The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

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.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Parkside Plaza Needs Your Buy-In

I know, I know. Always asking for money. But this one is for the OTHER plaza, at my beloved Q at Parkside. After raising money from Mathieu Eugene's office and getting the go ahead from the DOT plaza program, we're now ready to move forward with the completed plaza. Rudy Delson and team have created a great video to highlight what's going on. They need just $5,000 in start-up cash for maintenance. All the deets are below.


You need visuals? Look no further:


Here is some excellent news.  New York City has come through for us.  In the spring of 2015, the Department of Transportation will be building us a plaza at Parkside.  (And, this winter, they're going to be replanting the trees that never came to life last spring.)  One year from now, our neighborhood will have a whole new face ... and benches, planters, shade, greenery, the real deal! 

But here is the bargain the city has struck:  They'll build the plaza, if we pitch in to maintain it.  This means that we're all going to need to chip in a few bucks once a year or so to pay for maintenance and plantings and the like.  Our Councilmember, Mathieu Eugene did his part:  He kicked in a cool few thousand for the plaza this year.  So now we all need to do our part.  Can you spare $20?  Or $40?  You can contribute right now, online, right here:

   https://ioby.org/project/parkside-plaza

Please help!  And if you'd like the learn more, the Parkside Committee is having its next meeting on October 19 at 5pm.  Place TBD in this very blog!  They're very friendly folks, and they need all the help they can get.

24 comments:

Rudolph said...

Parkside will look so great a year from now. Please everyone, chip in what you can! $20? $40? $10?

Rudolph said...

And, also, thank you!

lizzybalboa said...

This is so wonderful. I have lived in the neighborhood for 3 years and in just this short amount of time, I have seen it change a lot, in many positive ways. And now, it is wonderful to see the people who have been caring for this neighborhood and this plaza in this inspiring way. Parkside is going to be amazing, I believe in that. I will definitely be chipping in and would like to help too. I appreciate this so much.

MaggieDoo said...

Since you're on a roll...that triangle of land at Flatbush, Lincoln and Washington currently occupied by a gas station needs to be bought by the neighborhood and turned into a greenspace!! Start of a new campaign??

Alex Castle said...

I'm with you maggiedoo, I hate that gas station, not least because it's run by total assholes. literally anything would be better there, including a triangular building.

disco princess said...

Hey, sometimes you gotta get gas. The gas stations on Empire between Flatbush and Bedford are now gone, and the one at Rogers and Empire seems to be closed for construction.

That piece of land is supposedly on the market. If the community thinks it can raise enough funds to buy it, let's see that! :)

babs said...

I think the BP station on the SW corner of Rogers is coming back (at least judging by the signs on the fence around that lot), but not having a car (or even a drivers license) I have to say I really don't care.

NYC Parent said...

"...that triangle of land at Flatbush, Lincoln and Washington currently occupied by a gas station needs to be bought by the neighborhood and turned into a greenspace!!...."

It "needs" to be does it?
I happen to find that a very convenient station, especially coming back late at night from the Grand Army side, where there aren't any stations except stopping way out of your way in Park Slope.

There is a large "green space" a block away called Prospect Park.
And, as gas stations go, I don't mind the esthetics of the BP station, which is pretty new and kept up in terms of signage.

MaggieDoo said...

Imagine whiling a sunny afternoon away sipping wine at one of the many sidewalk cafes surrounding our central piazza! Seriously, that spot is a natural focal point for our community and a green space would transform that part of Flatbush and benefit the adjacent businesses. There are plenty of gas stations around and I have no problem with a gas station in PLG, but do you really think that's the best use of that space?

no_slappz said...

The best use for any property is mostly in the hands of its owner. Maybe babs has access to PropertyShark.com and can let us know the name of the owner and the price the owner paid for the triangle. I'd guess BP is merely a tenant. With some information about the property's history, those wishing to buy it would know the minimum it would take to start a negotiation.

MaggieDoo said...

I did property shark but I don't really know how to interpret it. Looks like ther was a deed transfer in 2009 for 493k. Maybe someone who has more knowledge about real estate could take a look.

NYC Parent said...

My main reaction is to the word "need"
I agree with the one poster that the starting point for any "best use" is what the actual owner (or tenant) has decided to do with their own property, into which they have put their $ and effort.

And I would repeate the word "property" which is a concept that seems to make many uncomfortable today, in the sense that it is something a person can own, and do with as they see fit (so long as lawfully, not dangerously, etc)

You can "want" someone else's property to be something else
You can buy it from them (or take over their lease, which is also a form of property) if you're willing to pay for it, and they want to sell.

But that someone else's store "needs" to be something else?
That implies that the hand of government, or something coercive can and should be done to force such a change.
You can characterize my position as "laissez faire" or "right winger" etc but I think that there is a very important starting point, and presumption that remains valid, that someone's property is indeed something that the owner decides how to use (again, so long as lawfully and not dangerously, etc).
Its when you start eroding the whole notion of property, and people who start businesses can't count on the rules being changed somewhere later on because someone else decide they "need" to do something else, you start running out of toilet paper.

MaggieDoo said...

Oops, sounds like you've gotten yourself a little bogged down in semantics! I'd love to see what the interest level of the community would be to take on a big project like this. Q or anyone else, thoughts on how to float this idea to the community?

Alex Castle said...

I don't think anyone is advocating government intervention/takeover/seizure of the BP. I personally have not patronized that station for years, even though I live a block and a half from it, because A) those dudes are assholes and I don't want to give them my money and B) the gas station is an eyesore that I would love to see turned into something/anything else. A green space is probably pie in the sky, because capitalism, but a lowrise apartment building with retail at street level would be a huge improvement. That space is like the atrium of the neighborhood and a gas station is a blight upon it, in my opinion. But I can't buy it, so I'm just rooting from the sidelines.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

So the owner of the lot on which the BP leases has put their $$ and effort into it, NYC Parent? Would seem like the BP franchisee did most of the heavy lifting. Looks like easy money to me.

More to the point, you CAN'T do whatever you want with property, especially not in this City. Landmarking? Zoning? Construction permits? Certificates of Occupancy? Fire regulations? It's all essential, and I would argue a lot of those laws are what make the City desirable in the first place.

You can't build whatever you want, and no the owner doesn't necessarily have any clue what they're doing. But yes, that's their call. As of right exists because we MADE it so.

Now, when it comes to building apartments...that's probably where we really differ. Because of that desirability, and the fact that we don't have a lot of cheap land for trailer parks, we have to try to be a diverse City without the benefit of cheapness. And if you don't like the regs we put in place? There's a whole country out there for you to screw up if you like.

no_slappz said...

It goes without saying that you can't build just anything on an oddball wedge of property in the middle of Flatbush Ave. But there are obviously plenty of options.

Inasmuch as the BP gas station is a retail business, one that demands extra safety precautions due to the nature of its primary product, it's more than likely a lot of other retail businesses would receive approval to occupy the same site. A cell-phone store, a drive-up fast-food operation, a bank branch.

Maybe it's even possible to construct a residential building? There's a triangular lot in Manhattan at the northwest corner Lafayette and Spring St, and it's smaller than the BP site. It's occupied by a low-rise apartment building with six apartments -- none are rent-stabilized. On the ground floor there's a news-store/convenience store and there was a cramped Dominican restaurant, mainly take-out, but there were two or three counter seats.

On the roof there are cell-phone repeaters and a billboard. As you might imagine, the site generates a lot of cash. Therefore, it's clear the irregular shape isn't much of an impediment to the owners. With that in mind, the triangular lot on Flatbush is highly to trade for heckuva lot more today than the $493,000 it brought in 2009.

disco princess said...

MaggieDoo, there aren't plenty of gas stations in the immediate vicinity anymore. As I stated before, I think the next closest station is the BP at Empire and Rogers, and right now it is closed for renovation.

When I use a ZipCar from a nearby garage on Flatbush, I will fill up there before returning the vehicle.

disco princess said...

Re: Maybe it's even possible to construct a residential building? There's a triangular lot in Manhattan at the northwest corner Lafayette and Spring St, and it's smaller than the BP site.

Slappz, there's a much closer example than that: the land triangle at 965 Washington Avenue by the shuttle tracks. See the discussion here: http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/44198/965-washington-avenues-land-triangle/p1

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I love these hypothetical conversations!

And yet, the BP is undoubtedly very profitable, and yes, we do need at least a few gas stations here and there. This one is unlikely to change.

We did however start the move towards considering the lower bit of the triangle as a better express stop for the B41. Currently, everyone jaywalks up at the Phat Albert to get to the train (I'll admit to doing it too. Must save a whole minute! Especially if you do it running and weaving in and out of traffic! Yeeeeeehawwwww!) Putting the express down there would be much safer, and actually closer to many more people. I've walked it, and it's even about the same distance from the Ebbets Apartments and Washington Ave, if you walk down Wash, as well as, obviously, folks living on Lefferts on down...

Also, the monthly parking operation they're running there has got to be illegal, right? I think there's serious regs about parking operations. They could give up a few square feet for a bus shelter.

diak said...

Mr CF, Thanks for bringing this conversation back down to the home planet. This post began as an appeal for a 20 buck donation to spruce up the plaza and quickly escalated to an idea to raise millions to turn "the community" into a developer. I had to double-check this wasn't one of your April 1 posts dropped into October.

Your idea re moving the bus stop is spot on in so many ways. Which sadly makes it probably DOA with the DOT and the MTA. I think they have regulations that require a certain number of fatalities before they will take up anything as radical as relocating a bus stop.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

They actually said it was something they could look into. The problem is having someone at the Community Board who makes it their business to stay on it. That person was the wonderful Ed Fanning - the BP didn't reappoint him, in the infinite weirdness that is the current situation of politics in Brooklyn.

I wrote a note to Eric Adams saying how bummed I was he got the boot. I think they just weren't aware how great he is, especially in the rush to replace Jake Goldstein with Dwayne Nicholson.

disco princess said...

Re: We did however start the move towards considering the lower bit of the triangle as a better express stop for the B41. Currently, everyone jaywalks up at the Phat Albert to get to the train (I'll admit to doing it too. Must save a whole minute! Especially if you do it running and weaving in and out of traffic! Yeeeeeehawwwww!)

The jaywalking patterns are well-established. I think we should adopt a "if you can't beat them, join them stance" and put in a light a crosswalk there (like there is a light and a crosswalk in the middle of the block on 23rd Street by Home Depot).

By the way, until last winter, the MTA was quite derelict about shoveling the sidewalk on Flatbush all the way up the corner of Ocean and Flatbush. Only the portion a few feet away from the subway entrance on Flatbush would get shoveled. I'd rather cross there to walk on shoveled sidewalk (or for that matter walk in the street that's been plowed) on a sidewalk that's covered with a sheet of ice.

no_slappz said...

Slappz, there's a much closer example than that: the land triangle at 965 Washington Avenue by the shuttle tracks. See the discussion here: http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/44198/965-washington-avenues-land-triangle/p1

I mentioned the Manhattan site because my former connection to it. However, the Washington Ave wedge shows the same determination to make use of every available square foot of space, even if living in it means you have to become shaped like a slice of pizza.

no_slappz said...

995 Washington Ave -- $2.4 million

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/995-Washington-Ave-Brooklyn-NY-11225/2139979756_zpid/