Coney Island Commons

Organization Name: Coney Island Commons LLC

Project Title: Coney Island Commons

Project Location: Brooklyn, NY

Project Goals:
Key urban design goals were to re-establish an urban context that enhances a sense of community, knits together a disparate physical environment and anchors the western end of Coney Island, as part of the renaissance of this community. The aim of Coney Island Commons was to develop a mixed-use project proving urgently needed affordable housing and an exciting center for community activities. An important goal of the project was a sustainable design approach to conserve resources and promote healthy living. The project has become a center for community life and a shining example of the diversity of a revitalized Coney Island. The residential component earned the EnergyStar label from NYSERDA and the US EPA.

Project Description:
Coney Island Commons is an exciting mixed-use, environmentally responsible community which provides affordable, healthy, community living and the YMCA’s of Greater New York’s newest Brooklyn branch in a state-of-the-art 44,000 SF facility. The residential component of the project consists of 196 apartments for residents from two income tiers: 80% of the units are occupied by households earning no more than 60% of the Area Median Income; 20% of the units are reserved for formerly homeless. The residential development comprises two buildings: a 12-story building entered on West 29th Street and a 9-story building entered on West 30th Street, with a landscaped terrace over parking between the buildings. The YMCA features an aquatics center with a four-lane lap pool and family recreational pool, a full-court gymnasium, wellness center, multi-purpose rooms and more.

Community Impact:
The project reflects and reinforces the rich heritage of Coney Island. Coney Island Commons provides a pedestrian, street-oriented scale with buildings aligned along the street line, clearly identified street entrances and varied massing. The design emphasizes the presence of the YMCA; the glazed, multicolored, double height Wellness Center at the corner of Surf Avenue provides a beacon to the community and an iconic Coney Island element. The design uses architectural elements to create a variety in massing. The arrangement of buildings preserves daylight and sunlight on the site and to the neighboring school yard. The project provides affordable housing along with a full range of fitness and healthy living programs in the YMCA. The Y serves thousands of local families and children, and brings together staff, volunteers, leaders and donors in the area through programs focused on job training for youth, college access and readiness, diabetes prevention, fitness, and more.

Organization Description:
The developer and owner of the project is Coney Island Commons LLC, comprised of The Kretchmer Companies, ELH Mgmt, LLC and Galaxy Contracting Corp. The YMCA is owned and operated by the YMCA of Greater New York. The design team included: Dattner Architects—architecture; Abel Bainnson Butz—landscape architecture; Ysrael A. Seinuk PC—structural engineering; Goldman Copeland Consulting Engineers—MEP engineering; Robert Schwartz Associates—technical consulting; Steven Winter Associates—sustainability consulting. The general contractor was Galaxy Contracting Corp.

    Front entrance to Coney Island YMCA

    Wellness Center at the corner of Surf Avenue

    Full-court gymnasium

    Aquatics center with a four-lane lap pool

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