waterfront development

Subway Rats Join the Brunch Craze, Firefox Gives out Free Coffee and the BQX Unveils a Prototype — the Hook-up (11/17)

Subway rats are on trend this week.
Subway rats are on trend this week.

Move over, Pizza Rat, there’s a new celebrity rodent in town. This week, a subway rat went full “Brooklyn” and jumped on the avocado craze. While waiting for the G at Greenpoint Avenue on Tuesday, filmmaker Jessica Edwards captured a video of a rat hauling a slice of avocado along the tracks.

That’s not the only food-based transit story in the news this week. Mozilla launched a Firefox browser update this week, and claims its internet service is now faster than Google Chrome. To celebrate, Firefox operated a free “Firefox Fast Ferry” between Greenpoint and Manhattan from Tuesday-Thursday. The rides included complimentary donuts, coffee and live music.

Speaking of riding in style, the first prototype of the Brooklyn-Queens Connector, or BQX, was unveiled on Monday. Also known as the Gentrification Express, the proposed streetcar would run along the waterfront from Astoria to Sunset Park.

The advocacy coalition “Friends of BQX” is pushing Mayor de Blasio to make the streetcar a priority during his second term, at the same time as glass high-rise developments begin to engulf Greenpoint’s waterfront.

But, there may be some environmental justice for Greenpoint courtesy of the Long Island Sound. Much of the Nitrogen that contributes to “dead zones” in the Long Island Sound comes from waste treatment plants in New York City. Pressure from advocacy groups like Save Our Sound could lead to technological upgrades at Newtown Creek.

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GPL cuts down 75 yr old trees. Parks Dept scoops up $414,000 in Restitution Fees

Old London Plane Trees hang over GPL Property Photo Credit: Darren Lipman
Old London Plane Trees hang over GPL Property
Photo Credit: Darren Lipman

In recent weeks, some of you may have spotted the mutilation of 5 trees bordering the northern edge of Barge Park. These trees, identified as 75 yr old London Plane Trees, have been around longer than most of us and recently met their untimely death at the hands of our new neighbor Greenpoint Landing, and the Parks Department.

How they were chopped down and how much money Greenpoint will be getting out of the deal is rather murky indeed.

Let’s just say, in NYC money really does grow on trees. Continue reading

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Russian Oligarch to build 90 story towers on waterfront

Photo credit: TransGas Energy
Photo credit: TransGas Energy

 

Here we go again Greenpoint.  You know the real estate bubble is sure to burst when a Russian Oil company has snapped up the last bit of waterfront to construct a “St.Petersburg style community on the water”.

The Russian Oil Barron, Piet Roscamenofv, quietly began acquiring the land several months ago after he spotted the few empty lots while taking a private helicopter tour during his annual NYC autumn retreat. Roscamenofv is no stranger to NYC Real Estate having plunked down his money into several high profile buildings throughout the city—including the controversial Time Warner Building where he allegedly owns several floors. Continue reading

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A Streetcar Named “What’s Manhattan?”

I’ve said it before, I only go to Manhattan to visit the dentist, since finding a new dentist is the only thing more painful than going into “the city.” Otherwise I’m very content to stay on this landmass we know as Long Island and within the confines of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. But travel between the two sometimes illogically results in “having” to go through Manhattan.

With development on the East River waterfront outpacing transportation solutions, commuting remains a hugely unanswered question. In Greenpoint, with much complained about G service (which is only going to get worse before it gets better) and still no East River Ferry service at India St on the known horizon, maybe it isn’t too cockamamy of an idea to imagine a self powered wireless street car that runs along the Queens and Brooklyn waterfront between Astoria and Red Hook. Continue reading

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WSJ Reports on Upcoming Commercial St Vote (12/19)

© Wall St Journal

If you’ve been reading Greenpointers lately, you’re probably either enraged or sick of hearing about waterfront re-building projects. But, the good news is that a larger media channel has picked up the story and created this handy graphic map, that shows exactly where the future developments will be built. Thanks Wall Street Journal, for showing Greenpoint some love.

Last week we reported on the final approval vote for Greenpoint Landing. Stay tuned because this Thursday (12/19) is the final City Council vote on development at 77 & 65 Commercial St. The vote will determine if the residential buildings are allowed to be 15-stories or 30-40 stories high. Continue reading

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This is your last chance to stop Greenpoint Landing! Last Meeting! Get Active. Do it now! (12/5)

Ok, here we are.  This is your last shot. I’m not playin’.  Either are the developers who  will soon turn Greenpoint into a Disneyfied vision of Brooklyn.  The last of the public meetings will take place Thursday, December 5th, 2013 and this is your last chance to do something.

UPDATE Location: 250 Broadway Committee Room 16th Floor CITY HALL
Time for Commercial Street meeting: 9:30 am
Time for Greenpoint Landing meeting: 1:00 pm

If you can’t make it – here is a sample letter – to send to council members.

Anyone familiar with the politics of New York knows most of these politicians are flags flapping in the wind.  Where the wind blows is the direction they point in. If you all become the wind and let them know how you feel, you may be able to get the city council to vote against this project.

Become a collective hurricane! Go to the meetings. Voice your opinions, and let it be known that you are not feeling this.

Our friend Kim Masson of savegreenpoint.org fills us in on the latest developments. Continue reading

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ULURP MEETING TOMORROW (9/17) – Comment on Greenpoint Landing & 77 Commercial St

Tomorrow – Tuesday 9/17/13 at 5pm at Borough President’s Courtroom (209 Joralemon St) there will be a Brooklyn Borough President ULURP Public Hearing on Greenpoint Landing & 77 Commercial.

If you can’t make it to the meeting, e-mail your opinions, comments and questions to AskMarty (at) brooklynbp.nyc.gov.

More info

Feel free to comment here and we will send an email in the morning and include all comments. Include your name (first and last initial) and cross streets.

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Points of View, Literally: Save Greenpoint and Reasonable Development

On Wednesday’s crisp afternoon, a crowd that estimated itself at somewhere between 65 and 100 gathered to renew the call to action to prevent two (literally) looming developments from progressing without further input from the community.  Organized by city council hopeful Stephen Pierson and neighborhood organization Save Greenpoint, the gathering was intended to raise awareness and support for a campaign of legal and community actions intended to prevent or at least stall the currently planned waterfront developments from manifesting in their presently intended forms. Continue reading

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“Hazardous Materials” Public Hearing on 77 Commercial St Project Tonight (8/20)

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.

Continue reading

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Greenpoint Landing is Coming – CB1 8/13 Meeting Notes

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. Continue reading

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