Apr 19, 2017
Public Protest of 16-Story Towers
Cornell Realty via the Dept. of City Planning

A public hearing will take place today regarding two 16-story residential buildings to be built in Crown Heights.

By Rachel Holliday Smith - DNAinfo.com

CROWN HEIGHTS — The public can weigh in this week on a plan to change zoning rules to allow two new 16-story towers with 565 market-rate and affordable apartments — a project already facing opposition in a petition from an anti-gentrification group.

A public hearing is set for Wednesday regarding the large development by Cornell Realty, which would turn two former laundry facilities off Franklin Avenue into 16-story residential buildings.

The towers, at 40 Crown St. and 931 Carroll St., would include 152 affordable units, according to the developer’s zoning application to the city.

If approved, the project would be completed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing initiative, which allows higher and denser buildings if they include a certain percentage of affordable housing.

Recently, activists from the group Movement to Protect the People — which ground to a halt previous rezoning efforts in CB9 — have been organizing to protest the Cornell project. The group, now going by the name FLAC or Flower Lovers Against Corruption, has gathered nearly 4,000 signatures in an online petition against the Cornell project ahead of Wednesday's hearing.

At recent public meetings, the group has urged residents to “come out and say no” to Cornell in flyers showing dark towers overshadowing the neighborhood and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Alicia Boyd, founder of FLAC, said the "visual integrity" of the gardens are a big concern, as is blocked light and air. But the project, she said, would also bring out-of-context development and luxury housing that speed up displacement.

"This is a moderate-income community and we need to help preserve and maintain as many moderate, affordable communities in New York City because we are losing them rapidly," she said.

To move forward, the residential project will need approval from the City Council and mayor as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

Brooklyn Community Board 9’s land use committee will vote on the project at Wednesday’s hearing, set for 7 p.m. at P.S. 352, 46 McKeever Pl. according to a board's notice. CB9’s vote as well as a vote from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams are advisory in the ULURP process.

Adams and the district's City Council representative, Laurie Cumbo, both said Monday they will wait until CB9 has weighed in on the project before deciding whether or not to support the development plan.

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Opinions and Comments
CH resident
Will this "affordable housing" include family-friendly units? A few bedrooms, large master BD, decent kitchen, etc? Or geared towards yuppie, singles, etc?
The opposition group is NO FRIEND of our community, but are we on the same side for this particular issue?
Maybe someone in the know can advise.. m
(4/19/2017 1:13:27 PM)
Community Involvement
I have met Ms. Boyd several times over the
past couple of years and observe that she is quite passionate about her cause of stopping gentrification. On the other hand there is no grassroot involvement from the Jewish community whether or not they share a common interest with Ms. Boyd, I agree with comment #1 that there is common ground. The Jewish community has a close to zero participation rate in community affairs outside of the Jewish realm. Last year, this newsite ran an article from Rabbi Goldstein urging community members to attend the CB 9 board meeting and I attended. Outside of a small amount of persons mainly affiliated with the Jewish Community Council. Without input or grassroot involvement from the community it is highly unlikely that community needs for housing will be satisfied.
(4/19/2017 2:48:37 PM)
Affordable Housing
If this can 1) increase affordable housing options 2) AS WELL AS COMMUNITY SECURITY (because many times people dwelling in affordable housing are not the safest people) 3) perhaps it will cause the Real Estate market in Crown Heights finally have a reason to decrease!!!!!!
(4/19/2017 3:36:43 PM)
Family of 5 need to have annual income of $75,000 and win the lottery
Apartments are small and rent is high , one bedroom is 2,500$ is cheaper then park slope but nothing affordable for Jewish crowd ..... we need to build our own buildings like that one with 70% to sell and 30% to rent for rabbis /morahs of our institutions or young couples.... we need a mentch for this project or city developers .....
(4/19/2017 10:02:31 PM)
Basic Economics
The people protesting this are being very short-sighted. Our current housing crunch is a direct result of limited supply and increasing demand. You know what would help that problem? Radically increasing the demand. And 16 story apartment buildings are a great way to do that
(4/20/2017 11:30:38 AM)
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