Notes from Wednesday’s Community Development Meeting

Rendering of 21 India Street via Corcoran
Rendering of 21 India Street via Corcoran

On Wednesday, Greenpoint residents came together at the Polish and Slavic Center (176 Java Street) for a community development meeting organized by Councilman Stephen Levin. The meeting promised information about how new construction along the waterfront, will impact Greenpoint.

Representatives from Greenpoint Landing, The Greenpoint (21 India Street) and Heritage Equity Partners (25 Kent) presented the most recent developments regarding their on-gong construction projects, and took questions from community members. Then community organizations took the floor to discuss their recent work. Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Curb Your Litter, and Evergreen all turned out to detail their ongoing efforts on behalf of Greenpoint. Here are notes from the 2 hour meeting:

The Greenpoint Landing rep said: 

  • The project will eventually bring 11 new buildings, and 5,500 new apartments to the neighborhood.
  • Three of those buildings (1,400 apartments) will be permanently affordable.
  • In addition to the new towers, the project will also include a new waterfront park, or “esplanade.”
  • The 30-story building at 37 Blue Slip will be a fully enclosed structure by December
  • For further updates on the project, you can get a bi-weekly ‘Dear Neighbor’ email from [email protected]).

Community members wanted to know:

  • Could the developers have less noisy and impactful pile driving?
  • Why did the developers choose to use both union and non-union labor for the project?

Then Assemblyman Joe Lentol had an MVP moment when he asked if these meetings could continue regularly throughout the course of the project. Applause was swift. It was noted, though, that Greenpoint landing has been to the last 3 community meetings and has a 24-hour hotline and project email address.

The Greenpoint (21 India Street) rep said:

  • The building will be enclosed by January
  • Construction is also underway on an affordable building at 23 India Street.
  • The project also involves retail space, and a new public waterfront park.
  • The next phase of work, on the waterfront park and playground, as well as the “construction of the streetscape” will be “disruptive.”
  • They are happy to return to future meetings with a park design.

Community members wanted to know:

  • What is the size of the building’s retail space?
  • Can the developers do anything about the building’s light pollution? (They’ll look into it.)
  • Will there be green roofs on the lower levels? (Yes.)
  • Will the project’s garage space be open to the public? (Yes.)
  • What is the developer’s role in flood control, ferry access and pier maintenance? (the developers are following city-wide regulations, but have no relationship with the pier owners.)

The 25 Kent rep said: 

Community members wanted to know:

  • What is the price per square foot for the retail spaces, and how large will the spaces be? (It’s still unclear).

The community advocacy organizations had some exciting news to share.

The Department of Environmental Conservation 

  • Working on rehabilitating the Nuhart Plastics Site.
  • Testing the use of Electric Resistance Heating to recover the contaminants.
  • Depending on results, available in December, they may go ahead with their proposed remedial action plan, developed with a NAG consultant

Neighbors Allied for Good Growth

  • NAG is working to “get a handle on lead in the 11222 area.”
  • If you’d like to have your soil tested, reach out to NAG
  • NAG is trying to bring resources to the community to deal safely with elevated lead levels

The Curb Your Litter Project

  • Funded by the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund
  • Installing 50 new garbage bins throughout the neighborhood
  • Working with the City Council to add extra service to bins in the neighborhood so they don’t overflow
  • Have created a Green Business Pledge
  • Have created a new Waste Curriculum with the Center for Urban Pedagogy

Evergreen

  • A mission driven non-profit helping commercial manufacturers remain in the community.
  • Their parent organization is St. Nicks Alliance

The final comments of the night belonged to Council member Levin who discussed the status of neighborhood parks projects.

  • The Mayor pledged millions to Bushwick Inlet Park
  • The city will provide $7 Million to revitalize the ball field in McCarren Park
  • There has been progress on Box Street Park
  • There will be a public input meeting for Box Street Park early next year.

Ready to hear more about construction in the area and make your voice heard in the process? Councilman Levin hopes to have another community development meeting in January.

About Lucie Levine

Lucie Levine is the founder of Archive on Parade, a local tour and event company that aims to take New York’s fascinating history out of the archives and into the streets. She’s a Native New Yorker, licensed New York City tour guide, and freelance writer with a passion for the city’s social, political and cultural history.

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