New plans for mixed use development at 40 Quay Street in Greenpoint became public this week.
The project is called Monitor Point and will include 900 apartments, accompanied by on-site parking, more than 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, rebuilt MTA facilities, and a permanent home for the Greenpoint Monitor Museum, AMNY first reported. FXCollaborative has been tapped to design Monitor Point.
The Monitor Point website calls the project “a public private partnership between the Gotham Organization and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that will create a mixed-use waterfront community at 40 Quay Street.”
AMNY explains that the developer, Gotham, received the MTA’s approval for the nearly $39 million deal to lease the parcel of land that currently houses NYC Transit’s wash facility and construct a development dubbed Monitor Point. Before Gotham can begin work on the tower, they will build a new wash facility for NYCT at 208 Varick Ave. in East Williamsburg.
Gotham’s plans for the building include 900 apartments, a quarter of which will be set aside for people with incomes averaging 60% of the federally-designated Area Median Income which equates to $64,440 for a family of three.
The development will also offer a publicly-accessible waterfront walkway fronting the East River and the Bushwick Inlet, and a new home for The Greenpoint Monitor Museum dedicated to the Civil War-era ship the USS Monitor.
Monitor Point will additionally include new home for NYCT’s Emergency Service Units, currently stationed at the northern tip of Greenpoint at 65 Commercial St. Moving out those emergency vehicles will finally allow the city to finish a 16-years-delayed green space named Box Street Park at that lot.
Gotham will also try to get a rezoning of the almost 2-acre lot from the city to build taller than currently allowed. For that, the proposal will have to make its way through the lengthy process known as the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP.
The tentative timeline on the Monitor Point website states that 2021 will focus on designating the development team followed by pre-ULURP, Environmental Analysis, and Community Outreach, followed by the ULURP in 2024, and potential groundbreaking at the end of 2024.
AMNY highlighted the local opposition against the project. Although the proposal sailed through the MTA board vote, it has not found favor with locals since the bidding process for the property first opened in 2019. Assemblymember Emily Gallagher has opposed it alongside Community Board 1, pushing instead for a park. Both wrote letters to former Governor Andrew Cuomo and then-MTA chief Pat Foye in recent years asking them to pull the project, citing the heavy development in the area and the relative lack of park space compared to other parts of the city.
Luxury towers have been springing up all along the north Brooklyn waterfront since the city rezoned the area in 2005, and Brooklyn Community District 1, which includes Greenpoint and Williamsburg, ranks 48th out of 59 for the area of parkland relative to residents, with 0.6 park acres for every 1,000 people.
“This narrow, ecologically-sensitive strip of publicly-owned land on Bushwick Inlet should be added to the long-promised park,” wrote Gallagher in a statement Tuesday. “Mass transit’s long-term funding needs will be met by congestion pricing, federal and state investment, and robust ridership, not short-sighted real estate deals that undermine years of community work.”
Others spoke out against it again ahead of the full board meeting, including one member of the local green space advocacy group Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park. Katherine Conkling Thompson, a co-chairperson of the group, said,“We believe the deal is a betrayal of public trust and we call on the MTA withdraw from the conditional designation of Gotham for the redevelopment of 40 Quay in Greenpoint and to work with the Greenpoint-Williamsburg community. The deal you have struck with Gotham is just a drop in the bucket [of the overall MTA capital budget].”