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Hudson Companies Residential Development on Flatbush Ave. in PLG - Page 3 — Brooklynian

Hudson Companies Residential Development on Flatbush Ave. in PLG

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  • edited April 2014
    Tivoli Towers is as close to the BBG as this new development is to the park.
    I disagree. 626 Flatbush is 0.5 blocks from the park. If you were to exit on Lincoln Road, you can see the park down the street. Tivoli Towers is one block away, but BBG is in the middle. 
     Ebbetts field is close enough to be included when evaluating what "contextual" means (IMO). I still think the major beef here is with it's proximity to the park. For example, if this development were on Empire east of Bedford, would it be getting so much attention? I doubt it....
    You mean, like with the parcel of land discussed here
  • edited May 2014
    Re: Mitchell Lama. Yes, if the right incentives to build affordable housing are provided, it will be built. At the time, Mitchell Lama paid more than market rate housing. ....comparitively few such programs exist today. 

     Re: Contextual. Give it time. Once this and the other developments in the works are built, the context will be large apartment buildings. They have been permitted for decades, but are now again profitable to build.
  • The latest flyer by PPEN seems to indicate that they want development to be decided by a democratic process: 


    Development is decidedly not a democratic process once the zoning code has been established.   

    I hope they at least get nice weather on the Saturday vigils that they are planning.   

  • edited May 2014
    A similar group is protesting the building for similar reasons:
    From: Coalition Moratorium To Protect Prospect Park [mailto:info@mtopp.org]

    Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 5:24 PM
    Subject: Reason for Rally on May 24

    Please find attached the info about why we are demonstrating.

    It might be a little long winded, but there is so many things wrong with this building

    it is amazing that it has gone as it has!

    One of most basic issues is to keep affordable neighborhoods affordable. Once you start letting in Luxury housing, this will have a drastic affect upon the existing housing stock, by forcing prices to go up. We are demanding an investigation as to how our tax payer’s money is being spent to remove us from our neighborhood.

    We are also concern about the visual ascetics to the park, with the tall building creating shadows within the park if these buildings are allow to rise.

    A few facts

    a. Hudson Co received a 72 million bond from the State to build this building without conducting a mandatory environmental review on such projects as required by SEQRA.

    b. Hudson Co on their application to receive money from the State, stated there was no community opposition to this planned building.

    c. The building will be 50% taller than any other existing structure surrounding the park, thus you will be able to see it from almost any vantage point in the park!

    d. This building will be ten times taller than the existing structures surrounding it.

    e. This building has almost 100% financing from public funds, and there was 0% community involvement.

    f. 80% of the units are luxury units with the starting rents for a studio at around $1900.

    g. 20% of the units are “moderate or affordable” based upon an average income of around $84,000, where as the Flatbush, Leffarts Garden community has a medium income of around $40,000. Thus the affordable or moderate rates are not affordable or moderate to the people in this community!

    h. The luxury units will be 30% to 40% higher than existing market rents, causing a widespread increase in the rental market and the displacement of an entire community.

    i. The harassment and displacement of tenants has already begun in this community, as evident by a lawsuit filed by the Flatbush Tenant Coalition on April 15, 2014, for discrimination with the aim of displacing tenants.

    j. Flatbush, Lefferts Gardens is the densest populated area in Brooklyn, so why do we need more people?

    k. Flatbush already has an issue with traffic jams, idle cars along Flatbush Ave, to put another 300 to 400 cars in that same area is going to cause serious health related issues for the residents, such as asthma and other lung related diseases. This is why an Environmental study should have been done to avoid negative environmental factors to the community.

    l. An Article 78 lawsuit (to put a temporary stop on an activity) by PPEN (a local community group) was entered into Manhattan Supreme Courts in Dec. 2013 and is still pending! The normal time of completion of this type of lawsuit is 90 days and it is now 120 days and still no decision.

    m. The documents in the court have stated the foundation of this building will be laid by June of 2014 and once that is done, there is no way of stopping this building from being built.

    n. Twice since 2008, community Board 9 requested rezoning to protect our community and City Planning rejected these requests, by stating it was too busy.

    We are demonstrating at Prospect Park West Between Union and President St. on Saturday, May 24 from 10-2pm.
  • This group has a point with items j and k. 

    The B and Q lines are crowded enough by the time they arrive at Prospect Park during rush hours; How likely is the MTA to run extra trains?

    The construction contributes to traffic bottlenecks on the SB side of Flatbush Avenue.
  • edited May 2014
    One's right to build is not determined by the potential traffic effects.   

    The magical free market is believed to make properties that are a pain to get to less valuable.

    [...pssst, in a few years MTA is likely to try to introduce SBS to Flatbush Ave.]


  • I suspect I'm going to have way more gray hairs by the time a B41 SBS gets going.
  • edited May 2014
    That's ok, by then the area will be built up so much that the new residents will likely actually support it.

    While we will be the gray hairs complaining that it doesn't stop often enough:   "It doesn't stop in front of my doctor or the pharmacist" 

    Ah, the circle of life.



  • This should be interesting.

    It is one thing to argue that HFA did not follow its internal procedures and conduct an environmental impact statement.    In that instance, one sues HFA.

    In this case, the plaintiffs seem to be arguing that Hudson can't proceed because an advisory board (aka Community Board) didn't like the project, and Hudson stated to HFA that there was no significant community objection.

    There is always significant community objection to projects....   The entire industry states that there is "none", because the requirement contradicts "as of right".

    One thing is always true:  The lawyers will win.
  • I'm now reading that the opponents of the building are trying to kill it by making the city insist that it contain more affordable housing.

    I do wonder if they realize this strategy could backfire.   For example, the developers could say "We will include more affordable units if you allow us a greater FAR."    

    This would mean that the building is higher than 30 stories, and even more "out of context".    

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  • edited June 2014
    Press and commentary:
    http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2014/06/temporary-restraining-order-halts-cement-work-at-plg-tower-at-626-flatbush/

    Links to stories by NY1 and The Real Deal can also be found in the Brownstoner link
  • In a show of confidence that the lawsuit will fail, the developer continues work at the site.

    ...They are merely refraining from pouring any concrete to abide by the TRO.


  • Even if the lawsuit succeeds Hudson Companies will be able to build something on this site. None of the opponents question that.
  • edited June 2014
    The opponents seem to feel what the developers can build is up to them.

    Actually, there are lots of rules.
  • I think you've setting up something of a straw man here; the oponants of thia project, as planned, have made it clear that they are NOT opposed to development
  • When I talk to them, they seem to be arguing that Hudson has broken some kind of moral or legal rule.

    When I fail to be convinced, then they say HFA broke a rule....

    Or, that they just want PLG to remain "contextual".

    I just smile and am glad we have judges.
  • Only the most naive opponents believe the first. The last two are quite true; the failure of HFA to follow proper procedures is the basis for the present suite; achieving contextual zoning is a separate long-term goal and (potential) solution.
  • If HFA is found to have broken its rules by not doing an EIS, Hudson might have to give back the HFA $.

    However, Hudson can still build without a height limit because that isn't linked to HFA.

    In the present climate, I can't imagine DeBlasio letting a judge nix a development that will help him get toward his quota of affordable units.

    I haven't heard anyone talk about "contextual" with a straight face since his election.
  • "I haven't heard anyone talk about "contextual" with a straight face since his election"

    I have; I guess we talk to different people, hardly a surprise.
  • I hang out with Urban Planners.
  • I'll try not to hold that against you :-)
  • They will continue to put forward a guise of caring what the public thinks, while being paid to increase its tax revenue and decrease its expenses.

    No conflict there.
  • Who are "they"?

    Urban Planner? Politicians? me? the project's opponents?
  • In my quote, "They" are Urban Planners.

    However, people who do not have the luxury of being exclusively concerned with aesthetics or votes could be substituted.

    Hey, did you see Bruce got an award from the preservationists?

    http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2014/06/8546446/ratner-award-sparks-intra-preservationist-fight

    Quality entertainment on a Tuesday.
  • edited June 2014
  • Also coverage this morning on WNYC's Brian Lehrer show:

  • edited June 2014
    The Brooklyn Eagle really gave the developer some spoon fed, easy questions. The article was like reading a brochure.

    Did the developer do equally well on WNYC? (The player won't let me fast forward, and Brian Lehrer's voice annoys me).
  • The developer wasn't interviewed and didn't phone in. Although the WNYC phone lines were jammed with callers from PLG there was only time to take one phone call from the neighborhood.