Spring Creek Gardens is located on seven acres near Kennedy Airport and was financed in part by a city program that sells tax abatements for luxury housing in Manhattan to build affordable housing. Since the site is isolated, it was important to create small neighborhoods by grouping buildings around secure courtyards. Five-story buildings are on interior streets; those facing the courtyards, which are built over on-grade parking, residential units, commercial, and community spaces, have four stories. Residents value the secure entries and the safety of the courtyards, which are used by the children for recreation and are overlooked by about 200 families each.
The attached buildings house only eight families each, which helps people to get to know their neighbors. The two units on each floor share a covered outdoor stair, a cost-saving and security measure that eliminates the need for interior corridors, elevators, and fire stairs. The architects reduced costs by saving time: "SCG was designed for panelized construction (exterior wall and floor panels of light-weight steel with exterior cladding and windows in place). Wall sections were assembled off-site and trucked to the site; plumbing and mechanical systems were installed on-site. The superstructure was erected in three months." The architects noted, "High density does not have to be dehumanizing. Spring Creek is perceived as lower density than its 6-12-story neighbors, yet, due to the distribution and intended use of open space, it is almost twice as dense."