Three big residential projects in Brooklyn, totaling nearly 9,000 units, earned key approvals Tuesday, while a fourth, a 720-unit development in Greenpoint was left on the bargaining table for a later date.
The City Council voted to green light a portion of the 5,500-unit Greenpoint Landing Project on the borough’s northernmost tip, proposed by Park Tower Group doing business as Greenpoint Landing Associates, although most of the project is being undertaken as-of-right. The council also signed off on the rezoning of the old Rheingold Brewery site in Bushwick, which Read Property Group aims to convert to a 10-building mixed-use complex boasting nearly 1,000 apartments.
Another winner was Two Trees Management’s redevelopment of the Domino Sugar refinery. In a vote Tuesday evening, Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 passed a resolution approving the project with conditions. That decision came despite the board’s recent history of rejecting large development projects in the area. Two Trees’ current plan would bring about 2,200 apartments, including 660 affordable units, to the Williamsburg waterfront.
The one project that did not fair quite as well Tuesday was the Chetrit Group’s 77 Commercial St., a 720-unit project next to Greenpoint Landing it is putting forth under the name Waterfront at Greenpoint. That development failed to make it out of negotiations for the vote that had been on the City Council’s agenda.
City Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn) announced that following lengthy discussions with Greenpoint Landing’s developer, “…Greenpoint will finally be getting the open space and affordable housing that it deserves.”
In a statement, Mr. Levin listed community benefits agreed to by Park Tower, including an additional $3 million donation, for a total of $5.5 million, for the Newtown Barge Park, and an agreement that 431 of the roughly 1,400 affordable units projected will be permanently affordable.
In exchange, the developer received approval for modification in zoning regulations to allow the construction of a 640-seat public school and exempt it from the project’s allowable floor space. Park Tower Group also got permission to build a mix of affordable and market-rate housing on a parcel of city-owned land it will now control.
Meanwhile, City Councilwoman Diana Reyna (D-Brooklyn) lauded the Rheingold project during a meeting of the council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises.
“I strongly believe this rezoning will serve the best interests of my community,” she said. Along with creating just under 900 market-rate apartments, and about 265 permanently affordable units, the project will include 54,132 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 504 parking spaces on a five-block area near the corner of Flushing and Evergreen avenues.
Arguably, the biggest surprise of the day was the vote by Community Board 1, which typically rejects large development projects including Greenpoint Landing, 77 Commercial St. and even an earlier version of a Domino Sugar revamp. But Tuesday night it approved the Two Trees’ project with conditions, which the firm’s Director of Special Projects David Lombino chalked up to outreach with the community.
“Last night’s vote shows that neighborhood residents strongly prefer our new vision for Domino to what we can now build as-of-right,” Mr. Lombino said.
The Domino project is slated to go before Borough President Marty Markowitz Wednesday evening on its next stop in the approval process.
As for 77 Commercial St., the deadline for approving the project is the end of the month, which led council insiders to speculate it would likely come up for a vote during the legislature’s Dec. 19 meeting.
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