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City Agencies Cut the Ribbon on Brownsville Affordable Project

New-York-Van-Dyke-III-Brownsville-Brooklyn-Trinity-Financial

City officials joined with development partner Trinity Financial and a group of business, nonprofit and community leaders to celebrate the opening of Van Dyke III, a supportive and affordable housing development in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. Build on New York City Housing Authority land, the 100% affordable housing project includes 179 permanently affordable residential apartments for extremely low- and low-income households.

“Van Dyke III shows what is possible when we put underused NYCHA land to work hosting housing and community facilities that support both NYCHA residents and the broader community,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been.

Budgeted at 4101.3 million overall, Van Dyke III was financed under the NYC Housing Development Corporation and NYC Housing Preservation & Development’s and HPD’s ELLA program. HDC provided $46.670 million in tax-exempt bonds and $11.7 million in corporate reserves, while HPD contributed $23.4 million in City Capital.

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100 Percent Affordable Housing Development Opens in Brownsville

The 12-story Van Dyke III building was officially opened this month
A rendering of the new development.

A rendering of the new development.

A new 12-story 100% affordable housing development will bring 179 permanently affordable apartments to extremely low and low-income families in Brownsville.

The Van Dyke III building, part of New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) 23 building Van Dyke housing complex, was officially opened this month by Trinity Financial, NYCHA, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), elected officials and a group of business, nonprofit, and community leaders.

The building will set aside 31 apartments for NYCHA residents. 54 supportive housing units for formerly homeless people, and one superintendent’s unit, and it will include an early childhood educational center that can cater to 118 children, an urgent care clinic with pharmacy and a wellness center operated by BMS Family Health and Wellness Centers. Supportive services will be provided by the nonprofit organization CAMBA.

Ribbon cutting for Van Dyke III. Photo: Supplied.

Ribbon cutting for Van Dyke III. Photo: Supplied.

The development was built on underutilized land at NYCHA’s Van Dyke campus on Dumont Avenue between Mother Gaston Boulevard and Powell Street with funding from HDC, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Urban Investment Group and Citi Community Capital.

NYCHA Chair and CEO Greg Russ said NYCHA was committed to fostering public-private partnerships capable of bringing high-quality residential apartments and amenities to places where they were needed most.

“The collection of resources, facilities, and affordable housing represented in the Van Dyke III project will benefit this neighborhood for generations to come,” Russ said.

Van Dyke III will also include a computer lab, a fitness room, a tenant lounge, a community room, an accessible roof deck, a children’s playroom, package delivery room, and a ground floor outdoor recreational area with a new mural showcasing the faces of notable Brownsville activists, community leaders, celebrities, and more.

The project also included site improvements to the Van Dyke campus, including a new barbecue area, new benches, game tables and a Skelly court. The newly updated basketball court features artwork designed by Sophia Dawson and painted by residents and other community members.

Thomas Brown, vice president of development at Trinity Financial, said it was “incredibly rewarding” for his company and its partners to work with NYCHA, the Van Dyke Residents and “the greater Brownsville community to successfully develop such a transformational project providing much-needed affordable and supportive housing in addition to ground floor community space.”

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New Brownsville building opens as 100 percent affordable housing at NYCHA development

BROWNSVILLE, Brooklyn — Over a hundred of families now have an affordable place to live in Brownsville thanks to the city and private developers; it’s a beacon of hope in the middle of a housing crisis.

The New York City City Housing Authority’s Van Dyke Houses used to be a parking lot. Now it’s a new building tenants can afford to live in.

J.D. DeBerry waited two years for an affordable apartment.  DeBerry is formerly homeless and says he moved from shelter to shelter. This mont, he finally finally moved into his new studio apartment in this new building on Dumont Avenue in Brownsville. It’s called Van Dyke III: a 12-story mixed-use development with 100 percent affordable housing, thanks to a partnership between Trinity Financial and the city.

NYCHA’s CEO and NYC Councilmeber Alicka Ampry-Samuel, the person set to be appointed the new NY and NJ Housing and Urban Development director, were both at the opening.  Samuels grew up up in Brownsville and says now, in her new position of power, she plans on making a change in the community that she knows and loves.

“My heart is in Brownsville. This is where I was born and raised. I must say, my heart is with public housing families. I have said over the years, I am not the exception, but I am an example of what comes out of public housing,” said Samuel.

The building has 179 apartments for low-income families and 50 of those apartments are for formerly homeless families.

“It was critical that we worked with partners that shared in our mission to strengthen underserved communities,” said Thomas brown, the vice president of development at Trinity Financial.

If you want to apply for NYC affordable housing opportunities, click here.

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At Van Dyke Houses in Brownsville, New Mural Memorializes Local Historymakers

The 60-foot-high mural features notable Brownsville activists, community leaders, artists, athletes and champions on the northeast exterior wall of Van Dyke III

Screen-Shot-2022-06-16-at-10.42.16-AM

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and Trinity Financial unveiled a 60-foot by 20-foot new mural at the Van Dyke III Houses that showcases community leaders with roots in Brownsville.

The formal unveiling of the mural entitled, ‘We Are Brownsville,’ was part of an all-day community celebration that also featured the ribbon cutting for a newly renovated outdoor basketball court as well as games for children and other

Artist William “GoodWill” Ellis painted 17 of Brownsville’s most inspiring role models throughout modern Brooklyn history, including civil rights activist Rosetta Gaston, actor/author Bern Nadette Stanis, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley and boxing champions Mike TysonRiddick Bowe and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

Photo: Supplied

Photo: Supplied

“As a proud son of Brownsville, I am thrilled that the ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural will showcase the rich history of this vibrant community,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This new mural, and the recreational spaces that will accompany it, underscore our commitment to uplifting NYCHA residents while reminding them there is no limit to what they can achieve.”

William Ellis uses his love of community to create multi-sensory experiential art. With Caribbean ancestry, Will was born and raised in Brooklyn and spent many years living, working and serving in areas like Bed Stuy, Ocean Hill, Brownsville, East New York, Crown Heights and Flatbush.

The portraits also include: Greg “Jocko” Jackson – a Brownsville community leader and former NBA player with the Phoenix Suns and NY Knicks; Sandra Baker Fortune – founder of the Jazzy Jumpers Double Dutch jump rope team; retired NFL linebacker and Super Bowl XX champion Otis Wilson; Lisa C. Caldwell-Linder – Quinnipiac College women’s basketball legend; Brian Flores – NFL assistant coach with the Super Bowl LIII champion New England Patriots; Brooklyn basketball legend and former NBA player Dwayne “Pearl” Washington; champion middleweight boxer Daniel Jacobs; Brownsville activist and community leader (and Van Dyke I resident) Lisa Kenner; New York Yankees standout and six-time World Series champion Willie Randolph; former NBA player World B. Free; and legendary Thomas Jefferson High School football coach Moe Finkelstein.

Photo: Supplied

Photo: Supplied

“I’m excited for the unveiling of the ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural at Van Dyke III. It is a much needed reminder of the community’s long and storied history. It provides visual inspiration to young people in Brownsville — from the depiction of Mother Gaston to Dwayne “Pearl” Washington to boxing champions to Bern Nadette Stanis, who will forever be Thelma from ‘Good Times’ to me, said Assemblywoman Latrice Walker.

“The images on the mural should send a message to everyone who sees it: Anything is possible,”

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Maurice Ashley honored by Brownsville!

Grandmaster Maurice Ashley was one of the esteemed honorees that also included championship boxer Mike Tyson, actress Bern Nadette Stanis (Thelma of “Good Times”) and legendary football player Otis Wilson (Chicago Bears). Christian Whitted posted on social media platforms an event honoring the sons and daughters of the Brownsville Brooklyn area. The event took place on June 11th at the Van Dyke Community Center in Brooklyn.

Maurice Ashley (center) with other chess players (L-R): James Jeffery, National Master Stephen Colding, Sadiq Sekou, and National Master Tyrell Harriott. Photo courtesy of Tyrell Harriott.

Maurice Ashley (center) with other chess players (L-R): James Jeffery, National Master Stephen Colding, Sadiq Sekou,
and National Master Tyrell Harriott. Photo courtesy of Tyrell Harriott.

The honorees were immortalized in a handsome 60-foot-tall “We are Brownsville” mural. The event had a festive atmosphere with face-painting, prize-givings, food, and of course chess! The inspiration for the creation came from artist William Ellis’ idea that far too many tributes of people in the community had been “rest in peace” murals. He sought to change this pattern to provide inspiration to future generations. The seventeen icons had been chosen carefully as those who had “put Brownsville on the map in a positive way.” GM Ashley tweeted.
Lisa Kenner, the Brownsville Resident Association President gave an account of how much of an impact such a project can make on the community. The mural is positioned on the facade of a 12-story affordable housing complex called, “Van Dyke III.” There is another facade in an adjacent building and perhaps another chess player will grace those walls. Congratulations GM Ashley!

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NYCHA and Trinity Financial honor Brownsville history with mural unveiling and community celebration at Van Dyke III

The 60-foot-high mural features notable Brownsville activists, community leaders, artists, athletes and champions on the northeast exterior wall of Van Dyke III in Brooklyn

The community celebration also included a ribbon cutting of a new basketball court, outdoor games, a DJ and other activities

BROOKLYN, NY – The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and Trinity Financial today unveiled a mural at the Van Dyke III apartments showcasing community leaders whose roots are in the Brownsville neighborhood.

The formal unveiling of the 60-foot by 20-foot mural – located at the northeast face of the building – was part of an all-day community celebration that also featured the ribbon cutting for a newly renovated outdoor basketball court as well as chess matches, a DJ, games for children and other activities.

“We are excited to join the Van Dyke community today to celebrate the unveiling of the ‘We Are Brownsville’ Mural and the completed renovations of the basketball court. These investments provide the community with inspirational spaces to play, have active, healthy lives and to see reminders of strong community members from the Brownsville neighborhood,” said Jonathan Gouveia, Executive Vice President for Real Estate Development at NYCHA. “This project is an example of how we can leverage design to better connect our residents to each other and their community. Congratulations to our residents and partner team, Trinity Financial.”

Designed in 2021 and installed on June 6, 2022, artist William “GoodWill” Ellis painted 17 of Brownsville’s most inspiring role models throughout modern Brooklyn history, including civil rights activist Rosetta Gaston, actor/author Bern Nadette Stanis, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley and boxing champions Mike TysonRiddick Bowe and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

“As a proud son of Brownsville, I am thrilled that the ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural will showcase the rich history of this vibrant community,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This new mural, and the recreational spaces that will accompany it, underscore our commitment to uplifting NYCHA residents while reminding them there is no limit to what they can achieve.”

“The history of the Brownsville neighborhood is rich with remarkable figures across so many areas of achievement,” said Thomas Brown, Vice President of Development at Trinity Financial, who oversees the company’s New York operations. “This mural at Van Dyke III is an inspiration to Brooklyn and all of New York City. It’s important that the children and families who live at Van Dyke know that anything is possible. ‘GoodWill’ Ellis has created a breathtaking reminder of that truth: one that these families will experience every day.”

“The ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural is a fitting tribute as we celebrate the partnerships that are bringing affordable housing and greater opportunities to the individuals and families of the Brownsville community,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to our partners and elected officials for their many contributions to this impactful project.”

William “GoodWill” Ellis uses his love of community to create multi-sensory experiential art. With Caribbean ancestry, Will was born and raised in Brooklyn and spent many years living, working and serving in areas like Bed Stuy, Ocean Hill, Brownsville, East New York, Crown Heights and Flatbush.

The portraits are featured under the message “We are Brownsville,” and also include: Greg “Jocko” Jackson – a Brownsville community leader and former NBA player with the Phoenix Suns and NY Knicks; Sandra Baker Fortune – founder of the Jazzy Jumpers Double Dutch jump rope team; retired NFL linebacker and Super Bowl XX champion Otis Wilson; Lisa C. Caldwell-Linder – Quinnipiac College women’s basketball legend; Brian Flores – NFL assistant coach with the Super Bowl LIII champion New England Patriots; Brooklyn basketball legend and former NBA player Dwayne “Pearl” Washington; champion middleweight boxer Daniel Jacobs; Brownsville activist and community leader (and Van Dyke I resident) Lisa Kenner; New York Yankees standout and six-time World Series champion Willie Randolph; former NBA player World B. Free; and legendary Thomas Jefferson High School football coach Moe Finkelstein.

“This is an incredible project that provides housing as well as inspirational art for the NYCHA campus. The ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural is a beautiful addition to Van Dyke Houses and will show the young NYCHA residents that they can be anything they dream of,” said New York City Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “Trinity and NYCHA have worked closely together to deliver much needed housing and site improvements to ensure the new building didn’t leave the NYCHA residents behind. These collaborative projects are a great sign of the work we can continue to do in the coming years to improve resident quality of life at NYCHA while also expanding our housing supply. Congratulations to the teams for such a great job well done.”

“I am thrilled that Van Dyke III residents will step outside and see reminders of what’s possible. This mural depicts community achievers and leaders that moved Brownsville forward and became role models to future generations,” said Alicka Ampry-Samuel, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “Congratulations to artists William “GoodWill” Ellis and Sophia Dawson for their contributions; their artwork will inspire Brownsville residents for years to come.”

“Pouring strategic investments and time into any community will always yield positive results,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Seeing a community come together and share in so many activities and celebration of culture and history will always leave a positive impact on our families. Thank you to all of our partners that have made this possible.”

“Our Brownsville family has witnessed many impeccable men and women walk from our streets straight into history throughout our lives. I am so pleased our community has elected to honor these great heroes through the immaculate and immense ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural, courtesy of one of our most esteemed artists, ‘GoodWill’ Ellis,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09). “With this installation and its complimentary new community spaces, we will shape the future of Brownsville by looking into its past. On behalf of all who call our community home, thank you to every individual who made this progress possible.”

“I’m excited for the unveiling of the ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural at Van Dyke III. It is a much needed reminder of the community’s long and storied history. It provides visual inspiration to young people in Brownsville — from the depiction of Mother Gaston to Dwayne “Pearl” Washington to boxing champions to Bern Nadette Stanis, who will forever be Thelma from ‘Good Times’ to me. The images on the mural should send a message to everyone who sees it: Anything is possible. Kudos to the artist, William ‘GoodWill’ Ellis,” said Assemblywoman Latrice Walker.

The Van Dyke community basketball court has been in use since 2021 but was formally opened with a ribbon cutting at the mural unveiling. The court features artwork by Sophia Dawson and was painted by Project Backboard with the assistance of residents and other members of the community. It is also part of an initiative by the National Sports Zone Foundation that helps build communities through athletics, and Mega Contracting Group donated and installed new backboards and rims. Prior to the court painting, NYC Department of Environmental Protection and NYCHA partnered to install a subsurface retention system underneath the court that will capture approximately 230,000 gallons of stormwater annually.

Staff from the onsite Community Center, and the Van Dyke III retail space services – including the Friends of Crown Heights Early Childhood Education Center, CAMBA, and the BMS Community Health Clinic & Wellness Center, also participated in the day-long celebration.

Van Dyke III is a 12-story, mixed-use, 100 percent affordable housing community located within NYCHA’s Van Dyke development, which consists of 23 residential buildings. The project was financed with funding from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Development Corporation and includes 180 permanently affordable apartments for extremely low and low-income households, including 54 supportive housing units, and one superintendent’s unit.

Building amenities at Van Dyke III include a computer lab, a fitness room, a tenant lounge, a community room, an accessible roof deck, a children’s playroom, package delivery room, and a ground floor outdoor recreational area.

###

About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest public housing authority in North America, was created in 1935 to provide decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. NYCHA is home to roughly 1 in 16 New Yorkers across over 177,000 apartments within 335 housing developments. NYCHA serves over 339,000 residents through the conventional public housing program (Section 9), over 29,000 residents at developments that have been converted to PACT/RAD, and over 92,000 families through federal rent subsidies (the Section 8 Leased Housing Program). In addition, NYCHA connects residents to opportunities in financial empowerment, business development, career advancement, and educational programs. With a housing stock that spans all five boroughs, NYCHA is a city within a city.

About Trinity Financial, Inc.

Trinity Financial is a community-driven, diverse real estate development firm with a proven-track record of redeveloping complex urban sites from New York to Greater Boston. The work spans half a dozen residential and commercial specialties, from multi-family housing to transit-oriented development. Over the past 30 years Trinity has developed more than $3 billion in innovative development, delivering high quality, sustainable, multi-family housing, ranging from affordable to luxury – all with a commitment to people and place. For more information about Trinity Financial, please visit www.trinityfinancial.com.

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Van Dyke III Mural Pays Tribute to Inspirational Brownsville Figures

Van-Dyke-mural1-800x445

Rising above an outdoor recreational area at NYCHA’s Van Dyke III development are some familiar faces: boxing icons Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe and former Yankee World Series champion Willie Randolph.

They may be some of the most famous natives of Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, but the community has been home to a number of other accomplished individuals as well. In celebration of that legacy, the images of civil rights activist Rosetta Gaston, actor/author Bern Nadette Stanis, and chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley are depicted along with 14 others on a new mural entitled “We Are Brownsville.”

The 60-by-20-foot mural, created by Brooklyn artist William “GoodWill” Ellis, was formally unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Van Dyke III on June 11. Representatives from NYCHA and developer Trinity Financial were joined by local community leaders and residents for the dedication event, which also marked the opening of a newly upgraded basketball court.

“These investments provide the community with inspirational spaces to play; have active, healthy lives; and to see reminders of strong community members from the Brownsville neighborhood,” said Jonathan Gouveia, NYCHA’s Executive Vice President for Real Estate Development. “This project is an example of how we can leverage design to better connect our residents to each other and their community.”

Mayor Eric Adams also noted the artwork’s significance of showcasing the “rich history of this vibrant community” and the motivational message it conveys: “This new mural, and the recreational spaces that will accompany it, underscore our commitment to uplifting NYCHA residents while reminding them there is no limit to what they can achieve.”

The “We Are Brownsville” mural, created by artist William “GoodWill” Ellis, celebrates 17 renowned individuals with roots in the community.

The “We Are Brownsville” mural, created by artist William “GoodWill” Ellis, celebrates 17 renowned individuals with roots in the community.

The Brownsville community formally dedicated the new mural and renovated basketball court with a ribbon-cutting celebration.

The Brownsville community formally dedicated the new mural and renovated basketball court with a ribbon-cutting celebration.

 

The newly upgraded basketball court features art designs created by Sophia Dawson.

The newly upgraded basketball court features art designs created by Sophia Dawson.

Van Dyke III, a mixed-use, 100 percent affordable housing development featuring 180 permanently affordable apartments, was opened by Trinity Financial and NYCHA in November. According to Trinity Financial’s Vice President of Development Thomas Brown, the property’s new mural pays tribute to a neighborhood whose history includes “remarkable figures across so many areas of achievement.”

“This mural at Van Dyke III is an inspiration to Brooklyn and all of New York City,” Mr. Brown said. “It’s important that the children and families who live at Van Dyke know that anything is possible. ‘GoodWill’ Ellis has created a breathtaking reminder of that truth: one that these families will experience every day.”

The renovated basketball court also incorporates an art element, which was created by Sophia Dawson and painted by Project Backboard with the assistance of residents and other community members. The space is part of an initiative by the National Sports Zone Foundation that works to build communities through athletics. Prior to the court painting, the City’s Department of Environmental Protection and NYCHA partnered to install a subsurface retention system that will capture approximately 230,000 gallons of stormwater annually.

The Van Dyke III project was funded by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Development Corporation. In addition to the outdoor recreational space and mural, other building amenities include a computer lab, fitness room, resident lounge, community room, accessible roof deck, and children’s playroom.

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‘We are Brownsville’: Mural highlights community champions

BROWNSVILLE, Brooklyn (PIX11) — A massive mural in the middle of a NYCHA development in Brownsville was unveiled this weekend, paying tribute to its community heroes.

The mural, called “We are Brownsville,” can be seen high above a courtyard in the neighborhood. It’s hard to miss, and that’s the point, according to Lisa Kenner, the resident association president of the NYCHA development.

Kenner is one of 17 Brownsville legends honored in the 60 by 20 feet mural created by Brooklyn artist William “GoodWill” Ellis. The mural is on the facade of Van Dyke III — a 12-story, 100% affordable housing apartment building with 180 units within NYCHA’s development. There’s also a new basketball court designed by a local artist, as well, and painted by the residents.

There are 17 massive portraits of Brownsville’s most inspiring role models throughout modern Brownsville history, including civil rights activist Rosetta Gaston, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley, Bernadette Stanis of the classic television show “Good Times,” championship boxer Daniel Jacobs, NFL player Otis Wilson, Lisa Caldwell Linder, the principal of P.S. 184 and even boxing champion Mike Tyson.

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‘We are Brownsville’: Mural highlights community champions

BROWNSVILLE, Brooklyn (PIX11) — A massive mural in the middle of a NYCHA development in Brownsville was unveiled this weekend, paying tribute to its community heroes.

The mural, called “We are Brownsville,” can be seen high above a courtyard in the neighborhood. It’s hard to miss, and that’s the point, according to Lisa Kenner, the resident association president of the NYCHA development.

Kenner is one of 17 Brownsville legends honored in the 60 by 20 feet mural created by Brooklyn artist William “GoodWill” Ellis. The mural is on the facade of Van Dyke III — a 12-story, 100% affordable housing apartment building with 180 units within NYCHA’s development. There’s also a new basketball court designed by a local artist, as well, and painted by the residents.

There are 17 massive portraits of Brownsville’s most inspiring role models throughout modern Brownsville history, including civil rights activist Rosetta Gaston, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley, Bernadette Stanis of the classic television show “Good Times,” championship boxer Daniel Jacobs, NFL player Otis Wilson, Lisa Caldwell Linder, the principal of P.S. 184 and even boxing champion Mike Tyson.

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Adams, Reynoso, Clarke, Walker laud Brownsville mural

Mayor Eric Adams

Mayor Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker

Mayor Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn) on Friday lauded the unveiling of a mural honoring the history of Brownsville at the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Van Dyke III development.

Artist William “GoodWill” Ellis unveiled the 60-foot by 20-foot mural – located at the northeast face of the building – painted 17 of Brownsville’s most inspiring role models throughout modern Brooklyn history, including among others civil rights activist Rosetta Gaston, actor/author Bern Nadette Stanis, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley and boxing champions Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

“As a proud son of Brownsville, I am thrilled that the ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural will showcase the rich history of this vibrant community,” said Adams. “This new mural, and the recreational spaces that will accompany it, underscore our commitment to uplifting NYCHA residents while reminding them there is no limit to what they can achieve.”

“Pouring strategic investments and time into any community will always yield positive results,” said Reynoso. “Seeing a community come together and share in so many activities and celebration of culture and history will always leave a positive impact on our families. Thank you to all of our partners that have made this possible.”

“Our Brownsville family has witnessed many impeccable men and women walk from our streets straight into history throughout our lives. I am so pleased our community has elected to honor these great heroes through the immaculate and immense ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural, courtesy of one of our most esteemed artists, ‘GoodWill’ Ellis,” said Clarke.

“I’m excited for the unveiling of the ‘We Are Brownsville’ mural at Van Dyke III. It is a much needed reminder of the community’s long and storied history. It provides visual inspiration to young people in Brownsville — from the depiction of Mother Gaston to Dwayne “Pearl” Washington to boxing champions to Bern Nadette Stanis, who will forever be Thelma from ‘Good Times’ to me. The images on the mural should send a message to everyone who sees it: Anything is possible. Kudos to the artist, William ‘GoodWill’ Ellis,” said Walker.

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