My phone died so I'm relying on pictures from those other stories. And frankly, I don't have much to add. People came and said their piece. I said my piece. Eric Adams, Kevin Parker and our good councilman all said their pieces, and kept it short and sweet. And Diana Reyna, the deputy borough president spoke too long, but that was cool. She's definitely the right person for the job, if my first and second impressions are correct.
Here's the Prospect Park East Network's website, if you want to learn more about their organization and next steps.
Okay. I guess I do have something to add.
It's not just about the tower, folks. Never was just about the tower. Yes, I think it's ridiculous to build that tall right next to Prospect Park. For sentimental lovers of the Park, like the Q, this will always be a building I'll look at from some of my favorite spots and say wow, if I'd been more involved, if we'd all been more involved, if we'd had leadership around here, I wouldn't have to be looking at that thing right now. We let ourselves down on this one. (Oh, and I'm really sick of the argument that we must build up in this, the most dense neighborhood in all of Brooklyn. That and "building more units will bring down rents." What borough you been living in where that's been happening? We keep building and they keep on coming, and ain't nobody's rent doing anything but skyrocketing. Maybe property tax reform could help, a bit...but c'mon, ain't nothing stopping the rocket right now.)
But if you still think it's just about a tall building, you're not firing on all cylinders. The tower is a symbol, a stand-in for all that's happening all around us. We've decided (and I emphasize we, I'm not calling anyone out in particular) that we're into growth for growth's sake and we think it's good to grow up, even if it's butt ugly, and we've decided that in order to get affordable housing built we must give huge tax incentives to developers so that they'll build 20% of their units that are sort-of affordable. Our borough president says that building affordable housing is his number one priority. Our Mayor says he's going to build 200,000 units, come hook or crook. And we all know that "affordable housing" is an issue, so that's a laudable goal, right? One that should trump all other concerns, right?
But let me ask you one question, and then I'll call it a night. If you build the bulk of these 200,000 units of affordable housing using this same 80/20 model...doesn't that mean you're building 800,000 units of unaffordable housing? On top of the hundreds of thousands of units of unaffordable housing happening WITHOUT the 80/20 plan? Doesn't that add up to millions of new people? What EXACTLY are we saying here? And how much growth is acceptable? And how dense is dense enough? At some point maybe we should call it a day and cede the next growth spurt to Hartford...
For those of us who are counting on NYC to not only thrive but to be culturally and ethnically and racially and creatively diverse...what EXACTLY are we saying? Let's cut through the bull for a minute. If you're not building apartments that are 50/50, you're waging a losing battle that you'll never win because you loaded the dice against yourself. And the actual poor, as opposed to the lower middle class? Why not do what some social workers do, and just send 'em Upstate? We have no need for them anyway. Let it be some other city's problem.
What EXACTLY are we up to? Who the hell are we? Do we even know? Or are we just throwing more shit against the wall and hoping it sticks?
We used to develop policy to help the poor. Now we build luxury towers, hold a lottery, hold our noses, and hope for the best.
|credit: Kizzy from Curbed
|credit: cate, from Brownstoner
|credit: cate, from brownstoner