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16-Story Towers Face Public Scrutiny

by Rachel Holiday Smith – DNAinfo

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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#1 Comment By Manhattan On April 19, 2017 @ 8:46 pm

This project belongs in Manhattan, not Crown Heights. At 16 stories it’s obviously not for people from our Community.

#2 Comment By Milhouse On April 19, 2017 @ 10:59 pm

If someone owns property in Brooklyn why should he not build what he likes on it? What gives you the right to prevent him?

#3 Comment By Boruch On April 19, 2017 @ 10:36 pm

I’m inclined to say that it’s a free country, but on another hand the middle class is becoming extinct in CH. you either have to be poor in section 8 or wealthy with the direction that real estate is going in CH. very sad

#4 Comment By Milhouse On April 20, 2017 @ 11:31 am

Nu, so move somewhere else. What gives you the right to impose costs on someone else just so you can afford to live here? How is that different from outright robbery?

#5 Comment By The kangeroo On April 20, 2017 @ 10:48 am

#2 there are zoning laws get an education!.Movement to protect the People are right.But I wonder is there any hope for the not wealthy in the city?

#6 Comment By Milhouse On April 20, 2017 @ 11:33 am

Of course there are such laws. The question is what justifies them, and what justifies us taking advantage of them to hurt someone else, even if he’s not Jewish let alone if he is?

#7 Comment By The Pigs need to be slaughtered On April 20, 2017 @ 2:06 pm

if you buy land in a place where the law permits you to build a 2 family house
But you know who you know and you hire a powerful law firm and change the law. how is that fair ???
no morals only animals trading in people necessities.
people need a roof over their head.
Pigs take advantage of the situation.

#8 Comment By The kangeroo On April 20, 2017 @ 2:49 pm

You not hurting anybody, you protecting the poor from being homeless.There is such thing as Maiser Oni mandatory.