Coney Island

Stringer criticizes Trump Village redevelopment project

January 30, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hundreds of concerned residents turned out for a meeting at Abraham Lincoln High School to discuss the construction plans. Photo used with permission

Says 40-story tower would dwarf surrounding community

A developer’s controversial plan to build a 40-story tower in Coney Island – a project that has drawn the ire of neighborhood residents – has come to the attention of City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Stringer spoke out against the Trump Village redevelopment plan at a recent meeting at Abraham Lincoln High School on Ocean Parkway, charging that the size and scope of the project would be out of character with the neighborhood.

“I am here, like many of you to express my concern and my opposition to this development at Trump Village. This project will dwarf the surrounding community with a 40-story tower casting shadows over the cherished open space and apartments,” Stringer told a packed auditorium.

SheepsheadBites.com reported that more than 700 residents turned out for the meeting, which took place on Jan. 21. The meeting was sponsored by council members Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay-Brighton Beach) and Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst).

At issue is a plan by Cammeby’s International Group to construct a 430-foot tall, 40-story building at 532 Neptune Ave. at the site of the Trump Village Shopping Center. The building would have a mixed-commercial and residential use, containing commercial space on the first three floors and 544 residential units above.

The building would be the tallest structure in Coney Island.

“The skylines in our city change, and they must. But they have to change in a rational way with community consultation,” Stringer said.

The building would be located just south of the F train’s Neptune Avenue station, NewYorkYimby.com reported.

The site would also contain a garage with parking spaces for 500 cars.

Trump Village Shopping Center would have to be demolished to make way for the new development.

The site housed a gas plant 100 years ago and an environmental remediation would be necessary before the project could move forward, officials told residents at the meeting.

George Heitzman, a representative of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, stated that the Dangman Park Manufactured Natural Gas Plant operated on the site from the late 19th Century until the second decade of the 20th Century. Tar that was left over from a coal baking process seeped into the ground. At the time, coal was baked to produce gas.

The Dept. of Environmental Conservation is currently working with National Grid to determine the next step in the remediation process.

The fact that the site requires remediation raises concerns, Stringer said. “Nothing – nothing – should be built on toxic land,” he said. “As the person who pays out the claims in this town, we are not going to let that happen. We have to be mindful that we have a responsibility to make sure our kids and seniors are safe.”

Dennis Hasher, counsel to Cammeby’s International, spoke at the meeting, telling residents that the project is a good thing because it would invest $450 million into the area and spur $1 billion in economic growth, Sheepsheadbites.com reported.

A woman who answered the phone at Cammeby’s International on Thursday told the Brooklyn Eagle that the company would have no comment on the controversy surrounding the construction plans.

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