80 Flatbush Update: We've come a long way on this journey. Council Member Levin has said he will NOT support the ECF/Alloy plan as proposed. Read Norman Oder's lastest analysis that summarizes the current situation. We seek a better, reduced plan that respects the immediately adjacent residents and yields reasonable benefits for the City.

In June, Borough President Adams has released his recommendations which are both encouraging and confusing. We are gratified that he disapproves with recommendations. He acknowledges the existence of Boerum HIll by saying, "In recognition of the adjacent R6B zoning and built context, the block should not accommodate a FAR of 18." However he makes many recommendations the result in a FAR of almost 16. Read Norman Oder's analysis of the overall document.

Remember in April the CB2 full board voted 32 against, 1 in favor, 5 abstentions and 2 recused. A very strong rejection of the proposal and a very positive outcome for our community. The Community Board and Borough President's votes are important but they only advisory. 
 
Our fight now moves on to the City Council. Council Member Steven Levin has been vocal about the scale and density of the project. 
 
I will keep you informed as the process moves along. 
 
When we get to the City Council hearing, we will need to turn out the biggest crowd yet! Vocal residents will need to testify again and numbers will need to be turned out again.
 
For those who have spoken and observed, thank you. This is important for all of Boerum Hill.
 
Defend our neighborhood and all of Brooklyn from out-of-scale development!
 
Related reading: The Municipal Art Society analysis of the LICH-Fortis development "zoning lot mergers." 

 

Some of the testimony at the CB 2 hearing included:

You can read more about local opposition at the "Block 80 Flatbush" website developed by our neighbors in Fort Greene. 
 
Five Big Reasons to Oppose the 80 Flatbush Development

Transitional Zoning, Context and Neighborhood Character

  • 20% more dense than any project in Brooklyn; more than Pacific Park
  • At 74-stories, it will have the tallest tower in Brooklyn, the 16th tallest in NYC
  • Violation of "Transitional Zoning" with 74-story and 38-story buildings within 100’ of 4-story residential buildings
  • Clashes with nearby Boerum Hill Historic District
  • Walls off and blocks views of iconic Williamsburg Savings Bank Building
  • Glass towers are not contextual with existing Brooklyn buildings
  • State Street becomes a loading dock resulting in the destruction of those residential blocks

Overly large project with little public gain

  • Less than 15% of development is school space
  • Only 350 elementary school seats when 750 seats should be called for (the district is currently 2100 seats deficient)
  • Poor precedent for Brooklyn. How will this affect Sunset Park, East New York?
  • Is this the best the City can do?

 An additional 7500 units of housing coming in the next 3 years

  • Overcrowding!
  • Subways at capacity now during rush hours
  • Traffic at this location is currently gridlocked at Flatbush and Third
  • Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues and current surrounding traffic problems are not fully mitigated now.

 No disclosure about the terms of this ECF-Alloy deal

  • Unknown terms of the lease of city-owned land to the developer
  • Unknown cost of tax-exempt bonds,
  • Unknown city or state subsidies and tax abatements for this project
  • Other respondents to the RFEI. Why this developer with no track record of large projects?

 Other factors

  • No affordable housing in Phase One
  • No open space component
  • Additional load and stress on water and sewage systems
  • SCA should identify additional school locations NOW

Downtown Brooklyn growth has been fueled by “as-of-right” construction but the City has not undertaken a comprehensive review of many Quality of Life factors: traffic, noise, subway congestion, school seats......

 Some supplemental information: 

· Currently the Kahlil Gibran high school has 272 students 
· District 15 currently needs 2192 seats (Funded exits for most but 912 are unfunded) 
· Alloy Phase I would include building a new elementary school with 350 seats, a new Kahlil Gibran high school with 350 seats and a 480-foot tower with 250 – 300 market rates units and 105,000 sq. ft. of office space. Expected completion 2022 
· Alloy Phase II would include a 925-foot tower with 550 – 600 units of which 175 – 225 would be affordable. The tower would include another 100,000 sq. ft. of office space and 40,000 sq.ft. of retail space would be split between Phase I and II. 
· Go to www.80flatbush.com for additional information.

While the EIS references a 330 foot building as-of-right, it would be possible to construct a 580 foot building since this parcel is in the Special Downtown Brooklyn District. 

 
Our Position on the Alloy Development Project:
 
This entire block is part of Boerum Hill NOT downtown. Until this proposal there was at least some buffer between downtown and brownstone residences. The collision between the two meets here in ways that will directly and negatively impact all of State Street as well as nearby Boerum Hill and Fort Greene.

We oppose the up-zoning to a FAR of 18. What would this development look like at FAR of 12 or 15?

With over 4000 units of rental housing opening in our area in the coming few years we need other schools now so this approval should be delayed until those sites are identified and secured.

Boerum Hill lacks green space. Nearby spaces are outside our boundaries and already suffering from overuse.

Some other concerns include:

  • Construction lasting 8 years
  • Congestion on surface transit and subways, we need an analysis covering a half mile radius
  • Pedestrian safety for students at the new schools
  • Shadows and reflections from the large glass skyscrapers so close to the low rise brownstones

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
The photo shows two towers (74-stories and 38-stories), two schools and two community facilities on a triangular block bounded by Third Avenue, Schermerhorn Street, Flatbush Avenue and State Street. There is understandable concern about the many effects on our residential blocks as Downtown development conflicts with brownstone scale. Alloy has been direct and open in meeting with Boerum Hill residents however there is a long list of Quality of Life issues. For more information, click 
here.
 
If you would like to be on the email list of concerned residents please contact hkolins@aol.com to add your name to the group. 
 
THE OPIOID CRISIS:

The City has announced a pilot program that could being a Supervised Injection Facility (SIF) to Fourth Avenue near St. Marks Place. Our community is understandably concerned. No specific information is available at this time but you can read the City's press release. We shared our concerns with Council Member Levin and will continue to press for full community engagement as the City developes plans. VOCAL-NY on Fourth Avenue currently houses a needle exchange. If you have concerns, such as syringes dropped on the street, call their Community Phone 917-387-4042 or email to community@vocal-ny.org. More information is avail on this FAQ sheet.

 
 

    The Boerum Hill Association is a volunteer organization of residents of Boerum Hill. We seek to preserve and enhance the unique qualities of our neighborhood through advocacy, education and community building.

    Boerum Hill is a tree-lined community that extends from the south side of Schermerhorn Street to the north side of Warren Street and from the east side of Court Street to the west side of Fourth Avenue.

    We want to bring neighbors together and improve our neighborhood. Some of our initiatives include:

    • Community events such as the Annual PotLuck Holiday Party and the House Tour
    • Greening and neighborhood beautification
    • Improving parks and playgrounds
    • Quality of life improvements - public safety, noise, sanitation and more
    • Traffic calming, transportation and parking
    • Land marks and zoning
    • Intelligent development

    Our sister organization, the Hoyt Street Association is renowned for its Annual Plant Sale. The proceeds raised support the Hoyt Street Garden (corner of Hoyt Street and Atlantic Avenue), shredding Days, tree planting, painting over graffiti, Community Funding grants, and other beautifying activities for the neighborhood. The popular “Free Stories in the Garden”, takes place Tuesday evenings beginning late June through the end of July. Scheduled volunteer readers take turns at the microphone to read stories to the children (and grown-ups, too). Free lemonade and cookies are provided to all.

     
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