stephen levin

Vote to give $$ to Greenpoint! (3/29-4/6)

Mock-up for BOOKlyn mobile library, courtesy of St. Nick's Alliance

Just the name “Participatory Budgeting” might want to make you hit the snooze button, but it’s actually a unique opportunity to vote on a project that YOU want to see funded in our community. NYC has reserved $14 million in taxpayer dollars for this very purpose and as part of the 33rd District, there are some pretty innovative projects in the running that could potentially affect our parks, schools, and community centers.

The $14 million will be divided by district; the 33rd also covers Dumbo, Boerum Hill, and Brooklyn Heights, so Greenpoint is going to have to step it up at the polls if we want to get some of the bounty for our neighborhood, Hunger Games style (but by peaceful democratic vote, instead of mudering!). Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Will Greenpoint Become the Next Williamsburg? BKLYNR Investigates

Construction has begun on Commercial Street for 2 high-rise residential towers, Photo © Courtney Dudley/BKLYNR

We recently came across a great piece from BKLYNR that traces the emergence of Greenpoint Landing from its Bloombergian roots to the looming tension today, investigating how the proposed paradise of open waterfront parkland has, nearly a decade later, become a source of frustration and dread for the many residents that want the neighborhood to remain a unique blend of bohemian and old world culture, rather than another sea of Williamsburg condos.

The piece begins in 2005, when the City Council approved the rezoning proposal for nearly 200 blocks of Greenpoint and Wiliamsburg, calling for 50 acres of new parkland along the waterfront, affordable housing, and recreational space, all publicly accessible. Writer, Vanessa Ogle, follows progression of the proposal to physical reality (construction has already begun in part), asking what it all means for the neighborhood. Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Greenpoint Landing Is Really Happening

A rendering of 33 Eagle Street, which will have 98 units

Remember all that controversy about the TEN 30-40 story towers that were approved by the City Council to be built on pretty much the entirety of the Greenpoint waterfront? Not to mention the new school and public park, all of which will have foundations on a toxic oil plume.

Need a refresher? We, along with many outspoken Greenpointers, were concerned with probable infrastructure strains, transportation congestion, affordable housing and most urgently, the environmental impacts of developing on and near a National Superfund Site. Council member Stephen Levin assured us that he did the best he could, wining more affordable housing, and that was that….leaving us with lingering disappointment and frustration.

Well, as of Friday, the developer, Greenpoint Landing Associates, has filed permits for two of the buildings, at 21 Commercial Street and 33 Eagle Street. The Real Deal reported that both buildings will be entirely affordable…however, the affordable and market price apartments were supposed to be integrated, so only time will tell if that agreement is upheld.

We were also supposed to see evidence proving that there are no harmful health impacts before construction begins. But of course, that information was never made public, and we’re pretty doubtful that it even exists. UGH.

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Message to Greenpoint from Council Member Stephen Levin

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

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , | 29 Comments

77 Commercial Street Update

As expected, Council Member Stephen Levin voted to approve the proposed development at 77 Commercial St yesterday (12/19) . That means that the city can officially sell the “air rights” of 65 Commercial St to the developers to build higher towers at 77 Commercial. Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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. Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Conspiracy Against The People Opposed to Greenpoint Landing

I hate the term conspiracy theory. It irks me. Often valid ideas get this moniker, as well as ideas that clearly deserve the term. That said, if Joe Blow murders someone, he is a murderer. If Joe Blow and Joe Shmo decide to murder someone, that is called conspiracy murder. See how that works? If more than one person conspires to do someting illegal, it becomes a conspiracy. Now when most of the city council conspires against the will of the people of New York (in this case – Greenpoint, Brooklyn) – what shall we call that? Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Greenpoint Landing: The Story of the School and the Sludge Tank

The Framework Plan for Greenpoint Landing actually shows the school one block East of the location where they plan to build. The school building will be located at 219 West Street, not Franklin Street, as this map shows.

Greenpoint Landing, for those readers who are unfamiliar, is the proposed and now, approved, project that encompasses 20 acres of the Greenpoint waterfront, and will include the construction of ten 30-40 story towers, as well as a new school and a public park.

The final vote on the project was cast on Tuesday 12/10 by the City Council, and although Council Member Stephen Levin won some benefits through his negotiations, many questions remain unanswered.

The vote was based on a hearing that took place the previous week at City Hall, where the developers presented their plan, answered questions from Levin, and heard testimonies from  those opposed and supported the project. But due to a last minute location change and an overlap of several meetings, at least 10 of those speakers who were called to testify were not available by the time they were called upon. Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Black Student Beating in Williamsburg Investigated as a Hate Crime

Taj Patterson after the attack

Police are currently investigating the details surrounding the beating of  Taj Patterson, a 22-year-old fashion student, who was allegedly attacked by a Hassidic mob on the morning of December 1st. Eye witnesses, including the MTA bus driver who pulled over and intervened when he saw what was happening, described the men who attacked the student as wearing uniform jackets with three letters, one of which was an “S.” Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , | 0 Comments

With No Local Homeless Respite Man Freezes to Death in McGolrick Park

Last year I sat in a community meeting at Greenpoint Church on Milton St and listened to neighbors argue for and against the 10 bed homeless respite that had opened in the basement after Hurricane Sandy hit and the weather was getting down to freezing temperatures.

After the controversy it created, the church decided to shut it down and it moved to Ascension Church a few block north. But the respite did not reopen this winter season. Continue reading

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments