Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn Space February 21, 2024

Brooklyn Space

February 21, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
If you are a NIMBY, Antonio Reynoso, the Brooklyn borough president, does not want you in his new pro-housing club.Photo courtesy of the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President
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They’re Starting a New York ‘Housing League.’ NIMBYs Not Allowed

Brooklyn’s borough president and a Manhattan councilman are forming a club of politicians who embrace using development to ease New York City’s housing crisis. The two officials, Antonio Reynoso, the Brooklyn borough president, and City Councilman Erik Bottcher of Manhattan, started the group to counter the long-held theory that opposing development is a political win.  

That idea, many housing experts agree, has helped create a shortage of hundreds of thousands of homes in and around the city, driving rents and home prices ever higher as residents compete for the limited supply. Last week, the duo sent an invitation to all 160 state and city politicians who represent some piece of New York City to come to an inaugural meeting next month. Mr. Reynoso said he wanted officials to come even if they were skeptical, but not if they only wanted to resist housing. “We do not want you if you’re just a straight NIMBY,” Mr. Reynoso said, referring to the phrase “not in my backyard,” often used as a label for people who oppose development.

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 Around Kings County


Redesign Eyed for Brooklyn’s Columbus Park

A group of elected officials. And business, civic, and educational organizations have been brainstorming ideas to reimagine Columbus Park, the heart of Brooklyn’s Civic Center. Borough President Antonio Reynoso, Councilmember Lincoln Restler, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and the WXY studio design firm will soon hold a workshop to air their ideas and get input from students. The workshop will take place at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Monday, Feb. 26, from 6-8 pm.

Read more at the Brooklyn Eagle.


The Brooklyn Edison Building may be NYC’s Next Landmark

The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to calendar the Brooklyn Edison Building in Downtown Brooklyn. Located at 345 Adams Street, the office building was designed by renowned architectural firm McKenzie, Voorhees & Gemlin and constructed between 1922 and 1926 for the Brooklyn Edison Company. The structure stands out for its important role in the borough’s development and its striking Renaissance Revival architectural features, according to the commission.

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Top 10 Brooklyn Real Estate Listings: A Marine Park Tudor, a Bed-Stuy Brownstone

The most popular listings on Brownstoner this week include a wood frame in Greenpoint, a brownstone in Bed-Stuy, and a standalone in Flatbush. Fort Greene and Park Slope were popular this week, with other listings dotted around the borough. The least expensive property on the list is a Brooklyn Heights rental at $3,600 a month, and the most expensive is a Gowanus carriage house at $7.4 million.

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How this Modular Construction Startup Stacks a High-Rise in One Day

AssemblyOSM built 147 Saint Felix Street in a matter of hours. Late one night last fall, eight flatbed trucks lined up at the foot of the George Washington Bridge and waited. When the clock struck midnight, and they got the green light, the trucks crossed the bridge and snaked through Manhattan to Fort Greene, Brooklyn. By late afternoon, a crane had lifted eight pieces of fully constructed apartments from the trucks and stacked them like Lego pieces on a vacant lot at 147 Saint Felix Street. A new three-story building was erected in less than a day.

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Foundations Underway For 544 Carroll Street In Gowanus

Foundations are taking shape at 544 Carroll Street, the site of a 17-story residential building on the eastern edge of Gowanus. Designed and developed by Avery Hall with L+Z Architecture, the 175,000-square-foot structure will yield 133 rental units, with 25 percent designated as affordable housing, as well as 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Leeding Builders Group LLC is the construction manager for the property. The project is expected to cost between $90 and $120 million.

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Housing Lottery Launches For Euclid Glenmore Apartments In East New York

The affordable housing lottery has launched for Euclid Glenmore, an eight-story residential building at 437 Euclid Avenue in East New York. Designed by Urban Architectural Initiatives and developed by The Lantern Organization and Mega Contracting Group, the structure yields 135 residences. Available on NYC Housing Connect are 53 units for residents at 30 to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), ranging ineligible income from $24,515 to $105,060. Aside from the residences, there will also be an on-site supportive services center and community facility offering childcare and medical services.

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Housing Solutions From Across The Globe

Downtown San Fransisco.<br>Photo: Daiwei Lu via Unsplash
Downtown San Fransisco.
Photo: Daiwei Lu via Unsplash

To Save San Francisco, a Democrat Wants to Scrap Environmental Reviews

State Senator Scott Wiener hopes to spur redevelopment in the struggling downtown core of San Fransisco by eliminating a major environmental hurdle. Not long ago, it would have sounded preposterous: a San Francisco Democrat asking to peel back California’s treasured environmental protections in the heart of the city. It would have been like painting the Golden Gate Bridge gray or cheering on the Los Angeles Dodgers. It just would not have flown. But as California grows more desperate for housing and San Francisco struggles to revive its city core, State Senator Scott Wiener says one thing must go: environmental review. Mr.Wiener will propose one of the broadest rollbacks of the once-vaunted California Environmental Quality Act by asking the state legislature to allow most projects in downtown San Francisco to bypass the law for the next decade.

Empty buildings could more easily be demolished to build theaters, museums or college campuses, Mr. Wiener said. Office towers could more readily be converted to a wide variety of housing. The withering mall on Market Street could more quickly become something else — like the soccer stadium that Mayor London Breed has envisioned. “We know we need to make downtown viable,” Ms. Breed, a sponsor of the bill, said. “We can’t let process get in the way.”

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Maria Torres-Springer, Brooklynite and the City’s Deputy Mayor for housing, economic development and workforce.<br>Photo: John McCarten
Maria Torres-Springer, Brooklynite and the City’s Deputy Mayor for housing, economic development and workforce.
Photo: John McCarten

➤ Maria Torres-Springer on why she’s ‘Extremely Grateful’ to Kathy Hochul

The New York City deputy mayor for housing said the governor has included all the city’s priorities in her budget proposal. The next hurdle is convincing lawmakers. On the heels of New York City’s latest Housing and Vacancy survey that found vacancy rates are the lowest they’ve been in decades, state officials are set to hear testimony regarding housing issues in the budget. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has already laid out his wish list: replacing the defunct 421-a tax break program to build affordable housing, incentivizing converting commercial buildings into housing, lifting the floor area ratio cap to permit more density and safely legalizing basement apartments. Gov. Kathy Hochul has included each priority in her budget. Ahead of the budget hearing when these issues will take center stage, Maria Torres-Springer, the city’s deputy mayor for housing, economic development and workforce, spoke with City & State about what the city hopes to see out of Albany this year.

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➤ Legal Aid sues Mayor to Force City Voucher Expansion 

Council reportedly expected to join suit against the administration. Four New Yorkers who would be eligible for city housing vouchers under new rules are suing Mayor Eric Adams to force his administration to implement four laws approved last year. The proposed class action lawsuit, filed by the Legal Aid Society on behalf of the tenants, seeks to force the Adams administration to immediately abide by laws that expand eligibility for the City Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement. 

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➤ Opinion: To Add Housing, Use Tax Incentives and Vouchers

There is a consensus that the housing market in New York City is broken. Demand is high, supply is limited and there is a scarcity of units available to lower-income renters. Thoughtful policymakers, developers, and elected officials agree that the government must provide an incentive to spur the production of more housing, especially affordable rental housing. Some advocates and policymakers demand a grand bargain that combines any new supply-side policies with “Good Cause Eviction,” a form of universal rent control and demand that “half a loaf” will not do, and both policies must be advanced together, no matter how much they conflict. Lawmakers should not try to pass new laws just for the sake of baking a “whole loaf.” Providing an incentive to boost the housing supply makes sense. Putting restrictions on the rental market does not; doing both simultaneously is counterproductive.

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➤ Architect Embraces Indigenous Worldview in Australian Designs

Jefa Greenaway is a leading proponent of“Country-centered design,” which calls for collaboration with Indigenous communities and puts sustainability concerns at a project’s core. Mr. Greenaway is today one of what he estimates to be fewer than 20 registered Indigenous architects in Australia. He’s also a leading proponent of what is known as“Country-centered design,” which brings an Aboriginal worldview to building projects. For many Indigenous Australians, the land they were born on or belong to holds a spiritual importance. One goal for the design approach that embraces this worldview is to reveal what was found on a site before European settlement and to do so in a way that puts the environment first.

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