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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Big Residential Building To Replace Caton Market

Rachel from DNAInfo has the story on the big new building for the corner of Flatbush/Caton. Given all the talk about development in the neighborhood, this should be of great interest to a lot of folks:

Looks to be about 11 stories, yes, higher than some of its neighbors, but no higher than some other mid-century buildings nearby. To my mind, this is a terrific example of how you can build affordable units within a reasonable height. I know some will complain, but this ain't 23 stories on the park, and the apartments are very much needed during this housing crisis. I think it's completely reasonable to expect that, if Empire Blvd were to be rezoned, this is the kind of building we could expect, even demand. If this is more than you could handle on Empire, then you certainly know where to find your allies.

Here's what the article says in short about the affordable component, remembering that means-tested housing is needed for a wide range of incomes:

Of the mixed-use building’s 166 units of affordable housing, 20 percent will be set aside for low-income residents, 30 percent for moderate-income and 50 percent for “middle-income,” the city said, with precise income requirements to be determined based on the “AMI” or area median income of the neighborhood.

The claim at this point is that vendors will continue to occupy the ground floor. And while that's a noble goal, something tells me that plan will get scrapped along the way.

Here's the Market currently and its rendering for the future:


MikeF said...

The untold story here seems to be that this housing able to be 100% below market (ie affordable) is because the city owned the land.

Newsflash: Actual affordable housing is more possible to build when the land is free...

However, rarely does the city own the land.

Anonymous said...

The discussion on the Lefferts list, wow. There was somebody actually saying the city should never replace any building with another one ever! That's where I bailed and starting ignoring the thread. No political figure except fringey, hyper pandering ones with no power will ever listen to that perspective. It is too bad that if there are things to scrutinize about these developments, that the people in our neighborhood anyway who shove their way into the positions of speaking for everyone are going to be written off as crazy. And thus ineffective. All politics national and local are stuck in that quagmire. On a lighter note, I like the blue façade. A colorful façade to replace what is a colorful building there.

Alex said...

People forget the macro picture. Ever since the 1970s fiscal crisis, every mayor has been charged with increasing the city's tax base. Gentrifying neighborhoods is necessary to achieve that. They need more people paying city income tax and using fewer of the city's most expensive services, like Medicaid - New York is one of the only states that requires that counties contribute to Medicaid spending. There are maneuvers that enable the city to make $$ from Medicaid but a reliable tax base is more... Reliable. Mr. Tale of Two New Yorks knows the score as much as Bloomberg, Giuliani - all of them.

Expect token efforts to keep somewhat lower rung taxpayers in the city, but not much beyond that.

Lefferts is going to change dramatically in the next few years, not just because of construction. The nail and hair salons will continue to close, creating vacancies. Beyond changes that new businesses bring, the sometimes ignored aspect of the salons is that they are destinations, drawing customers from all over the place. I can't say exactly how things will look in another couple years, but it's fair to say that the composition of the consumer presence on Flatbush is going to look immensely different. This combined with new construction - forget it, Lefferts will appear way more gentrified-looking sooner than you can say "residential on Empire."

Anonymous said...

My other smack-my-head moment in every one of these debates, the argument the housing must be for the very poor and that there's something really terrible about efforts to keep NYC middle class (yes they earn more than Ohio middle class, that doesn't mean anything here) from leaving like they're doing in droves. That argument comes from the exact same people who want better local public schools. The wealthier people in PLG are fine with schools, they can afford $40,000 per kid for Berkeley Carroll or Poly Prep. Park Slope public schools have been able to improve so much and raise so much money via their very active and involved PTA's because of their huge number of middle class apartments and condos. We don't have that. I have heard from two different dept of ed neighbors that District 17 is one of the worst in the city. We need a bigger middle class who enroll locally and get loud and obnoxious. Yes, even act entitled. We all ARE entitled to better than what we're getting. If any developers are reading this, you better get your cronies with the city on the task of improving District 17 too if you want to keep building condos and larger apartments that families actually choose over moving to Maplewhatever NJ.