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Around Brooklyn: Major apartment development planned for East New York

February 3, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Major apartment development planned for East New York

Innovative Urban Living, a developer, and PUA, an architectural firm, are proposing a 2.4 million-square-foot mixed-use development near the East New York waterfront that would include 13 new buildings, according to New York YIMBY. The site is comprised of five adjacent lots with frontage along Flatlands, Pennsylvania and Louisiana avenues. Zoning amendments are required to construct a unified mixed-use development of this size, New York YIMBY reported. The development would include 2,118 apartments, 1,825 of which would be affordable. The plans also include a supermarket, a day care center, an elementary school, a trade school and outdoor public space. The Christian Cultural Center, which currently occupies part of the site, would have space in the development as well. As part of the project, a shuttle service would operate to and from the L train at East 105th street and the 3 train at Pennsylvania Avenue.

Menchaca puts word out on available Census money

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City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook-Sunset Park) let his constituents know in a newsletter that the city has created a $40 million Census Fund to assist more than 150 organizations in helping New Yorkers complete the 2020 Census form. One of these organizations is the Red Hook Initiative, which has worked with the neighborhood’s youth for 17 years. The group is now offering four paid positions and Menchaca is recommending that constituents apply for them. These positions require knowledge of Spanish and/or Mandarin.

Cymbrowitz slams property tax overhaul

Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Southern Brooklyn) has vowed to battle the proposed city property tax overhaul recommendations released recently. “In its current form, the plan is devastating to many thousands of homeowners, condo and co-op owners in Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Midwood and other communities,” said Cymbrowitz, who is chair of the Assembly Housing Committee. The Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform’s recommendations include bundling co-ops, condos and small rentals into the same class as small one- to three-family homes. The proposal would also remove assessment caps, which currently limit the amount that property taxes for homeowners can increase, to 6 percent over a one-year period or 20 percent over a five-year period.

Major B’klyn Real Estate firms merge

Two of Brooklyn’s oldest boutique real estate brokers have merged, according to Brownstoner. Brooklyn Bridge Realty and Warren Lewis Sotheby’s International Realty have teamed up under the name “Avenue Sotheby’s International Realty.” Their three offices on Court Street in Cobble Hill, Seventh Avenue in Park Slope and Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg will remain open, according to an official announcement by the firm. 

Cops seek more suspects in brutal East New York attack

Three of six suspects accused of taking part in a December gang beatdown of a homeless man in which the victim was sodomized with a broomstick and robbed of $100 are still at large, according to the New York Post. The suspects allegedly jumped the victim, whom they knew from their East New York neighborhood, just before midnight on Dec. 23 near the intersection of Pennsylvania and Flatlands avenues, according to court documents. The suspect, who police later found lying naked and bleeding on a sidewalk, suffered a torn rectum, perforated bowels and broken ribs and is now clinging to life at Brookdale Hospital, the Post said. The three suspects who have been arrested are Kaleef Harris, who is being charged with attempted murder, predatory sexual assault and first-degree assault; Shaun Webb, who is charged with predatory sexual assault; and Laurel Johnson, who is being charged with predatory sexual assault and first-degree assault.

Dog stolen from outside Red Hook IKEA

A dog owner is searching for his four-legged friend after she was apparently stolen from outside the IKEA store in Red Hook, according to NBC New York. Wenfei Tong, who recently moved from Montana to New York, said Ana was stolen around 6:15 p.m. on Saturday. “Guards apparently tried to ring me but got the number on the tag wrong,” he told NBC New York.

Man steals cell phone from 12-year-old boy

A man stole a cell phone from a 12-year-old boy in Sheepshead Bay, just steps from the youth’s home, according to the Daily News. The boy was walking behind a building on Coyle Street on Jan. 25 when the robber ran up to the youngster from behind, police said. He forced the boy to unlock the phone with his pass code, grabbed it and ran south. Police described the suspect as a man in his 20s, about 5′6″ and 150 pounds, wearing a multi-colored holodeck jacket, gray sweatpants and black-and-white sneakers. Police released video of the incident on Sunday, the Daily News said.

Cuomo to rename Williamsburg park for transgender activist

East River State Park in Williamsburg will be renamed to honor the late LGBTQ activist Marsha Johnson, according to the Daily News. Johnson was a fighter for LGBTQ+ rights and a leader of the 1969 Stonewall uprising who died in 1992. Johnson, who danced as part of a drag ensemble, was a leader of the Gay Liberation Front and founded a group known as Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR). Later, she joined ACT-UP, a group that fought the AIDS pandemic. In his announcement, Cuomo asked New Yorkers to fight against racial, religious and sexual bigotry, the Daily News reported.

Plan for Windsor Terrace tower sparks controversy

Some Windsor Terrace residents are protesting the International Baptist Church’s plan to build a 13-story building at 312 Coney Island Ave., currently occupied by the church’s current four-story building. In addition to space for the church, the proposed new building would contain 278 apartments, 70 of which would be designated as affordable, as well as a parking garage and ground-floor retail, according to the Brooklyn Paper. At a rezoning meeting on Thursday, many local residents said they feared that the building would lead to increased traffic, more garbage on the streets and higher rents nearby. Others, however, argued that it’s the scarcity of apartments that makes rents high, and that increased construction would keep rents affordable. Borough President Eric Adams will hold a hearing on the proposed rezoning on Feb. 12 at Borough Hall, the Brooklyn Paper reported.

Clarke hosts small business town hall

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) on Thursday night held a district town hall aimed at highlighting the impact of small businesses in Brooklyn. Among the panelists were Mark Caserta of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID, Lauren Collins of the Church Avenue BID, Evan Franco of the North Flatbush BID and several others. Clarke and the panelists addressed local challenges that have severe effects on small business owners, particularly property tax increases and commercial storefront vacancies. “For years,” she said, “landlords have been suspected of keeping storefronts vacant until they are able to be filled by large corporations or until the neighborhood is rezoned.”

Greenpoint tasting room showcases Italian liqueur

St. Agrestis, a manufacturer of digestifs and apertifs, has opened its own amaro tasting room at 233 Eagle St. in Greenpoint, according to Time Out New York. Amaro is an herbal Italian liqueur that has gained popularity in the city recently. “Amaro is so difficult to understand,” said St. Agrestis producer Louis Catizone. “Until recently it was hard to learn about unless you went to Italy.” St. Argestis’ version of amaro includes cinnamon, clove, sarsaparilla and gentian. The new space will also offer gin-based cocktails, spritzers and weekly specials.

Brooklyn artists’ work displayed in Times Square

Two Brooklyn art studios, Eric Forman Studio and MODU, have won the annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition with their “Heart Squared” installation. The design uses more than 100 mirrors to transform Times Square into images of people, buildings and brightly-lit billboards, according to News 12 Brooklyn. As people move around the structure, the hundreds of reflections they see will reveal a pixel heart surrounded by a field of mirrored sky, News 12 said. The exhibition will be up for all of February.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer


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