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


Ah, kids nowadays…


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


One fashionably dressed lady brought a sign.


I call this photo “shock and awe”.


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.


(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!


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

  1. deadzebra on Wed, 14th Aug 2013 12:02 am
  2. unfortunately I couldn’t make it due to deadlines, thanks for the update. Was it well attended? Are these just formalities or is there really still a chance to stop or alter these plans?

  3. missheather on Wed, 14th Aug 2013 12:43 am
  4. As far as attendance goes: so-so. Here are a few reasons why:

    1. A LOT of people are out of town this time of year.
    2. There was a conflicting event: the Anti Violence Project’s workshop at the Greenpoint Reformed Church.

    Given last night the 94th arrested a suspect who may be responsible for three break-ins and sexual assaults, I am guessing a number of folks opted to attend the latter. (Here’s the latest from the NYPD lest you have not read it already— very disturbing stuff!

    You asked: Are these just formalities or is there really still a chance to stop or alter these plans?

    That is a fun question!!! Given that our own City Councilman did not show up (he sent Rami Metal— Mr. Metal was the ONLY “presence” of elected officials at this meeting. This is in and of itself troubling if you ask me!), I’d say he’s given up/written it off. Not that Mr. Levin was ever terribly vocal/”active” about this matter (over-development on the Greenpoint waterfront) in the first place. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say he was at the Anti-Violence Project’s Workshop (which he probably had a hand in organizing— and it was scheduled after the ULURP meeting was— what I’m sayin’ is I doubt he was simply ignorant of the conflict.).

    Mr. Levin has been approached, some time ago, about getting a dog run hereabouts. He did not do anything. And lo, now this developer has thrown a dog run into the “amenities” they are going to “give” the public— in exchange for valuable air rights. I have to wonder if Mr. Levin knew this would be brought to the table so as to make this development more palatable.

    Very simply put, I find the scheduling conflict dubious at best and a tremendous disservice to this community. We should not have to pick between a ULURP meeting and a workshop which addresses the recent violence against women hereabouts. BOTH are serious matters (think about what ramifications a population surge— as this development will undoubtedly bring— is going to have for law enforcement hereabouts, seriously)— but I digress.

    The vast majority of the Greenpoint Landing Project is “as of right” per the 2005 rezone. Thus, it is more or less a “done deal”— if we want it to be. We could, arguably, ask for a downzone on the waterfront but I can assure you that will be fought against tooth and nail. There’s simply too much money to be had— and a great many of our local “parks advocates” are all too happy to enable the sale of air rights (such as from 65 Commercial) so as to get “open space” on the waterfront. Thus, we basically have to rely upon making deals with developers to get what we, quite frankly, should be getting from our fair city. I for one have a BIG problem with this.

    Nonetheless, what was proposed this evening is NOT a done deal. It may constitute a small portion of what Greenpoint Landing is— but it is important. The line has to be drawn somewhere. And tonight I think this was made clear. Next Tuesday they’re going to have a hearing at the same time, same location (Automotive High School) regarding 77 Commercial Street. I strongly suggest you go!

  5. dog owner on Wed, 14th Aug 2013 7:25 am
  6. After you left, one of our more distinguished residents/leaders took to yell that they are lying to us. He was very vocal but leaning down as to be hiding behind the seats. I followed up afterwards to ask him what was that was about. Apparently in the 2005 rezoning, the City had agreed to adjust the AMI to 20 to 40% as that is more reflective of the true income in the community.

    Next someone who I shall call the Commodore made a good point, the money from the sale of the air rights will go into the City’s General Fund. That money should be earmarked for the Greenpoint community.

    It is gonna be all about the the little things that can be negotiated. This thing is happening and the city is pushing to make it happen before Bloomberg leaves office.

  7. missheather on Wed, 14th Aug 2013 12:42 pm
  8. Well said, dog owner!

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