Climate Week Events Happening in North Brooklyn

The 4th Annual Kingsland Wildflowers Festival is on 9/21

A series of climate change-focused events and meetups over the next two weeks in Greenpoint and Williamsburg will mark Climate Week NYC, which coincides with the UN Climate Action Summit. The events are helping draw attention to the global climate crisis and to spark action. A large-scale climate strike will happen this Friday at noon at Foley Square and over one million NYC students have been granted permission to skip class to participate.

The local events kick off tonight with a happy hour from the NY League of Conservation Voters and culminate with a Tidal Toast hosted by Newtown Creek Alliance and Broadway Stages. Here’s the full list of events from the North Brooklyn Chamber Environmental Initiatives Committee: Continue reading

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Williamsburg Playspace for 0-6-Year-Olds Returns for Fall and Winter Run

Kid and Playspace will return this weekend with a play session on Saturday, September 21, from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. inside the gymnasium of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (1 Havemeyer St.) following a successful test-run last spring.

The independent, community-based playspace for young children ages 0-6 was started by North Brooklyn-based parents; play sessions are currently scheduled for select Saturdays beginning this weekend through March 28th, signup for the mailing list here. Continue reading

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Williamsburg Loft Building’s Tenants See Hopes to Stay Fade

240 Broadway in South Williamsburg, on Sept. 12, 2019. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

This story was originally published on 9/16/19 by THE CITY. (By: Claudia Irizarry Aponte)

In May, residents of Williamsburg’s 240 Broadway thought they’d won a fighting chance to stay in their homes, with the launch of an audit into their landlord’s long-ago transformation of their once-industrial building into apartments.

Tenants had pinned their hopes on the Department of Buildings revoking the structure’s certificate of occupancy, which they contended had been invalidly issued based on sub-par construction. That would allow the tenants to claim protection against eviction under New York’s Loft Law, which shields residents during and after conversions of the industrial spaces they call home.

But since then, tenants say, they’ve faced intensifying pressure to leave now that the Brooklyn building has been sold.

Soon after buying the building for $16.5 million, the new landlord, 240 Broadway Properties LLC, started issuing notices to tenants in the 24 apartments, demanding they vacate within 30 days.

So far, nine households have departed or are fighting eviction proceedings, while the remaining 15 wait anxiously as expiration dates on their leases approach. Construction has begun, according to holdouts, who say their gas has been shut off.

Tailor Arthur Arbit has worked in his 240 Broadway loft for more than 10 years, Sept. 12, 2019.
Tailor Arthur Arbit has worked in his 240 Broadway loft for more than 10 years. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

A representative for the building’s operator, Livingston Management, did not respond to THE CITY’s request for comment.

Last month, the Department of Buildings informed tenants it could not find sufficient evidence to scrap 240 Broadway’s certificate of occupancy — undermining the residents’ claim on staying put in the increasingly upscale neighborhood.

“We don’t know what’s going on,” Arthur Arbit, a tailor who has lived in the building for 11 years and keeps his studio there, told THE CITY. “We’re just waiting for answers.”

‘I Feel Cheated’

The Department of Buildings began its audit into the century-old building’s certificate of occupancy in the spring, following inquiries from THE CITY.

In an Aug. 15 email to tenants, department representative Benjamin Colombo noted the examination uncovered “several deficiencies that were inconsistent with the approved plans and subsequent inspection” that led to the department’s 2003 green-light for the certificate of occupancy. Among the problems: non-compliant space heaters and lack of fire-rated construction.

But, he wrote, “There is insufficient proof to demonstrate that the deficiencies existed at the time of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy.”

Britta Riley is unsure if her family will able to stay in their loft home at 240 Broadway.
Britta Riley is unsure if her family will able to stay in their loft home at 240 Broadway. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

Colombo added that the department had written up the new owners for code violations, giving them until Sept. 12 to fix the problems.

Tenants argued that the certificate of occupancy had been erroneously secured in 2003 by Henry Radusky, an architect investigated and sanctioned for filing questionable paperwork on past projects.

They sought to follow the success of loft tenants in another Brooklyn Radusky building, whose certificate of occupancy was revoked as “unlawfully issued.” Those residents were able to apply for Loft Law protection, which includes rent stabilization.

“I can’t vocalize my frustration about the hard earned money — I have paid over $300,000 in rent — I spent for a city-certified property that turned out not to merit that certification,” Britta Riley, a resident of 240 Broadway, wrote in a June 24 email to the Department of Buildings.

Riley has lived in the building for the last 11 years and has two infant daughters. “I feel cheated learning that this supposedly city-certified building is so gravely out of code,” she added.

A spokesperson for the Department of Buildings, Andrew Rudansky, told THE CITY that the new owners are playing by the book.

“So far, the owners have been complying with DOB orders,” he said. “However, if they fail to continue this progress bringing the building into code compliance, we will take further enforcement actions, including additional violations and associated civil penalties.”

Facial Recognition Entry

Many long-term residents describe an increasingly difficult environment in the building.

While a partial stop-work order halted roof repairs, construction is still underway in the hallways. On a recent visit by THE CITY, dropped ceilings had been torn down in the hallways on the second and third floor of the six-story building, exposing decrepit tin ceilings, pipes, mold and dust.

A Health Department notice was put up on Thursday, Sept. 12. Photo: 240 Broadway Tenants Association

An inspection by the city Department of Health on Thursday found dust “caused by unsafe work.” A notice posted in the building that same day says the dust samples are being tested for lead.

The management company, meanwhile, is proceeding with a facial recognition security system, and demanding residents turn in their metal keys by Sept. 20, according to notices sent to tenants.

Asa Pingree, who lives in the building with his wife, teenage son and 2-month-old baby, received an eviction notice last month after his lease expired. Now he’s fighting the landlord in Housing Court. The 38-year-old furniture designer moved to the building in 2015 after losing a similar conversion battle at a nearby loft on Hope Street.

While Pingree hopes 240 Broadway will eventually achieve Loft Law status, he’s most worried about his newborn’s wellbeing.

“My main concern is they’re risking our health without actually improving our living situation,” he said.

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Greenpoint This Week: L Train Service Suspension, Cookies for Protestors, Rock Climbing Gyms and More!

TASTE Williamsburg and Greenpoint returns this Sunday.

Happy Friday (the 13th!) Greenpointers! It’s a good night to view the Harvest Moon as it coincides with today’s spooky date. Brooklyn Community Board 1 had its first public hearing in two months last Tuesday, and the full four-hour session is available here. If you want to support a good cause and sample local cuisine TASTE Williamsburg and Greenpoint is going down this Sunday, and here’s what’s happening this weekend. In the meantime, catch up on this week’s headlines:

An SUV crash killed a man in Greenpoint Thursday night. (Greenpointers)

A pair of new rock climbing gyms will open in 2020, including a 24-hour gym across from McCarren Park. (Greenpointers)

L Train service is suspended starting Friday night through Monday morning. (Pix 11)

2021 City Council candidate and Greenpointer Victoria Cambranes met her protestors with cookies at her campaign launch event. (Brooklyn Eagle)

An “ultimate itinerary” of Greenpoint dining including, you guessed it, Peter Pan, Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop and Di An Di. (Eater NY)

The facade of Greenpoint Landing tower Two Blue Slip nears completion. (YIMBY)

Get $15 Off TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint happening Sunday! It’s going to beautiful out this SUNDAY, September 15th so why not hang out on the Williamsburg waterfront while supporting local businesses and a good cause? TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint (1-4PM) is back to present some of the best of what North Brooklyn has to offer so you can eat your way through this Sunday’s Funday. (Partner)

Franklin Streets newest clothing boutique, Only NY, got its start in the LES. (VICE)

Kickstarter, the Greenpoint-based B corporation, fired two union organizers. (Buzzfeed News)

Food writing courses are launching at Archestratus in Greenpoint. (Edible Brooklyn)

Domino Sugar 45-story development One South First opens for leasing with studios starting at $3,479/month.

A man was randomly punched in Williamsburg in August. (Brooklyn Paper)

The Greenpoint waterfront is attracting condo buyers. (NY Times)

Greenpoint-based The Wild Honey Pie celebrates is celebrating its 10th anniversary. (amNY)

“Smoldering and hot cables” resulted in frequent L train delays this week. (THE CITY)

The McKibbin Lofts building in East Williamsburg has $278,400 in unpaid penalties operating as a hotel. (Commercial Observer)

200 Kent Ave‘s rectangular glass facade is now in place. (YIMBY)

Record shop Halcyon opened a new Williamsburg location. (Resident Advisor)

The Wythe Hotel is getting a new French brasserie from Chez Ma Tante chefs. (Eater NY)

You’re invited to a free open house on Saturday, September 14 to try fitness classes, take a tour, meet staff and learn more about the Greenpoint YMCA. (Sponsored)

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Greenpoint Security Guard Killed by SUV Crash Thursday Night

The Time Warner facility near the intersection of Provost Street and Paige Avenue (via Google Maps)

A driver of an SUV lost control and veered off of the road striking and killing a security guard who was inside a security booth near the intersection of Paige Avenue and Provost Street around 8 p.m. on Thursday night, NY Daily News first reported: Continue reading

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Two Rock Climbing Gyms Slated for 2020 Openings in Williamsburg and Greenpoint

Rendering of 1 Nassau Ave. courtesy of Cayuga Capital

A pair of rock climbing gyms will open in Williamsburg and Greenpoint in 2020 if all goes according to plan.

A California-based 24-hour rock climbing gym is scheduled to open in April 2020 at 1 Nassau Ave. at the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint across from McCarren Park.  Continue reading

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Brooklyn Community Board 1’s Monthly Public Hearing is Tonight (9/10)

Brooklyn CB1

As a reminder, the combined public hearing and Brooklyn Community Board 1 meeting is tonight at the Swinging 60’s Senior Center (211 Ainslie St.) starting at 6 p.m.

According to the agenda available here, there are 43 new liquor license requests to be reviewed on top of the 62 liquor licenses up for renewal. Other topics scheduled for discussion include the fiscal year 2021 budget priorities and a presentation by the NYC Dept. of Transportation regarding improvements at the intersection od Wythe Avenue and anf the BQE exit ramp. Here is the full agenda: Continue reading

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$2,253 per Month One-Bedroom Apartment Listed in South Williamsburg Affordable Lottery

219 South 3rd Street via NYC Housing Connect

Another “affordable” apartment is open for applications via the NYC Housing Connect website, this time in South Williamsburg at a new six-story residential development; apply by September 30th.

A one-bedroom apartment at 219 S 3rd St. for $2,253 per month is available for one to three occupants with an annual household income between $77,246 – $124,930 (130 percent of the Area Median Income). Continue reading

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Measles Success, L Train Closures, Deleted Photos, Brutalist Architecture and More!

The September 11th memorial lights made an appearance for one night this week, visible here from Greenpoint.

Welcome to the weekend Greenpointers! The stormy weather has closed NYC beaches this weekend and the McGolrick Park screening of “Minuscule Valley of the Lost Ants” has been rescheduled from Friday to Saturday night. Also on Saturday, TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint,  the “annual outdoor celebration of North Brooklyn’s local flavors,” is still on and you can purchase tickets with a $15 discount here. For more weekend events, check out what’s happening, and in the meantime catch up on this week’s headlines:

Continue reading

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New L Train Closures Coming in September

The L Train (when in operation) (via MTA)

The L train will not run between Broadway Junction in Brooklyn and 8th Avenue in Manhattan beginning at 10:45 p.m. on Friday, September 13th and ending the following Monday (September 16th) at 5 a.m., the MTA announced on Wednesday.

The new closures are related to an escalator installation at the Union Square subway station and are not to be confused with the regularly scheduled closures that are a result of the Canarsie Tunnel repairs. Continue reading

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