Seems that it may be time for an update on the various voices bellowing loudly for recognition in the rezoning process. Today I see in Brownstoner that MTOPP, a/k/a Alicia Boyd, has tried to create a stir around the (not even yet-proposed) rezoning of Empire Boulevard. Remembering, as the Q has pointed out previously, that we are only now getting to the point of discussing the geographical area of a rezoning study with City Planning, it seems to me very unproductive to create the impression that the neighborhood is united against rezoning and developing Empire Blvd. Quite the opposite. Unlike 626 Flatbush which has had detractors and proponents since the beginning, I've heard relatively few voices express an interest in keeping Empire Blvd the Fast Food and Storage Facility corridor that it is now. I'd also say that I personally find it disruptive to create the impression that more has taken place than it has. At this point, various players have weighed in on what they'd like to see from Empire. But these are all expressions of desire, hardly the stuff of reality at this point. 626 had its permits and its financing when some in the community began to protest. In my opinion, you can't protest something that isn't happening.
Certainly there is much to be discussed about whether and what the appropriate vision should be for Empire Blvd. I've long felt that it is EXACTLY the appropriate space to consider affordable housing options, even a middle-class focus. Hell, much better than East New York in my opinion, though one could imagine a growth along that corridor for lower and middle class housing that extends eastward to Brownsville and ENY. Empire is an excellent, underused location, and responsible development would be welcome. MTOPP is, of course, entitled to its opinion and tactics. But the fact is that 11226 is much more dense than Lefferts Gardens, which MTOPP has misidentified as the most dense neighborhood in Brooklyn. MTOPP, or more precisely Ms. Boyd, continues to go its own way, misstate facts, and sometimes misses opportunities to build useful coalitions. And on this latest mission, I've noted that Alicia has explicitly expressed the primary reason for the MTOPP position on Empire Blvd. She and her Sterling Street Block Association are but one block away, making any development a concern for its direct effects. Ask anyone on Chester Court...no one enjoys massive construction happening just outside one's window.
On that count, at least, we can all agree.
The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.