WSJ Reports on Upcoming Commercial St Vote (12/19)

© Wall St Journal

If you’ve been reading Greenpointers lately, you’re probably either enraged or sick of hearing about waterfront re-building projects. But, the good news is that a larger media channel has picked up the story and created this handy graphic map, that shows exactly where the future developments will be built. Thanks Wall Street Journal, for showing Greenpoint some love.

Last week we reported on the final approval vote for Greenpoint Landing. Stay tuned because this Thursday (12/19) is the final City Council vote on development at 77 & 65 Commercial St. The vote will determine if the residential buildings are allowed to be 15-stories or 30-40 stories high.

The 2005 re-zoning made it legal to build up to 15 stories at this location, but the developers are vying to secure the air-rights to instead construct two taller buildings at 77 Commercial Street and provide a park next door at 65 Commercial. Although the park will be open to the public, it will also increase the market value of the apartments.

77 Commercial Street Rendering, Courttesy of NYC.gov

If allowed to build higher, Cherit would be expected to provide 200 units of affordable housing as well as funding for the park. As you can see in the rendering, there are some shorter buildings that rest at the base of the tower’s shaft (afternoon innuendo, anyone?).

At the City Hall hearing two weeks ago, the Cherit group explained that the shorter buildings will contain the affordable housing units, while the tower apartments will be rented at market rates.  To clarify, the affordable units will not be integrated into the towers because that would cost more/loose valuable rent income for the developers. To clarify further, the affordable housing will technically be located in the balls of the building.

Combined with Greenpoint Landing, this new project will increase the Greenpoint population by upwards of 10,000 residents, impacting the already over-crowded and let’s face it, less than functional G Train. Residents are also concerned that the commodification of the waterfront will diminish the independent character of the neighborhood.

As the WSJ points out, “the vote by Mr. Levin, who represents the area on the council, will likely be followed by his colleagues.” We’re betting that Stephen Levin will approve the proposal, with some amendments, just like he did with Greenpoint Landing.

The newspaper also reports that the Bloomberg administration is particularly interested in the deal “because it would help deliver on promises to create affordable housing and parkland along the East River, pledges that made the 2005 rezoning easier to swallow.” (apparently, Bloomberg likes innuendo too).

3 Comments

  1. Arno says:

    Regarding the affordable units, the rule is that affordable units are to be evenly distributed throughout a project. In this case they would have to be located in both the base and the tower. What was the reaction at the city hall hearing to the news of the units only within the base?

    Reply
  2. j says:

    the community concerns that the existing infrastructure in greenpoint cannot support this type of growth seems to go unaddressed. what commitments have our leaders made to shoring up neighborhood before we get another 10,000 residents? the G(host) train, iffy bus lines, the displacement of long-time small businesses in the neighborhood… where are the state/city commitments to address these needs? if we can’t support the current community, how are we going to deal with more growth?

    even the damn green space increases the value of the market rate units?
    will the affordable housing tenants get to enjoy some of the amenities of the luxury units, or is this another case of ‘equal but separate’ development?

    not surprised that the current administration is trying to wrap up another pro-developer project before leaving office.

    Reply
  3. Kevin Elvir says:

    As long as they DON’T take away our community park.

    Reply

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