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Around Brooklyn: Prospect Heights resident starts volunteer support network

April 15, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Prospect Heights resident starts volunteer support network

A Prospect Heights do-gooder has launched a volunteer support network for local seniors and other people in need of a helping hand. Mutual aid groups, which help distribute much-needed resources between neighbors, have become a popular mechanism for communities to support themselves as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought most of the economy to a standstill, said Crystal Hudson. Largely inspired by her own story of caring for her mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, Hudson and a handful of other organizers launched the group on the messaging app WhatsApp, allowing volunteers to connect with needy neighbors to help with tasks such as grocery shopping and pharmacy pickups, the Brooklyn Paper reports.

Groups want homeless off streets, subways

At a press conference on April 11, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 6,000 more homeless people would be relocated into empty hotel rooms. Of the people de Blasio mentioned, 3,500 have already been transferred to commercial hotels that were used as shelter before the pandemic, according to Curbed. Last week, groups that advocate for the homeless, including VOCAL-NY, and others, called on de Blasio to relocate people who were sleeping in the street. For New Yorkers sleeping on the street and on the subway, de Blasio also announced that the city will open 230 new transitional beds.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Most shuttered hospitals were replaced by development

Of the 18 hospitals in New York City that have closed in the pat 40 years, more than 40 percent have been replaced by residential developments, according to, a real estate blog. Two-thirds of the closures occurred in the outer boroughs. The report pointed to now-defunct hospital such as St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, were New Yorkers received care during the AIDS crisis. Queens lost St. John’s Hospital, Parkway Hospital and Mary Immaculate Hospital in the last two decades. The report places the blame on land-use decisions by the city, particularly during the Bloomberg administration.

New condo planned for Greenpoint

Investmates and design partner INOA Architecture have revealed a rendering for 217 Franklin St., a six-story condo development located near the Greenpoint waterfront. The project is one of nearly a dozen new residential projects in North Brooklyn in which the team has collaborated, according to New York YIMBY. The residential component will include six condominiums averaging around 1,055 square feet apiece. The roof of the structure will support additional outdoor space. The project, located between Freeman and Eagle streets, is a short walk from the G train’s Greenpoint Avenue subway station. Construction is expected to wrap up by spring 2021.

Man fatally shot at Brownville housing project

A 21-year-old man was fatally shot inside NYCHA’s Tilden Houses in Brownsville on Monday night, according to the New York Post. Police said the man had argued with a neighbor in the development, and the incident escalated into violence. A gun was found on the floor below where the incident took place, police said. At least seven people were taken in for questioning.

Local firms speed up medical protection equipment

City manufacturers will speed up production of medical protection equipment at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Brooklyn Army Terminal, according to the Brooklyn Paper. More than a dozen companies will produce hundreds of thousands of face masks, surgical gowns and COVID-19 testing kits. The city Economic Development Corporation has recruited eight companies to produce the plastic facial guards at the Navy Yard, the Army Terminal and in Manhattan. One company, Course of Trade, has recruited 400 seamstresses from the Sunset Park neighborhood. Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the firms for stepping up to produce this essential equipment. “These are brand new production lines, created from scratch by companies here, by New York City workers, in an atmosphere of crisis and they’ve surpassed any possible expectation we could have and we’re going farther,” he said.

Cops seek suspect in random train stabbing

Police have released new video of a suspect in a random stabbing on the J train, ABC7 said. The incident happened on an eastbound J train last Tuesday. The victim was stabbed in the back and neck. He was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Nursing homes plagued by coronavirus deaths

Two nursing homes in Brooklyn have lost about 90 residents to the coronavirus, according to the New York Post, and the situation is so dire that the homes are finding it difficult to store the bodies. “These places don’t have morgues,” a nurse said as she was leaving the Brooklyn Rehabilitation Center on Coney Island Avenue. A spokesman for the home’s management said, “We’ve never left a deceased patient in his bed, and we’ve made arrangements with several morgues nearby.” The other home in question is the King David Center in Bay Ridge.

Luxury homes sold at height of pandemic

Activity continues to be slow in Brooklyn’s luxury residential market during the coronavirus pandemic but did pick up slightly last week, according to The Real Deal. Brooklyn saw five luxury contracts signed, three townhouses and two condominiums. The source is a report from Compass that looks at homes in the borough asking $2 million or more. The most expensive deal was for a townhouse at 199 St. John’s Place in Park Slope, which was asking $3.5 million. The second-priciest deal was for a townhouse at 188 Adelphi St. in Fort Greene, which was asking just under $2.6 million.

Brooklyn Bridge Park condo sells for $20M

A Brooklyn apartment that has sold for $20 million is the most expensive home ever sold in the borough, according to New York Post. The sale, which hit the public record on Tuesday afternoon, is for a penthouse atop Quay Tower, a new 30-story condo building in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The buyer is shielded by an anonymous limited liability company, but was identified as a New Yorker in the financial services industry by the Wall Street Journal. The condo, which is a combination of two top-floor units, spans 7,433 square feet and has a 1,179-square-food private terrace, the Post reported.

PIX11 spotlights Brooklyn seafood takeout restaurant

PIX11 has spotlighted a takeout restaurant every week, and the latest is Bedford-Stuyvesant seafood restaurant BK Lobster. Its “Flatbush Roll” is a lobster roll served with the restaurant’s trademark jerk sauce. Owner and Brooklyn native Rodney Bonds told PIX11 he’s done everything he can to keep his staff on during the crisis, but things are tough during the city’s near-shutdown.

Four-story building planned for East Flatbush

Permits have been filed for a four-story residential building at 437 Rutland Road in East Flatbush, according to New York YIMBY. The site, which is currently occupied by a vacant two-story frame house, is located between New York and Brooklyn avenues and is five blocks from the Winthrop Street subway station. The building is slated to have six residences, most likely rentals. Fred Ostad is listed as the owner behind the applications, and the Sion Consulting Engineering is listed as the architect of record.

Brooklyn priest named bishop of Paterson, N.J.

Pope Francis has named a Brooklyn priest, Father Kevin Sweeney, as the next bishop of Paterson, New Jersey. Bishop-elect Sweeney currently serves as the pastor of St. Michael’s Parish in Sunset Park. He will succeed Bishop Arthur Serratelli, whose resignation Pope Francis accepted now that Serratelli has reached the retirement age of 75. Sweeney is a native of Whitestone, Queens, and attended Cathedral Prep, where he was an all-star infielder. He entered the seminary after receiving a B.A. in philosophy from St. John’s University. He remains an avid baseball fan, and in 2013 was inducted into Cathedral Prep’s Hall of Fame.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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