Brooklyn Space October 18, 2023
Brooklyn Borough President Reynoso Releases His Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn’s Future
Antonio Reynoso, who’s been talked about as a potential progressive challenger to Eric Adams, has big ideas, a bully pulpit and a tiny budget to realize them.
Brooklyn Borough President Reynoso laid out his vision to address the borough’s dual crises of housing and public health last week with what he called “a proposal for a different way to manage the city.” The Plan for equitable growth is based on a comprehensive analysis of boroughwide data and information and contains over 100 maps visualizing inequities In everything from housing production to life expectancy.
With 2.3 million inhabitants stretched across 71 square miles, Brooklyn is plagued by stark inequities along racial and socioeconomic lines. Residents of Park Slope make on average $125,000 more than those in Brownsville and live on average for seven more years. To try and narrow those gaps, Reynoso’s 201-page “comprehensive plan” offers 200 recommendations for improving and increasing access to healthcare, affordable housing, transit and public spaces. The Plan is not a substitute for a citywide comprehensive plan or ongoing local planning efforts. It is not a rezoning proposal, and it is not something the BP can implement on his own. However it is intended to inform the Borough President’s land use recommendations during ULURPs and to provide data to all stakeholders.
Reynoso released the plan a week after Mayor Adams offered a sweeping proposal for citywide zoning changes, aimed at spurring more affordable housing creation from private developers.
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Around Kings County
Permits Filed For 275 Atlantic Avenue In Boerum Hill
Permits have been filed to construct a new 15-story building that will accommodate a jail with accessory parking, loading support spaces, and community space where the Brooklyn Detention Complex once stood in Boerum Hill. Located between Smith Street and Boerum Place at 275 Atlantic Avenue, the lot is within walking distance of numerous trains and the NYC Department of Design and Construction is listed as the owner behind the applications. The proposed 339-foot-tall development will yield 712,150 square feet, with 682,150 square feet designated for commercial space and 30,000 square feet for community facility space. The steel-based structure will also have two cellar levels, two loading berths, and 100 enclosed parking spaces. Demolition began last year after the detention center closed in 2020. An estimated completion date has not been announced.
The Doe Fund Breaks Ground On Transitional Housing At 510 Gates Avenue In Bed-Stuy
The Doe Fund broke ground on a six-story transitional housing development at 510 Gates Avenue in Brooklyn. Located in Bedford Stuyvesant next to the organization’s first transitional residence, which opened in 1990, the residential building will provide men experiencing homelessness with 200 beds and with the opportunity to join The Doe Fund’s award-winning Ready Willing & Able reentry program. The 44,658-square-foot 510 Gates is designed by Urban Architectural Initiatives and developed by Bolivar Builders and Round Square Development.
Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Refinery Signs Equinox As First Tenant
The luxury gym chain Equinox is planning an outpost at the newly renovated Domino Sugar Refinery, now known as the Refinery at Domino, on the Williamsburg Waterfront. Equinox will be the first commercial tenant to take space in the redeveloped industrial building. The fitness chain has leased 42,000 square feet in the first floor and basement of the historic structure.
What $350,000 buys you in East New York
Renderings Reveal Two-Building Rental Development In Prospect Lefferts Gardens
Preliminary renderings posted at a construction site in Prospect Lefferts Gardens are the first to reveal a new, two-building multifamily development. The project is being developed by CroxDale Real Estate and will comprise two adjacent structures at 625 and 633 New York Avenue. Together the development will yield 45 apartments, plus a 28-vehicle parking garage housed in the larger structure.
Housing Solutions From
Across The Globe
Rents In Oakland Have Fallen Faster Than Anywhere Else In The US For A Simple Reason: The City Built More Housing
Oakland, California is proving the laws of supply and demand are alive and well in the housing market. Rent prices for apartments in Oakland — the Bay Area city of about 430,000 people — dropped 7.2% over the last year, according to data from Apartment List. That marks the largest drop in rent prices in any of the US’s 100 largest cities. Median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city hit $1,430 — its lowest level since 2017.
The decline is in large part due to a bunch of new housing hitting the market. The city built about 8,000 new homes over the last 10 years, helping ease its housing shortage. The city has also lost residents, after years of population growth. Over the last few years, Oakland had the fifth-highest rate of housing construction and the seventh-largest drop in population among California’s 73 largest cities. But even as the number of residents in Oakland has fallen, the number of occupied homes has increased, with fewer people occupying the average home. Read more.
Perspectives From Brooklyn
► Ahead of 1 Year Anniversary of Mayor Adams Unveiling of Willets Point Transformation, NYCEDC and Development Partners Begins Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP)
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced the beginning of the Uniform Land Use Review Process “ULURP” for the Willets Point Phase 2 development that was announced last fall by Mayor Adams. The next phase of development will bring 1,400 units of 100% affordable housing, a new public school, 40,000 square feet of new public open space, retail space, a 250-key hotel and the City’s first soccer-specific stadium that will be privately financed. The new neighborhood will be built on 23-acres of land that will Include the City’s largest all-affordable housing project in a generation, a new public school, and 40,000 square feet of new public open space and the City’s first soccer-specific stadium. EDC estimates that the Willets Point Transformation will add over $6 billion to City’s economy and create 16,000 jobs with priority and training for local residents. Read more.
► It’s Official: Rent Control Is About Wrecking Apartments
The Supreme Court has recognized disinvestment as affordable housing policy. Low quality of life has, unfortunately, been the city’s de facto affordable housing program throughout its history. The more crime, litter, air pollution, noise, vermin, fast food, run-down stores and low-performing schools a neighborhood has, the cheaper the housing will be. It wasn’t an especially insightful observation, just one that few people are willing to say. Now the Supreme Court of the United States, in rejecting landlords’ challenge to rent stabilization, has tacitly endorsed this affordability strategy. It allowed the state to continue capping rents in old apartment buildings, the properties most in need of upkeep.
► What Really Took Down AirBNB
It wasn’t the government; it was the housing market. Airbnb is not responsible for Bed-Stuy’s transformation; the city’s extreme housing shortage and sky-high wealth inequality are the central, obvious culprits. But the “sharing economy’s” entry into real estate did not exactly help. An analysis earlier this year by the advocacy and data group Inside Airbnb and the publication Gothamist found that Bed-Stuy had the highest concentration of Airbnb listings of any neighborhood in the city. In one six-by-four-block area, there were 87 Airbnbs. That’s 87 apartments decorated in Ikea and auctioned off night after night to people with no investment in the neighborhood. That’s 87 families that could have lived in Bed-Stuy, moved to Bed-Stuy, stayed in Bed-Stuy. Some Airbnbs, to be fair, were owned and inhabited by people who were defraying their own housing costs. But many of the city’s Airbnbs were full-time short-stay units. They were hotel rooms, not homes, owned by investors, not families. And there were 39,000 of them, displacing 100,000 New Yorkers, give or take. Read more.
► No State Immune to Housing Supply Shortage
A new report on housing underproduction from the American Planning Association, tells the story of a worsening housing affordability and availability crisis affecting communities nationwide. This year’s report found that housing underproduction is spreading geographically — and small towns and suburban communities are not exempt. Housing production is chronically behind demand as a result of decades of exclusionary housing policy, demographic shifts, and an enormous economic recession. As of 2021, the national housing underproduction number is 3.9 million, a 3 percent increase over 2019 underproduction levels. Between 2019 and 2021, the number of counties experiencing underproduction in the United States increased by nearly one third. Additionally, there were 193 metro areas experiencing housing underproduction in 2021 and 85 percent of all markets are worsening. This new data provides fresh evidence for the need to prioritize action on housing across all levels of government, highlighting the critical role community planners can play in finding solutions. Read more.
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