight alongside one another, we can shape our neighborhoods for the good of our people,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “While we keep our eye squarely on stable, dignified, and affordable housing that can support Brooklynites long-term, shelters like this remain essential in providing temporary reprieve and a stepping stone toward better futures for our neighbors.”
“The groundbreaking for Kingsland Commons and the Barbara Kleiman Men’s Shelter is a perfect reminder that when we work together, we can shape and improve our neighborhoods for everyone’s benefit. This project represents a true collaboration between community organizations, the City of New York, and private developers to create much-needed affordable housing, community space, and a safe shelter for unhoused men. As we continue to address the housing crisis in our city, it is important that we prioritize developments like this one, which meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents. I am proud to have been a champion for this project, and look forward to its continued success,” said New York City Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez, District 34.
“The newly rebuilt Barbara Kleiman shelter will provide dignified emergency housing to people experiencing homelessness. With a high quality shelter operator, I am confident that the future clients at the Barbara Kleinman will get connected to the support, services, and permanent housing they deserve,” said New York City Council Member Lincoln Restler, District 33.
“Hudson is honored to join its partners, St. Nicks Alliance, Project Renewal, the City of New York and the project’s design and engineering team in celebrating the first phase of redevelopment that community stakeholders passionately advocated for decades to bring to fruition,” said Aaron Koffman, President of The Hudson Companies. “We take great pride in developing leading-edge permanent and transitional housing for all New Yorkers and today we are one step closer to transforming this campus into nearly 557 affordable homes in East Williamsburg with a new 200-bed shelter, open space, and community spaces to complement the neighborhood.”
Financing for the first phase of Kingsland Commons was provided by Prudential Private Capital and NYCEEC, which provided a predevelopment loan. The new shelter was designed by Edelman Sultan Knox Woods Architects and will be built by Broadway Builders. Magnusson Architecture and Planning and Architecture Outfit are designing the overall campus plan and the other building which is part of the first phase.
The next component of Kingsland Commons is the construction of a building adjacent to the shelter with approximately 311 affordable homes for low-income families earning between 30 and 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). Construction is expected to begin in 2024. The new apartment buildings will offer a range of studios, one, two, and three-bedroom units. Amenities will include outdoor courtyards and playgrounds, rooftop terraces, laundry rooms, fitness center, bike storage room, children’s playroom, and tenants’ lounge.
Kingsland Commons is within walking distance from the Graham Avenue L subway station.
About St Nicks Alliance.
Founded in 1975, St. Nicks Alliance has built over 2,800 units of housing; is developing an additional 1,800 units of housing and currently manages 1,750 affordable apartments. The organization serves over 17,000 people annually and seeks to transform lives of low- and moderate-income people through employment, education, housing, and health care. We do this by delivering impactful services with measurable outcomes to children, adults, and the elderly. As a civic anchor we carry out this mission within the context of building a sustainable community for all people through the arts, environmental advocacy, and urban planning. www.stnicksalliance.org
About Project Renewal
Project Renewal is a New York City-based nonprofit organization that works to end the cycle of homelessness by empowering individuals and families to renew their lives with health, homes, and jobs. Project Renewal’s innovative programs are designed to end the revolving door of emergency rooms, jails, shelters, and the streets. For 55 years, Project Renewal’s pioneering approach has created uniquely integrated and comprehensive programs that are replicated around the nation, helping even beyond the thousands of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness that Project Renewal serves every year. www.projectrenewal.org
About The Hudson Companies
At Hudson, we develop housing for everyone. From townhouse to high rise, gut rehabilitation of warehouses to modest renovation of 100-year old walk-ups, we have touched all housing typologies. We are a collaborative team guided by entrepreneurial vigor, civic spirit and deep expertise. We are fully integrated, having close affiliates that handle property management and leasing, Lisa Management, and general contracting construction services, Broadway Builders. Our team is diverse and our motivations arise from varied personal and professional experiences, but our crucial commonality is a desire to thoughtfully add to this great city’s blocks and boroughs. Hudson is an award winning development company that has completed almost 8,000 residential units with another 7,000 in the pipeline.