Live From The ULURP Review Meeting: Greenpoint Landing Presents

September 18, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

It certainly took long enough, but here is the presentation and comments regarding Greenpoint Landing from last night’s hearing. Enjoy!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: ULURP Hearing Regarding Greenpoint Landing & 77 Commercial Street

August 9, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

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For those of you who are not in the know next Tuesday, August 13th, a ULURP (Land Use Committee) meeting will come to pass at Automotive High School regarding Greenpoint Landing. GWAPP has pretty good, easily understandable synopsis of the progress of this endeavor. Please give it a read, show up and speak up!

ULURP Hearing Regarding Greenpoint Landing
August 13, 2013 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Automotive High School
50 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Closing on a related note…

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  •  The following Tuesday, also at the Automotive High School, there will be a public hearing regarding 77 Commercial Street.

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  • The following evening, August 21, 2013, we have not only a meeting of the Executive Committee of Community Board 1, but also the “Battle of the Stephens”

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It is proving to be a lively August in the Garden Spot, folks…

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Community Workshop Regarding Greenpoint Landing & 77 Commercial Street

Given the major implications these projects have for our community, I feel compelled to pass along this missive I received this morning from the folks at GWAPP.

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At a casual glance this seems all well and good, yes? This brings me to the mailing address for GWAPP which I have highlighted— and not too secret fact known by quite a few Greenpointer: the mailing address for this organization is, in fact, that of the very attorney cum community activist who was hired by the Park Tower Group (whose endeavor Greenpoint Landing is) to advocate for the 2005 rezone in the first place.

From NY1 on April 4, 2005:

Here’s another corker courtesy of Amanda Burden.

It provides opportunities for new housing, including affordable housing for a range of incomes, while respecting the scale and mixed-use character that defines these vibrant neighborhoods.

Um, in the clarity that is 2013 hindsight, it did not exactly work out that way— but I digress. Now the New York Daily News on April 29, 2005:

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It also interesting to note this same-said fellow is a board member of Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn— and the Park Tower Group was a “partner” at last year’s $150 a head fundraiser at the McCarren Park Pool.

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Rather funny/sad/curious, isn’t it? In any case, any and all who are interested in attending this community forum can RSVP by clicking here.

Community Workshop Regarding Greenpoint Landing & 77 Commercial Street
June 27, 2013 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant Visitors Center
329 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

UPDATE, 4:57 p.m.: Oh, I forgot to mention this oldie but goody, also from NY1. It dates from July 29, 2002:

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You can read the rest here.

Quicklinks: More Ado About Greenpoint Landing

shitsandwichYou can read DNA.info’s take here (You, go Barbara Vetell!), Gothamist’s here and GWAPP’s (which includes a nice concise list of concerns) here. Do take time to give ’em all a read, Garden Spotters. This “city within a city” has some very severe consequences for our community.

Quicklink: Community Meeting Notes Regarding Greenpoint Landing & 77 Commercial Street

gpterSCYours truly opted not to attend this convocation (one can only stomach so much of this stuff— seriously). However a writer at Greenpointers, Peter, has authored an excellent summary. Do take a moment to give it a read!

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Public Meeting Regarding Greenpoint Landing

shitshowThis comes courtesy of the folks at GWAPP. They write (in their monthly “newsletter”):

Last week, Community Board 1 (CB1) posted an agenda notice notifying residents of an upcoming public meeting on the Greenpoint Landing Project. The project, which will sit on 22 acres of Greenpoint waterfront, proposes ten residential buildings each reaching thirty to forty stories high. In order to begin development on this project, the developers must undergo the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Process) approval, which includes a period of public comment through our local Community Board. From CB1?s agenda posting:

Greenpoint Landing: Park Tower is proposing 4.2 million square feet of mixed-use development on a 22 acre waterfront site in Greenpoint. The City has been working with the developer on the plan, which includes the disposition of city-owned property. It is expected that the project will certify into ULURP summer 2013…

You can (and should read this rest by clicking here. Show up and speak up, Garden Spotters…

Community Board 1 Public Meeting Regarding The Greenpoint Landing Project
Monday, May 6, 2013 starting at 6:30 p.m.
The McCarren Park Recreation Center
Brooklyn, New York 11222

 

Greenpoint Photos & Videos Du Jour: Live From The Rally At Barge Park

September 4, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

pierson

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This handsome fellow was one of the many citizens who attended this evening’s convocation.

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Not only am I pleased to announce that the turn out was great, but the community feedback was even better (and totally Greenpoint— which is not, as one attendee noted, “Midtown”). Without further ado, here we go!

Part I: Introduction

  • Starting at 6:36: This. MAN. RULES.

Part II

Part III

  • Piquant observation regarding the G train (present and future): “This is not Sim City.”

Part IV

Part V (The Conclusion)

Those of you who wish to join the effort, should point and click your way to Save Greenpoint’s web site and sign up for their mailing list. In closing, I want to thank everyone who came out this evening— even those who did not speak out. Especially Adam Perlmutter, Esquire.

videoscreencapPerlmutter

You see gentle readers, not only was he the “community advocate” who fought the TGE power plant…

but he also happened to be under the hire of George Klein (the fellow behind Greenpoint Landing) to state his case for the 2005 Rezone. The latter is, when you really think about it, why this rally was conducted in the first place.

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(From the April 29, 2005 edition of the New York Daily News)

This one’s for you!

Quicklink: From The Greenpoint Gazette

August 17, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

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Interesting quote/teaser:

Land Use committee chair Del Teague questioned the allocation of affordable housing units. At the highest bracket, 25% of the units would be available only to those Greenpoint residents whose income equals 120% of the average median income for the area. For a two-bedroom unit this translates to $66,000 – $103,000. She questions whether a greater percentage of the units can be allocated to residents at lower income levels.

Teague said later that Greenpoint has suffered a “horrific displacement of people who cannot afford to stay.” She says the income median, “is skewed because of gentrification,” and worries that the standards for awarding the affordable units may not be “meaningful.”

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As I pointed out in this post, the median household income at Green Street and Manhattan Avenue per the 2010 Census is $56,690. Thus at 120 AMI a great many people hereabouts would not qualify for these units because they simply do not have a high enough income. Doesn’t sound very “affordable” to me. You can read the Gazette’s tome in its entirety by clicking here.

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: From This Evening’s ULURP Meeting

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Ah, kids nowadays…

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George Klein, the man behind the monoliths, was present.

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One fashionably dressed lady brought a sign.

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I call this photo “shock and awe”.

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This is the break-down of affordable housing units which will come into play if the parcel in question is sold to the Park Tower Group.

A few thoughts/observations:

1. If I had to liken this convocation to anything, it was a white sale of shouting and profanity. Greenpointers are angry about a manifold number of issues here— and this was certainly made clear this evening.

2. It was one which neither Chris Olechowski (Chair of Community Board 1) or Del Teague (who is the new ULURP/Land Use chair of Community Board 1) could seemingly control.

3. One may not have liked the public’s “delivery”— but many salient points were made between the f-bombs. Here’s a few I found compelling:

  • The AMI being used does not accurately reflect the reality of the incomes in Greenpoint presently (which is substantially lower).
  • As you can see from the latter-most photo, half of the segment discussed during this evening’s meeting’s affordable housing units will be studios and one bedrooms. The other will half will be two bedrooms. As was pointed out by Lisa Bamonte and Rob Solano, this is not a “family friendly” break-down. Or as I put it (quietly, to Ms. Bamonte): “What happens when someone who lives in one of these studios or one bedrooms gets married and starts a family? Offering 50% studios and one bedrooms is the formula for a transient population. After they marry and have children they’ll probably have to move. We should be ensuring that people who move here, get married and have children can stay here.” At the way the rents are here presently, I can assure you this is not happening. However, it should be noted that the Park Tower Group would undoubtedly benefit, monetarily, from this arrangement. More turn-over = more money. And I can assure you, gentle readers, that is what this is all about.
  • One teaser the attorney speaking and fielding questions on Greenpoint Landing’s behalf (while Mr. Klein watched on) threw out was a dog run on Clay Street. Well, that would certainly explain why we have had no action whatsoever on this matter— for years. But let’s get back to the affordable housing…
  • Basically it would be the same kind of arrangement the Edge has. E.g.; a “segregated” complex of smaller (and uglier) buildings placed inland. One would grace the site our sludge tanks inhabits presently. Unless I am wrong, this is brownfield.
  • A question was raised— but not answered— about how/why this project is relying upon an Environmental Impact Statement that dates from 2005. I think we can all agree that a LOT has changed here in the last eight years.
  • A number of questions were raised about the stress on “infrastructure” this development (in its entirety) will present. Think: sanitation pick-up, sewage, and of course transportation. In regards to the latter-most, Mr. Klein’s attorney note the new bus line which will service the waterfront hereabouts— and that they are considering having a shuttle bus so the residents therein can be dropped off at the Vernon-Jackson stop of the 7 train in Long Island City. The latter was met with cynical laughter from the audience.
  • And of course the school which they propose to build was also brought to the table.* The response to this was (more or less) the same as the one to the shuttle bus to Vernon-Jackson.
  • One question unasked— one which I have been wondering about a lot: “Exactly HOW is all this construction material— and it is gonna be a LOT— going to be delivered to this site? I am guessing by trucks. LOTS of trucks. This is something residents of West Street, Franklin Street and even McGuinness Boulevard or Manhattan Avenue might want to think about.

Inasmuch as the Park Tower Group might like to put window dressing on this parcel of their “project”, the reality is they’re not doing us a favor.  Quite to the contrary: they are throwing us crumbs. Like I said:

It’s all about the money…

I will link to news items about this meeting as I find them. Regrettably, I did not shoot video. If I had Iwould have caught this gem (directed at Chris Olechowski and pertaining to the dearth of Greenpoint residents on Community Board 1— HIGHLY summarized/paraphrased):

What if someone wrote a blog called “I Hate New York Shitty”? Then I bet they’d get appointed!**

If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Olechowski (who it should be noted, lives in Greenpoint— not terribly far from this development) did not have a snappy retort to this. Then again, he rarely has one in any situation so I am not reading too much into it. However, I will note that at least one north ‘Point citizen did apply to get on Community Board 1— so it is not for wont of interest. Despite ceasing to apply he still got (gets?) rejection letters from Marty Markowitz stating there were no seats open. You can see one such letter here.

*At which point I left. However, I do feel compelled to point out that those who signed up to speak were allotted two minutes. This contradicts Community Board 1’s By-Laws. Not that anyone seems terribly keen on enforcing them.

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(Chairman Chris before this meeting commenced.)

**One can only hope this finds its way into the meeting minutes diligently reported by Marie! These will, must be posted on Community Board 1’s web site. Sunshine Laws. Learn ’em, live ’em, love ’em!

Greenpoint Photos Du Jour: Dude, Where’s My Park?

May 12, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

Some of you may or may not be aware that I am on the steering committee for what has been dubbed “WNYC Transmitter Park”.

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But most people, my fellow Greenpointers included, better know it as “that vacant lot at the end of Greenpoint Avenue”. I mention this because GWAPP in cooperation with NAG (Neighbors Allied For Good Growth) will be conducting what can best be called a “Park-In” protesting the lack of open space in Greenpoint promised under the now infamous 2005 re-zone. I’ll let the folks from NAG take it from here:

Remember the 2005 Greenpoint-Williamsburg Rezoning? In it, we were told that in exchange for enormous buildings along the water front we would receive a number of parks and open spaces to relax in, to get up by the water, to play soccer, to do whatever we please!

Not one park has been completed, not one has been opened.

So while the rest of New York City is celebrating “It’s My Park Day!” on May 16th, NAG and GWAPP will be instead asking, “Where’s My Park?!?” in an act of community awareness and civic action.

Bring your kids and your grandmas to the NAG Office (N 8th and Kent) at 12:30p to make some pro-park crafts and picket signs, and then join us at 2:00p at Bushwick Inlet (N 14th and Kent) as we march down past several of the promised parks’ locked gates. The day will end with a block party full of music, games, refreshments, and community… in a parking lot.

Come help us make a scene! It’s the only way we’ll unplug the City’s deaf ears across the river.

What NAG’s press release does not mention specifically is WNYC Transmitter Park is one of the “promised parks”. I have been assured the money has been set aside to build it. And by “it” I mean the park, not the pier and water taxi.

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Still, when I walk by this site (as I did May 9th which is when the photographs gracing this post date from) to discover a newly built deck, tires and oil drums being employed as planters it makes me wonder…

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what’s going on? If the Parks Department (who owns and occupies this land) can enjoy this space why can’t we?

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Bushwick Inlet Park (where the Monitor was built and as such is a historically significant site) and 65 Commercial Street (which is currently occupied by the MTA) are also on the itinerary. The previous should be a park. The latter leaves me with certain trepidations. David Yassky’s lackeys have seen fit to spam a great number of neighborhood groups in north Brooklyn with a petition addressed to Mayor Bloomberg demanding the MTA vacate 65 Commercial Street:

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Particularly frustrating is the fact a few months ago the MTA decided, seemingly of it’s (sic) own volition, to remove the buses that had been the main obstacle for leaving the site.

What’s particularly frustrating to me are the manifold ways David Yassky has failed north Brooklyn as a City Councilman and seems unwilling to admit it. Sure, I like the fancy garbage cans with his name emblazoned upon them (for reasons I will not go into here) but I cannot shake the feeling David “I’m running for Comptroller” is simply using us for votes. I have learned over the years that the key to deciphering David is to follow the money. His maligning of the MTA is merely a crass exploitation of popular sentiment against their malfeasance. So as to direct attention away from his shoddy record in our community (take 184 Kent Avenue, for example).

Those of you interested in participating in this event (and I encourage you to do so, you can get more details by checking out NAG’s blog) please do not confuse Mr. Yassky’s recent interest in Greenpoint or financial involvement in its “parks” (READ: India Street) as being genuine concern. Ask him why a parcel of land ostensibly owned by the New York City’s Parks Department has yet to become a park for its own citizens.

March For Parks
May, 16, 2009
Preparations start at the NAG Office at 12:30 p.m.:
101 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn 11211
March starts at Bushwick Inlet at 2:00 p.m.
The odds David Yassky will be soap boxing/shilling for votes when you reach the promised “party”:
let’s just say I wouldn’t bet against it.

Miss Heather

P.S.: This the most vomit-inducing plea for money I have seen. EVER.

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