On Tuesday, CHPC staff visited Coney Island to tour the nearly-complete Coney Island Commons  – the fantastic result of a collaboration between CHPC board members Andrea Kretchmer, Larry Hirschfield and William Stein. Coney Island Commons is a mixed-use affordable housing development anchored by a community center to be operated by the YMCA of Greater New York.

When complete, Coney Island Commons will provide the neighborhood with 195 high-quality residential units for rent to low and middle-income families. In an effort to address neighborhood disaster-recovery challenges, 39 of the 195 units have been specially reserved for those applicants who were displaced by last year’s Hurricane Sandy and for the homeless.

Both the housing and community center are critical components of the 2005 Coney Island Strategic Plan and the project is additionally participating in the NYSERDA Multi-Family Performance Program. Sustainable design elements conserve energy and promote healthy living for residents and the community. Strategies include energy efficient mechanical systems, water conserving fixtures, extensive use of natural light and lighting controls, and use of recycled, regionally manufactured materials. The roof area adjoining the 9 and 12 story residential towers will feature a green roof planted with natural grasses and native wildflowers.

The 44,000 square YMCA will include two pools, a full court gymnasium, fitness facilities, office space and multi-purpose rooms. Dattner Architects was the firm responsible for the design, and the development was built by The Kretchmer Companies, ELH Management LLC and Galaxy Contracting Corporation.