Affordable apartments for students – Brooklyn College officials constructing new housing complex on Farragut Road

By Michèle De Meglio

Brooklyn College may be a commuter school, but that could soon change. New Brooklyn Development (NBD) is constructing a 115-unit residential building to offer affordable apartments to the college’s students. “For years now there’s been discussion about the need for housing around Brooklyn College,” Nicole Hosten, director of college and community relations for Brooklyn College, said at a meeting of Community Board 14’s Education, Libraries and Cultural Affairs Committee. The housing would provide a welcome respite for students who travel to the school via bus and subway from far off corners of the borough. “It’s very difficult to get to the college,” Hosten explained. For those who refuse to commute four hours a day, there’s the chance to share a tiny apartment with several roommates – a situation that many find grossly ineffectual. “A lot of them had to cram four to five students in an apartment to split the cost,” said Jonathan Judge, a CUNY Honors student studying at Brooklyn College. Students who ultimately reside in the apartments “could focus on studying rather than commuting,” he said. Hosten said Brooklyn College has been accepting younger students “who want to be close to the library, close to the school.” The majority of the apartments will accommodate two students who will have their own bedrooms but share a kitchen and bathroom. A few units will be private studios and a limited number of apartments would house two students in a shared bedroom. The 60,000-square-foot building is being constructed “as of right” at 2604-2622 Farragut Road. It will be located at the corner of Farragut Road and Kenilworth Place, thereby being known as 1 Kenilworth Place. The building, which will accommodate 214 residents, will maintain a security desk, Internet café, gym, recreation room, laundry facilities, plasma TVs, and a back yard. Although the building is being constructed by a developer and not Brooklyn College, the school will recommend students for the apartments. “You would choose high-performing students,” Hosten said. Florence Valentino, co-chair of Community Board 14’s Education, Libraries and Cultural Affairs Committee, wondered if the apartment building would bring more cars and traffic to the neighborhood. “It does not appear to me that there is any parking facility,” she said. Hosten said the building’s residents would probably stick to public transportation. “If they live here they wouldn’t need a car,” she explained. “It’s three blocks from the college.” With more students residing in the Flatbush community, the local economy could receive a boost. “They’re going to live here, they’re going to shop locally,” Hosten said. “We see this as a revitalization of the community.”

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