Live From This Evening’s ULURP Meeting

August 27, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


so there




All things considered this evening’s proceedings were quite well attended. I write “All things considered” because, once again, this meeting conflicted with another one pertaining to the subject of crime. In any case, I am pleased to announce (SPOILER ALERT):

  1. 77 Commercial has dispensed with the “poor door”.
  2. Ms. Meyer, the lady charged with representing Greenpoint Landing, assured us those who live in their affordable housing units will have (and I quote) “free access” to the parks developed on said parcels. Um, I thought that was kind of the point of having public parks? But I digress.

Without further ado here are tonight’s proceedings. Enjoy!

  • 0:54 – 1:28 watch it. And REwatch it. I did. Here’s an instant replay— albeit of the “I am tired and am in no mood for annotating this sh*t” variety.

Listening to this the first time was bad enough. Hence a Hello Kitty* post-it note and my hand will have to suffice. To my credit, I refrained from using my middle finger

  • Jack Hammer the Director of Planning at HPD (Housing Preservation and Development) speaks. I am not kidding. His name really is Jack Hammer.
  • “Mayoral Process”: one of the two ton gorillas** in the room, it was not mentioned (after all the public was not allowed to comment) but it was certainly there nonetheless. The reason this is being expedited— and Community Board 1 has never been this “active” during their summer break in my recollection— is so it will fly through before Bloomturd leaves office.

  • So was the dude sitting next to me from the Department of City Planning or not?
  • At 4:48 Del Teague, ULURP Chair, makes it clear she is NOT taking questions from “the public”.

The “vote” and next up, 77 Commercial Street…

This fellow represents via Greenberg Traurig LLP. In other words: he’s a lobbyist for “Clipper Equities”.

  • At 3:18 he, on the behalf of 77 Commercial Street, dispenses with the “poor door”.

  • Apparently the City of New York can only sell air rights from 65 Commercial Street to adjacent properties– and 77 Commercial was the only one to make a bid. So they got it.

Congratulations, Greenpoint! We’re getting more park space and it will even be available to residents of affordable housing! What’s more, we may very well have landed us a(nother) slumlord. Run a Google search of David Bistricer and Joseph Chetrit, the fellows behind 77 Commercial Street. This and this are my personal favorites.

I skipped out before the “school” presentation (at the end). But then again Del Teague, ULURP Chair, almost forgot about it too…


Post Script: I would encourage each and every one of you, gentle readers, to familiarize yourselves with the Sunshine Laws. Especially as they pertain to “Open Meetings”. In this respect let’s just say our local Community Board seems to be a mite bit inconsistent in its application

*Hello Kitty neither endorses nor takes a position on this community matter. I simply felt lazy and the need to be a jackass. It happens.

**The other being “infrastructural” stress: policing. The fact of the matter is the 94th is presently under-staffed to protect and serve this community. It has never overcome the wave of “attrition”/”retirements” that came to pass several years ago. So, I ask:

How is the 94th Precinct going to handle the influx of new residents from Greenpoint Landing, 77 Commercial Street and all the Greenpoint Condo Corridor?

Given the current path we’re on they cannot. Plain and simple. It was noted in 94th Precinct Community Council meetings long before this “Crime Wave” that block watchers and neighborhood watch groups should be (re)implemented. They were not.

But what irritates the fuck out of me is the fact this is the second time a meeting/forum regarding “crime” has conflicted with a ULURP meeting regarding the development on Greenpoint’s waterfront. So we have to choose. Is Community Board 1 really that inept/out of touch?


August 27, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 




This one damned near slipped past. But thanks to the folks at Save Domino I got a reminder/heads-up!

ULURP Committee Meeting, Community Board 1
August 27, 2013 starting at 6:30
Mary D’s Seniors Center
80 Dupont Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Join Us!

Earlier today I noted the meeting regarding crime scheduled for this evening has been cancelled —and a public forum regarding crime has been organized by our city Councilman, Steve Levin, is scheduled for August 27th. Well, it has been brought to my attention the previous evening, August 26th, there will be a sunset “meet and greet” at 475 Kent Avenue, replete with cocktails, on the rooftop!


A few thoughts/observations:

  • This email blast (which was in turn forwarded to yours truly) was sent to someone who is not a resident of 475 Kent Avenue.
  • However he/she has attended Loft Law workshops publicized by NAG (Neighbors Allied For Good Growth).
  • NAG is a recipient of city funding for activities like Williamsburg Walks.
  • The tenant organizer for NAG also happens to be a member of Community Board 1— and she was appointed by Councilman Levin.
  • The NYC Loft Tenant Group is a city-wide group.  Are they conducting “meet and greets” for all city councilmembers up for reelection this year— or only Steve Levin?

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!

Spotted On Graham Avenue: Ingenuity

July 3, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 


If there is something this so-called “Brunch War” has taught me it is this: when there is revenue to be gained, local business owners can be downright inventive— be it by couching their argument as oppressing the brunching community (TIP: if you’re able to brunch— much less complain about the lack thereof—  online— you are probably not oppressed) or creative license in regards to sidewalk cafe rules (Hear me, Nights and Weekends?*). Which brings me to the above photograph which was taken today.

Sage is permitted a sidewalk cafe with nine tables and eighteen tables. The work-around: installing eight picnic tables with two benches attached to each respectively. Thus we have eight tables and sixteen pieces of seating! Genius!!!

*Who have since, to their credit, removed these stools.

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.



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:


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.



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:


You can read the rest here.

Tomorrow: Community Board 1 Joint SLA & Public Safety Committee Meeting


As you can plainly see, gentle readers, the list is a long one. If anyone has issues with any of the above-listed establishments show up and speak up!

Joint SLA Review & Public Safety Committee Meeting
May 30, 2013 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Community Board 1 Office
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Quicklinks: More Ado About Greenpoint Landing

shitsandwichYou can read’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


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