Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions.  Please reach out with additional questions in the form provided below. 

What is the project at 80 Flatbush?

ECF, along with the developer, Alloy Development, proposes to replace the existing Khalil Gibran International Academy with a new facility and build a new elementary school. The project site consists of a full city block bounded by Flatbush Avenue, State Street, 3rd Avenue, and Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn.  In addition to two new school facilities, the project would include 900 new residential units (200 of which would be permanently affordable), office and retail space, and a new cultural facility. 

What is ECF?

The New York City Educational Construction Fund (ECF) is a New York State Public Benefit Corporation which works closely with the NYC Department of Education (DOE) to build new public schools at no cost to the City in order to improve school conditions and/or address seat need.

How does ECF determine what/where to build?

Working with the DOE and the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA), ECF undertakes an analysis of where public school needs intersect with appropriate properties.

How was Alloy Development selected as development partner?

ECF began to explore the redevelopment of the existing Khalil Gibran facility (362 Schermerhorn) in 2015. After extensive conversations with the school’s principal and local stakeholders, ECF issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to the real estate development community soliciting interest in redeveloping the property. ECF received proposals from qualified bidders and ultimately selected Alloy based on the merits of its proposal, factoring in experience, capacity, and financial offer. Alloy is the owner of the sites adjacent to 362 Schermerhorn.

Will Khalil Gibran International Academy have to relocate while construction is taking place?

No, Khalil Gibran will remain in its current location during construction, and instruction will not be interrupted. The first phase of the development includes building a new Khalil Gibran facility immediately to the east of the existing facility.  Construction of Phase 1 will occur while Khalil Gibran stays operational in its existing facility.  Once the new school facility is complete, Khalil Gibran will move, freeing up its existing facility for the project’s second phase.  

What will happen to the building at 362 Schermerhorn?

The buildings that make up the current Khalil Gibran facility were built between 1860 and 1890.  Although they are not individually landmarked or located in a neighborhood historic district, they are contextually valuable buildings that will be preserved and adaptively reused.  The building on the corner of Schermerhorn Street and Third Avenue will be repurposed into a cultural facility, and the building on the corner of State Street and Third Avenue will be repurposed into neighborhood retail and residential amenity space.

When will construction begin? How long will construction take? When will the new school open?

Construction of Phase 1, which includes the new schools, 250 residential units, office and retail space, is expected to begin in 2019, take two to three years to complete, and open around 2022.  Construction of Phase 2, which includes the remaining residential units, office and retail space, and the new cultural facility, is expected to take three to four years to complete, and open around 2025.

What are the details of the affordable housing component?

Roughly 200 of the proposed 900 residential units will be permanently affordable to households making on average 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).  Please visit HPD’s website to see how this translates to household incomes and rents.  

What are the public benefits to the community?

The proposed project includes a variety of community benefits including: (1) Two new state-of-the-art school facilities (700 seats) at no cost to the City; (2) Approximately 200 permanently affordable residential units; (3) New 15,000 SF cultural facility; (4) Preservation of two historic structures; (5) Focus on employment opportunities within the neighborhood through the NYC HireNYC program and local workforce partners.

Will the design change?

The current project design is at a conceptual stage.  We anticipate this conceptual design will be refined between now and the end of ULURP based on public feedback received during the pre-certification process. 

What additional project approvals are required?

The project requires a change of the site’s existing zoning.  In New York City, projects seeking such changes are required to undergo a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), a standardized procedure whereby applications are publicly reviewed.  More information on ULURP is available here. A Pre-Application Statement was filed in early 2017, and we expect to conclude the ULURP process in 2018.

What would existing zoning allow?

The site’s existing zoning is C6-2 in the Special Downtown Brooklyn District.  An as-of-right development would comply with sky-exposure-plane-based zoning.  These regulations imposed on 80 Flatbush’s site geometry create a 580 foot tall zoning envelope. The site’s existing zoning has no affordable housing requirement and no requirement to build new school or cultural facilities.  Under the as-of-right scenario, Khalil Gibran Academy would continue operating in its existing facilities. 

What would a potential as-of-right development look like?

A potential as-of-right development (i.e., the “No Action” condition in the EIS) would comply with the existing zoning envelope and includes approximately 280 market-rate residential units, 50,000 SF of retail, 130 parking spaces with two vehicular entries on State Street and two loading berths on State Street. It would be approximately 400 feet tall.

The proposal includes a new 350-seat elementary school. It also includes 900 housing units, which will increase elementary school seat demand. What is the net impact of the project on elementary school seats in District 15?

Our preliminary analysis suggests the proposed project will have a net positive benefit of 164 seats on District 15’s elementary school seat demand compared to the as-of-right project.  See details here.  As part of the project’s review under CEQR, a broader analysis of the project’s potential impacts to public schools will be undertaken, which will account for sub-district capacity and demand accounting for future residential projects coming on line, SCA enrollment projections, and SCA capital planning for additional capacity at the sub-district level.

What about middle school and high school students?

According to our preliminary analysis, District 15, Sub-district 3 (where the project is located) is projected to be under capacity for middle schools when the project comes online in 2025 (this includes projected background growth and the impact of the proposed project).  NYC public high school students can attend high schools city-wide.  

What neighborhood is the site in?

With respect to zoning and land use, the site is located within Downtown Brooklyn.  The site (bounded by Flatbush Ave, State St, 3rd Ave, and Schermerhorn St) is part of the Special Downtown Brooklyn District, as shown in Appendix E of Article X in the NYC Zoning Resolution and as seen on Zoning Map 16c.  The site is also located in the Metrotech Business Improvement District (“BID”).  Its current zoning, C6-2 Commercial, allows for commercial or residential development over 500 feet in height.  

What study area will be used for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)?

The study areas to be analyzed in the EIS for the project are determined based on guidance from the CEQR Technical Manual and in consultation with the reviewing agencies. The study areas vary depending on the type of technical analysis as well as the scale of the project. As examples, the Draft Scope has identified the study area for Land Use as 400 feet; the study area for Child Care Facilities as 1.5 miles; and the study area for Socioeconomic Conditions as including all of the Census Tracts with greater than 50% area within ½ mile of the project site. Each chapter of the Draft EIS defines the study areas for technical analyses found in those chapters.

What steps is the developer taking to encourage diverse and local economic inclusion at the project?

In addition to establishing minority, women and local business (MWLBE) and workforce goals for the project, Alloy is taking the unique approach of hiring an Equity Officer to ensure equitable workforce and economic inclusion for all aspects of 80 Flatbush.  This project-based roll will be charged with envisioning, creating, establishing and implementing best-in-class practices for equitable development. Please find the job description here

How is the project financed?

The project’s school and some of the residential square footage will be owned by the City through ECF. The portion of the project that will be owned by ECF will generate rent and taxes to ECF; those payments will be used to service bonds that cover school construction costs.  Real estate taxes from the remaining (Alloy) portions of the project will go the City’s General Fund. These portions are approximately six times larger than the existing buildings on the site.

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