Greenpoint has a new and HUGE art gallery – Succulent Studios, occupying a 3,000 square foot space on the coveted 5th floor of 67 West St – a landmarked former rope factory on the waterfront. A freight elevator up from our third floor HQ, past Greenpoint Loft and around the bend, I opened the door into a construction zone – a vast, high ceilinged and sun drenched construction zone with a view of the East River, lower Manhattan and a granite store yard below – the kind of space many of us would dream to work or live in.
A week or so ago we published an article titled The Conspiracy Against The People Opposed To Greenpoint Landing, after the painful and last public meeting about the high rise towers inevitably to rise on Greenpoint’s waterfront.
That evening while sipping on a beer at Brouwerij Lane, a call with a NJ area code appeared on my phone. It was Stephen Levin and he was pretty insulted by our decision to run that post. I stood outside in the cold while he explained to me (in many words) what I have invited him to share with you.
Yes we have been extremely critical of him and will continue to be as long as he makes decisions that we feel are not in the best interest of Greenpoint. I did offer him the opportunity to explain himself here. After, I invite readers to reply in the comment section. (Keep it classy.)
A letter from your Council Member Stephen Levin: Continue reading
Ok, here we are. This is your last shot. I’m not playin’. Either are the developers who will soon turn Greenpoint into a Disneyfied vision of Brooklyn. The last of the public meetings will take place Thursday, December 5th, 2013 and this is your last chance to do something.
250 Broadway Committee Room 16th Floor CITY HALL
Time for Commercial Street meeting: 9:30 am
Time for Greenpoint Landing meeting: 1:00 pm
If you can’t make it – here is a sample letter – to send to council members.
Anyone familiar with the politics of New York knows most of these politicians are flags flapping in the wind. Where the wind blows is the direction they point in. If you all become the wind and let them know how you feel, you may be able to get the city council to vote against this project.
Become a collective hurricane! Go to the meetings. Voice your opinions, and let it be known that you are not feeling this.
See more of Max Dworkin’s photos at www.Pictured.tumblr.com.
Tomorrow is the 2nd to last public hearing on Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial St. The City Planning Commission will cast a vote on the project.
Residents will be able to sign up to speak for 3 minutes each to voice opinions and concerns.
The developer has approval to build 300 market-rate apartments in a 15-story tower at 77 Commercial Street, but still needs approval for necessary zoning modifications in order to build an additional 500 units.
Greenpoint Landing would add 700 units as well as a new public school to the waterfront. The towers are currently above the height allowed by current zoning laws.
Controversy has arisen with regards to the affordable housing units in the building, de-funding of the park project, as well as additional population increases in the neighborhood, and the strain that increase will cause on public transit.
The local organization, Save Greenpoint, is fighting agains the towers, arguing that the development of Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial St will unearth harmful toxic chemicals into the local environment. They warn that residents will be exposed to harmful VOC’s from excavation for 3 years, impacting even indoor air quality.
They are still collecting signatures on this petition, to urge Governor Cuomo and the state to order a comprehensive Environmental Assessment of the redeveloped area before construction begins.
Where: Spector Hall, 22 Reade St
When: 10/9 at 10am
Note: From Kim Mason of Save Greenpoint: “If people cannot attend the meeting, they should write letters to Amanda Burden, the Director of City Planning. Her email is aburden [at] planning [dot] nyc [dot] gov.
The Daily News is reporting that the MTA has finally agreed to move their vehicles from a parking lot at 65 Commercial Street to City-owned land in the Westchester Village section of the Bronx. As part of the 2005 Greenpoint Waterfront re-zoning, the MTA agreed in principle to move the vehicles so the City could convert the parking lot to a park, but it has taken 8 years to find a suitable replacement lot.
Save Greenpoint, a local activist group made up of Greenpoint residents, who according to their website “expect the revitalization of our waterfront to be responsibly site-specific in scale and scope,” are hosting a Rally for Greenpoint tonight, September 4, 2013 from 6-7pm at Barge Park Playground (Commercial St & Dupont St) in order to “FIGHT THE TOWERS!”
According to their Facebook invitation, “40 story towers threaten the future of Greenpoint. The community has been shut out of the process. This is your chance to be heard.”
See you tonight, Greenpoint!
Tonight – August 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM there will be a Public Hearing on the 77 Commercial Street Project and an Informational Presentation on Newtown Barge and Box Street Parks at Automotive High School (50 Bedford Ave).
Like Greenpoint Landing, 77 Commercial St has also begun its ULURP process. (WTF is ULURP?) Approval of the proposal will mean 30-40 story towers in exchange for a park and affordable housing.
Aside from the impact on the character of the neighborhood as well as issues with infrastructure and transportation, the environmental issues at this site and the risk to public health are of great concern.
According to the convoluted and endless Environmental Assessment Statement issued on 8/1/13, the 77 Commercial St site is “currently or was historically a manufacturing area that involved hazardous materials” … “a site where there is reason to suspect the presence of hazardous materials, contamination, illegal dumping or fill or fill material of unknown origin.” When is the open house?!
Based on the findings in this statement, a detailed analysis of air quality, noise and hazardous material in respect to public health needs to be conducted. If you can get a word in edgewise this evening, it’s very important that questions with respect to these vital issues are addressed.
Wednesday night’s CB1 public hearing at the Automotive High School focused on a small part of a very large development called Greenpoint Landing that is poised to start construction on Greenpoint’s northern waterfront.
Greenpoint Landing is a 10 tower, 22-acre development consisting of 3,811 market-rate apartments, 951 affordable apartments and 143,000 square feet of open space – all of which can be legally built under the 2005 re-zoning. The project as a whole was not up for review at the hearing, but the overall size and impact of the project continued to be the community’s focus. Continue reading
With the summer months ahead and significant increase in pedestrian traffic to and from the East River Ferry and Transmitter Park, many Greenpointers are complaining that the Greenpoint Waterfront is filthy. They want the city to put more garbage cans in pedestrian areas and clean up more thoroughly and more often. The Change.org campaign reads:
The streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn are disgusting, smeared with dog feces and full of garbage. THERE ARE NO GARBAGE CANS in the area. There does not seem to be regular street cleaning despite the street cleaning signs that indicate street cleaning times.
With the growth of the residential developments, businesses moving in (Kickstarter), the East River Ferry nearby and the opening of Transmitter Park, the neighborhood has experienced a significant increase in pedestrian traffic.
Over the past year, residents in our neighborhood have submitted multiple online requests for garbage cans via the Department of Sanitation’s website to no avail. Despite numerous requests by residents, the Department of Sanitation has simply ignored these requests and nothing has been done to rectify the situation.
All individuals signing below are petitioning the NYC Department of Sanitation to provide public garbage cans at all intersections of West Street between Greenpoint Ave and India Street as well as Franklin Street intersections between Greenpoint Ave and India Street. Additionally, the NYC Department of Sanitation should regularly dispose of the garbage in the public garbage cans and provide regular street cleaning to all named streets and surrounding areas.