By Dispatch Editors on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023 at 10:01 am
The Williamsburg Houses appear posed to get a new laundromat on Graham Avenue.
The sign promises 120 machines, although it does not breakdown how many will be washers and dryers.
The Williamsburg Houses consist of 1,600 apartment units spread across 20 buildings, first built in the late 1930s under the Housing Division of the Public Works Administration. When the development first opened, it was a stunning expression of modernism, with clean lines and public spaces, home to middle-class families. As conservatives and liberals alike began siphoning money away from public housing and driving middle-class tenants out of the buildings by lowering income requirements, public housing across the country deteriorated, including the Williamsburg Houses.
In the hopes of reviving the buildings, or at least allow private companies to profit off the suffering of the poor, NYCHA has transferred management of the properties to RDC Development and Wavecrest Management Group LLC under a controversial program known as Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD. Instead of maintaining public housing, NYCHA offloads management of housing to public-private partnerships. They magically generate profits with public money while supposedly improving service.
The property is currently undergoing a $490m renovation. Short cuts have already been taken with exterior renovations with contractors only selectively fixing broken sidewalk slabs and leaving many cracked concrete sections. Other sections have been filled in with asphalt rather than replaced.
The buildings are getting new windows and units renovated interiors. The contract was awarded to MDG in December of 2021. Lead abatement is also being undertaken.
The promised laundromat will occupy a space on Graham Avenue next door to a new ice cream shop that opened earlier this year.