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.
Some Greenpointers seemed unaware that this development can be built as-of-right under the 2005 re-zoning while many others voiced their frustration that the many promises made by the City as part of the 2005 re-zoning have not materialized. The opposition was very loud, often times completely drowning out the speaker, which made the substance of the presentations hard to understand. After the public hearing, I spoke with several people who left more confused than they were beforehand.
The public hearing was actually held to review and discuss the proposal by the developer of Greenpoint Landing to purchase a parcel of City-owned land (shown above in red) at the west end of Dupont Street where the large sludge tank currently stands. This parcel of land sits in between two waterfront lots that the developer already owns and purchasing this City-owned land would create one large development site on the waterfront. During the presentation, an attorney for the developer offered the following details:
The developer will pay a still-to-be-determined amount of money for this land, which will go into the City’s general fund (and not earmarked for use in Greenpoint). This land comes with a requirement to build 431 units of affordable housing and the air rights to build an additional 276 market-rate apartments.
As additional incentives, the developer has offered to provide $2.5 million for the expansion of adjacent Newton Barge Park and to donate a parcel of land that they already own (shown above in blue) to the City so that they can build a pre-K-8th grade school.
While this hearing and approval process only affects a small part of this large development, it represents an opportunity for the community to gain something in return for CB1 issuing their recommendation for approving this purchase.
At the end of the hearing, Lacey Tauber of NAG and Dewey Thompson – of GWAPP – offered several proposed modifications to the purchase for CB1’s consideration. Rather than repeat them here, I encourage you to follow the link below to GWAPP’s website where you will find their recommendations along with a wealth of information on the Greenpoint Landing development. The information is very clear, easy to understand and I strongly urge everyone in Greenpoint to become educated on the project, form an opinion and voice it in a civilized way.
There is a limited amount of time during this approval process for the community to give meaningful feedback. Greenpoint Landing is just the first of many large developments that will be built along Greenpoint’s waterfront. Therefore, the quality of community input at this time is critical because it will send a message to upcoming developments that the needs of Greenpoint must be addressed in a substantive way. If you want to voice your opinion on the project, please contact Community Board 1 and our councilman, Stephen Levin.
Community Board No. 1, Brooklyn:
Councilman Stephen Levin:
On 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).