After multiple Huron Street residents contacted Greenpointers with their complaints regarding the rubbish surrounding 996 Manhattan Avenue earlier this week, we posted pictures of the site and shared their story.
We are happy to report that the developer BHLD Capital responded within 24 hours by removing the garbage that included an abandoned car seat from 996 Manhattan Ave. as well as bringing the site up to code by installing lights on the scaffolding.
One such spot is the Huron Street Bathhouse (139 Huron Street), which is on its way to becoming a condo. The Bathhouse, Built 1903, opening 1904 and closed 1960, was a treasure of the City Beautiful Movement. That movement postulated that inspiringly beautiful public architecture and municipal amenities could uplift the poor, and inspire people of all means to be model citizens.
At the time, cleanliness was associated with good citizenship, yet, indoor plumbing and hot water were considered luxuries. In a city of cold-water flats and crowded tenements that often lacked bathrooms, residents had few options for bathing or hygiene. Accordingly, public bathhouses were a prudent response to a very real public health crisis. Continue reading →
For generations, J. Joseph & Sons was a local business that occupied the entire block on Manhattan Avenue between Eagle and Freeman Streets.
Three generations ago, when Greenpointers could only afford furniture and electrical appliances in installments, the business thrived by trusting people with store credit. With its iconic orange and blue neon sign, the store became part of the fabric of local life. Though it changed hands, it did so within the family, and the owners kept the business alive even as Greenpointers began to buy more and more of their furniture and appliances elsewhere. In the back of the store, you can still see where the owner hung a portrait of his great-grandfather, the original founder.
But consider the basic math: the store was doing less business as the value of the land it stood on skyrocketed.
The plan is to build 90 apartments in a seven-story structure and to create more than 12,000 square feet of commercial space.
The new building is part of the boom that is transforming North Greeenpoint. Soon, the area will have several thousand new residents, which will add to the existing burden on the transportation, sewage, and water infrastructure. The sleepy North end of the area will see a spike in traffic and more riders on the already overburdened G Train.
The familiar old family store that helped its customers buy the furniture and appliances they needed will soon be just a memory.
If the trucks, dust, and noise of recent months haven’t been self-evident enough, the Northwest corner of Greenpoint is now bracing itself for more of the above.
In a meeting held Tuesday between developers, city officials, and community representatives, Council Member Stephen Levin attested to the notion that we’re more or less exiting the warmup phase of the current development cycle and heading for the main event.
“The reality is that the pace of development has sped up over the last six months to a year,” he said. “Even since we first start meeting, the pace of development has really accelerated. That’s because the economy’s doing well, banks are lending, developers are getting in the ground, and things are moving.”
Organized by Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG), the meeting gave residents an opportunity to ask some tough questions and hear a slightly more unscripted perspective from developers.
Hot topics included Greenpoint Landing, the West Street project (what’s the deal with all those missing trees?), environmental remediation at NuHart, and the not-so-promising future of Greenpoint’s parking situation. The aftermath of the infamous Halloween rave also received some airtime (for those curious, fines will be levied, but the amount is still undetermined).
That construction is inevitable (and that it’s inevitably a nuisance) is hardly breaking news, but it seems as though residents still have a window of opportunity to air their concerns and perhaps influence the direction some of this taking. The public comment period for the Nuhart State Superfund remediation, for example, is still coming up.
In the meantime, here are a few of the latest updates from the land of jackhammers drilling into toxic soil. Continue reading →
Tonight – 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).
Like Greenpoint Landing, 77 Commercial St has also begun its ULURP process. (WTF is ULURP?) Approval of the proposal will mean 30-40 story towers in exchange for a park and affordable housing.
Aside from the impact on the character of the neighborhood as well as issues with infrastructure and transportation, the environmental issues at this site and the risk to public health are of great concern.
According to the convoluted and endless Environmental Assessment Statement issued on 8/1/13, the 77 Commercial St site is “currently or was historically a manufacturing area that involved hazardous materials” … “a site where there is reason to suspect the presence of hazardous materials, contamination, illegal dumping or fill or fill material of unknown origin.” When is the open house?!
Based on the findings in this statement, a detailed analysis of air quality, noise and hazardous material in respect to public health needs to be conducted. If you can get a word in edgewise this evening, it’s very important that questions with respect to these vital issues are addressed.