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.

Monday, September 25, 2017

And There Goes the Spice Factory

One of the lingering big, big questions for the neighborhood (and yes, I include south Crown Heights and Flatbush to, oh, Church in the Q's arbitrary catchment) has been what will become of the great Spice Factory at 960 Franklin and environs.

Well, after years and years of speculation we have an answer, a supposed half billion dollar answer. Lincoln and Continuum - two huge NYC developers - have bought up enough land to build super tall and super big. Think Ebbets Apartments scale. Right on the S train, overlooking the Garden and Park, near the Q/B and best of all near a McDonalds, Sonic, Popeyes, Wendy's, Burger King and more Storage Marts than you can shake your collection of old couches at.

Basically the deep-pocket machers cobbled together a bunch of properties before going in for the kill - the big prize being the Spice Factory itself. They're claiming it'll be 50% affordable, which would be frankly (Frankliny?) amazing. Count on some locals to be pissed that it's not affordable enough, to which the Q says if you keep coming out against everything working folks'll end up getting nothing. And at this point, anything below market is a lifesaver. I suspect the required ULURP process will get ugly, but the City will continue to have bigger priorities than the needs of the NIMBYists. I say...let it rise, and let people have a few new options - hundreds upon hundred of apartments. Let's just hope it's not TOO tall and TOO ugly, and that it takes some of the pressure off rents at Ebbets. Supply and Demand still applies, don't you know.

Shockingly, the Developers are white guys with ties



17 comments:

Alex said...

Anyone able to estimate height based on the planned 1M sqft on a 120,000 sqft piece of land?

Virginia Bechtold said...

Gross. Ugh.

Jacob said...

Back of the napkin calculation is 13 stories at 65% lot coverage. But I think they will probably do less lot coverage and taller, skinnier buildings, to get better views on more stories.
It's supposedly 4 or so buildings, so they could do a variety of heights and sizes, too.

MikeF said...

I doubt the residents will eat much at McDonalds or shop at Western Beef, or send their kid to the elementary school across the street.

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Anonymous said...

@MikeF,

Hey, I'll bite. Semi-wealthy gentrifier chiming in here about McDonalds, Western Beef and local public schools.

I live nearby but my main beef with Western Beef is that the checkout lines there take too long. Like, "dinner could be ready already" long. The supermarket on Franklin & Crown has decent prices and much faster checkout. The one on Nostrand and Sullivan is similarly priced with moderate checkout line waits. And since we don't have a car (hey, I said we're only semi-wealthy), the parking lot at Western Beef does us little good.

As for McDonald's, you're right on target. I ate dozens of double cheeseburgers back in the 90s, but I've never actually been to the McD's on Empire. We're privileged and well-off enough to afford to pay $7-10 for a roti from locally-owned businesses, as opposed to paying $4-7 for a value meal or $3 for a few dollar menu items.

As for the local schools, we are proud District 17 parents. While we didn't check out P.S. 375, there are numerous great options for public elementary schools that you can find with minimal research online.

So I guess your gentrifier stereotyping is semi-accurate. Hope this perspective helps. And I hope Western Beef gets more checkout people, and turns their parking lot into a farmers market.

Anonymous said...

We're privileged and well-off enough to afford to pay $7-10 for a roti from locally-owned businesses...

"Privilege" has nothing to do with it. The only qualifier is your finances.

As for schools, a parent should not conduct social experiments with his child. The best route is the Gifted Program. If your child is accepted, many benefits will follow. Perhaps a lifetime of benefits. The kids in the Gifted Program become the kids who attend Mark Twain Intermediate School in Coney Island. Twain is probably the best middle school in the city.

From there, it's off to one of the Specialized High Schools. The kids who graduate from those schools follow that part of their education with attendance at excellent colleges and universities.

The concept of gentrification is amusing, mainly because of the way it exposes the backwardness of its detractors. News flash: It defines the nation. The America that exists today is here because energetic, forward-looking people upgrade and improve the old and outdated. A never-ending process that moves across the country in waves.

Doodlebird said...

Well said Anon 7:07!

MikeF said...

No one said the intersection of means and preferences was new, or "bad".

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon 7:07. What a load of crap, Mr. Slappz. Simplified to the point of absurdity.

"The America that exists today is here because energetic, forward-looking people upgrade and improve the old and outdated."

The America that exists today is actually built from brutal capitalism that started with back-breaking slave labor, greedy industrialists that exploited children and mangled bodies and international colonialism that has killed, maimed or exploited millions. War, indifference to suffering, alternating negligence or puppeteering across the globe...you're a sick fuck if you call America a simple process of optimistic renewal. Pick up a book for chrisakes and put down the Bannon Reader.

Oh, and yeah, occasionally we get a technological upgrade or an overpriced corner store out of the deal. Otherwise it's the same as it ever was - the rich get richer the poor get shit and the middle class twist themselves into moral pretzels trying to maintain their bit of shangri-la.

That your upbeat analysis comes on the heels of a detailed playbook on how to turn your entitlement into a good education for your own brood out of a segregated school system shows how depraved your analyses are. Slappz, you're smart, but you're a cold-hearted SOB.

I'm no fool and I know that some of us have it historically pretty good. But frankly it ain't THAT good. In fact, it's not that different than what my parents had or theirs (and they were uneducated immigrants). There is nothing inherently "better" happening. But there is economic activity, and that means some are profiting mightily off our self-satisfied neighborhood improvement projects.

If you ignore displacement and think it means nothing that some suffer during a neighborhood, city, state, country or world's "improvement" then sure you could go on feeling pretty smug. But wake up and read a newspaper. Most humans have nothing to cheer about.

I would go a step further...it might be argued that our lives of latte and leisure are truly phenomenal and gratifying. I call bullshit. Far from it...I know very few intelligent and un-lazy people who wouldn't rather be working their asses off for the common good than sitting on those asses watching Game of Thrones. Oh they'll sit on their asses watching Game of Thrones alright, after giving up their data and dignity to Google and Apple, but I promise you they won't sleep well after. This is a truly warped time and place to be living, and I suppose if you're a lazy dick it's pretty good. Thus, the president and his billionaire cabinet. If we accept it we're doomed. But so what, right?

Jesus, after that I need a decent croissant and pour-over.

MikeF said...

I'd settle for a nice, new apartment on Franklin Avenue near Prospect Park.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, those evil capitalists. Everything wrong in the world is on them. Unless, of course, the local communists become desperate enough to beg them for money.

The New York City Housing Authority is planning a new development that would include market-rate housing on the grounds of a lower-income housing development in the rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood of East Williamsburg.

De Blatz, for all his self-righteous pomposity motivating his "Tale of Two Cities" when he ran for mayor and was elected by a disheartened voting public, has looked at the books. He was shocked, shocked to discover that his commie pals were liars. They said, "Sure, there's a free lunch. We just take the lunch money from those greedy capitalists. They'll take the abuse. What are they gonna do about it? Where are they gonna go?"

But something happened. De Blatz had an awakening. Most likely he realized he liked the idea of getting rich and banking a few million of his own. What better way to accomplish that goal than to open doors, pave the way and break down walls for the real estate developers.

Which NY City landlord is the worst? Why, surprise, surprise, it's NY City itself. The management of way too many public housing projects is on the level of the FEMA employees who live in Puerto Rico. The state-side efforts of FEMA have been super-duper stupendous. Emergency supplies stacked to the sky on the docks and shore-side warehouses of PR. But no one around to transport the goods inland. The FEMA people who live in Puerto Rico bungled absolutely everything. Oh, they forgot/didn't bother to order extra diesel fuel to run the generators for the hospitals, etc.

De Blatz has awoken to these kinds of facts. But, he can't sell his soul entirely, or in one fell swoop. So, he's creeping toward capitalism. He now knows the only people who make things happen are the capitalists. But, he can't admit it publicly. It comes out in a whisper. And in these half-steps that link public housing to private development.

Of course the question comes up. How much will free-market people spend to live cheek-by-jowl with people of less means? We shall see.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

no, the capitalists are not to blame for everything. but they fuck shit up enough not to give 'em a pass. My biggest point I'm trying to convey all this talk about how great everything is is an illusion built on a sold version of consumer contentment. If you're happy, fine. But there's a great malaise in western civ that's traceable to our violent and greedy history. Never satisfied, never blameless. And that's among those who are doing WELL. The other 95% of the world haven't time for such philosophic fancies.

Anonymous said...

The America that exists today is actually built from brutal capitalism that started with back-breaking slave labor, greedy industrialists that exploited children and mangled bodies and international colonialism that has killed, maimed or exploited millions. War, indifference to suffering, alternating negligence or puppeteering across the globe...

Really? Perhaps you should review just the 20th Century. The century Henry Luce called the American Century.

To recap the major developments -- Nazis attempting to take over the world. National Socialism is just another form of socialism. The German government gave everyone their marching orders. The gov decided to create a Monopsony. Maybe you should look it up? In short, the means of production are superficially owned by the private sector, but the government is the sole buyer of everything.

Hitler gave us a world war and the extermination of six million Jews and anyone else deemed to be a detriment to the aryan society. But, jeez, only six million. That's nothing compared with Stalin. Best estimates put the death toll of Soviet communism at 30 million. And, of course, both Hitler and Stalin discovered some things along the way. Such as, the only way their systems would generate results was through slavery.

But those guys had nothing on Mao. Best estimates on the human toll for the Great Leap Forward? About 100 million Chinese. 100,000,000 people sacrificed for communism.

Where did it lead? To the current Chinese leadership that is fully committed to capitalism -- because it's working. Yeah, there's a communistic, centrally-planned element to China. But they're making it work by paying people to make stuff everyone else in the world is willing to buy. They don't do that in Cuba or North Korea. They just get by with nothing. Or, in the case of North Korea, a lot of people do starve to death. Something tells me there are as many living skeletons in North Korea today as there were in the Nazi concentration camps in 1945.

The road to global prosperity is a long one. But in the last century capitalists have moved the world closer to widespread prosperity than all preceding human efforts. It's not even close. Even Africa, today, is off the horrifying bottom rung of abject poverty that has defined most of the continent since the horrible white man first landed.

...you're a sick fuck if you call America a simple process of optimistic renewal. Pick up a book for chrisakes and put down the Bannon Reader.

Here's a challenge for you. Name a country that has achieved, or gotten close to achieving, the societal goals you value most? I'm betting it exists only in your mind. But, maybe you'll surprise me.

And, along similar lines, name a country that offers a better life for the various groups of people in America you believe are abused by life here?

When I see that 75% of the kids who attend Stuyvesant High School are Asian, I cheer. Same for Brooklyn Tech, where the percentage of Asians is almost as high. Why? Because they and their families -- often recent arrivals -- understand opportunity when it blazes like the sun. Amazingly, they're not ranting about white privilege. Maybe you should visit Flushing and see how aggressively the people there seize the day. It should make your heart swell. But, nah. Evil capitalists.

Anonymous said...

Another point for you to factor into your anti-American, anti-capitalist ideology. In the world today there is still a lot of slavery. Perhaps one day you'll visit an Islamic nation. The women are slaves. It's visible everywhere. And just to make sure the girls know where they stand, over 90% of Egyptian woman and 98% of Somalian woman are subjected to female genital mutilation. To be specific, the clitoris is removed.

And, there is the fact that Islamic nations produce exactly nothing for the rest of the world except oil. But even the oil industry is managed by non-Muslims. And, nothing is invented in Islamic nations. Because Islam kills creative thought.

But yeah. America bad.

de240bb4-af80-11e3-ad75-000bcdcb8a73 said...

re:" Let's just hope it's not TOO tall and TOO ugly, and that it takes some of the pressure off rents at Ebbets."

Not as long as preferential leases are around...

It'd be in the interest of the residents of Ebbets Field and Tivoli Tower to keep an eye on this.

de240bb4-af80-11e3-ad75-000bcdcb8a73 said...

re:"I doubt the residents will eat much at McDonalds or shop at Western Beef, or send their kid to the elementary school across the street."

I don't much eat at McDonald's, and I live a block away. :)

MikeF, you're presuming that those who will be living there 1. will have children at some point while living there and 2. even if they do have children, will stay in the area long enough that they'd have to consider whether to send their children to a District 17 school or to send them elsewhere. (shrug)

You're also presuming that Western Beef will be there in the next 5 years. :)