Flatlands Ave. and Elton St., Brooklyn, NY

East New York

"Affordable Housing" "Prefab Housing" Landfill SSDS methane

Designer: Alexander Gorlin Architects
Builder: Capsys Corp.
Developer: Nehemiah Housing Development Fund

The Spring Creek project signals a new incarnation of the Nehemiah Program, which gained national recognition in the late 1990s when the faith-based developer built more than 2,600 single-family homes in Brownsville and East New York.  All of the original Nehemiah homes were completed and sold, and the Nehemiah Program gained national recognition for the revitalization of one of the city's most blighted communities.  The developer, Nehemiah Housing Development Fund Company, Inc., is a subsidiary of the East Brooklyn Congregations, which also sponsored the previous rounds of Nehemiah construction in East New York.[1]
Prefab Housing
Named after the biblical character that rebuilt the city of Jerusalem in 52 days, Nehemiah's Spring Creek development will number more than 550 homes when completed in 2013.  Through 2008 117 homes have been built totaling 184 units.[2]   All of the housing is assembled on site from prefabricated modules built by Capsys Corp., which is located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.[3]   Using prefabricated housing technology that dramatically cuts construction time and costs, a  2,300-square-foot home can be assembled in just 12 days.  The homes, intended to be affordable for middle and low income families, range in price $158,000 to $350,000.

Fresh Creek Urban Renewal Area[4]
The Nehemiah Spring Creek housing development is part of the Fresh Creek Urban Renewal Area, part of which is also referred to as Gateway Estates II, which was established in 1996 and aims to redevelop 227 acres of former landfill into a mixed use development that will include affordable housing for 7,000 people, a 625,000 square-foot retail center, more than 100 units of housing for seniors, 45 acres of open space, three new schools and all new streets and infrastructure.  The Fresh Creek Urban Renewal Plan includes the already built Gateway Center Mall along Shore Parkway, which was completed in 2002. 

Contamination, Remediation, and Mitigation
Because the Fresh Creek Urban Renewal Area used to be garbage landfill, all construction activities must incorporate appropriate health and safety and remedial measures.  This includes the design and installation of methane gas venting systems in all new buildings and capping all exposed soil with a minimum of two feet of clean soil.

The bulk of the financing, $30.2 million, was provided by the Community Preservation Corporation.  Additional construction financing will be provided by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, $3.2 million; and a church-provided loan of $1.25 million. The City of New York will also subsidize the new Spring Creek development with a grant of $46,000 for each of the one-family homes.

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