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, November 23, 2016

Big New Buildings Coming - Some Affordable Housing Included

The other night at the CB9 ULURP meeting, it became clear that it is very difficult for some folks to grasp how little control they actually have over their own neighborhood. The reason the Q was so adamant about accepting City Planning's accepting of our offer to rezone WITH OUR INPUT AND GUIDANCE is because there actually ISN'T another way. Either they initiate, we initiate, or developers initiate. There's no fourth option that has been shown to work consistently. That's why it's rarely done. You can do your own "study," but it's rarely more effective than merely sitting down with Planning in the first place. Not that it isn't good to create your own plan. But you won't get everything you want either way. Enter Fenimore Street Block Association.

Your neighbors on Fenimore, whose proposal was to downzone the south side of the street Bedford to Rogers took the 3rd option - they acted like developers, designing their own application. Because of existing deed restrictions, they might actually have a shot, because legally it already IS downzoned, just not in the regulations. But if someone wanted to build higher, the neighbors would have to sue to invoke the deed restrictions, and that could be expensive. So why not nip any problems in the bud?

The rest of us in overzoned areas - the vast majority of Lefferts for instance - have no such option. We can try to Landmark, and many are trying. We'll see where that goes. In the meantime, check out these huge new developments planned for just north of (gasp) Empire Boulevard.

Here's what the developer has in mind, from The Real Deal, courtesy of eagle eyed Mike F.

Shifra Hager is looking to rezone properties near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Crown Heights to pave the way for two buildings with more than 500 residential units under the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. Hager, head of Cornell Realty Management, filed an application with the Department of City Planning that would allow him to build a pair of buildings larger and taller than the current zoning allows. His company’s site at 40 Crown Street, which property records show Hager bought in 2014 for $14.5 million, allows for a seven-story, 70-foot-tall residential building as-of-right. Hager is proposing to rezone the property so that he could build a 16-story, 157-foot-tall mixed-building with about 15,000 square feet of retail.
Look for other developers to follow suit, on Empire no less. Will CB9 have input? Of course. Will it matter, particularly after the way it's been treated by MTOPP? Probably not much.


Unknown said...

Thanks Tim! CB9 narrowly voted to co-sign the Fenimore Street Block Association application to down zone! We were all very happy, because for some reason this motherhood-and-apple-pie-issue was a down to the wire squeaker for this group! Thank you for your support.

MikeF said...

Those are just 2 of the Big 18 Developments in western Crown Heights.