Housing Group Leading By Example

A small, odd-shaped lot at 97 Crooke Avenue, sitting cheek-to-jowl with the B and Q subway lines, was a longtime eyesore to its Flatbush, Brooklyn, neighbors.

Last week, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce saluted the Rev. Dan Ramm Residence, a nine-story affordable and supportive housing building standing on the lot, which has revitalized the block with a $15.3 million investment.

97 Crooke provides 53 units for working individuals and formerly homeless individuals leaving the city’s shelters. On-site services are provided by CAMBA, Inc. for all residents.

Developed by CAMBA Housing Ventures, 97 Crooke Avenue is one of 12 new construction projects tol receive the Brooklyn Chamber’s 2012 Building Brooklyn Awards.

Joanne M. Oplustil, executive director of CAMBA Housing Ventures/CAMBA, said, “This building is transformational — it provides secure, serene and healthful homes that will enable its residents to thrive.

“And by turning a long-vacant, trash-strewn lot into a beautiful and vibrant building, 97 Crooke Avenue will help the community flourish. We are grateful to all of our partners who made this building possible.”

Designed by Dattner Architects and constructed by Galaxy General Contracting, the building is energy-efficient and sustainable. The interior features Shona African stone sculptures and paintings by local artist Paul Catalanotto. Its unique façade of alternating-colored bricks reflects the colors of surrounding buildings.

Lee Weintraub Landscape Architecture created gardens and landscaping to an adjacent lot owned by the MTA.

The building is named in honor of the Rev. Dan Ramm, a member of CAMBA’s Board of Directors and senior clergy at the historic Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church.

The $15.3 million project was financed by New York City Housing Preservation and Development Department’s Supportive Housing Loan Program and a plethora of tax and energy programs.