Borough President Eric Adams recommended against the project at 249 and 344 Wallabout Street, which calls for an eight-building complex with 1,146 units of housing, 30 percent of which would be designated affordable. The proposal includes open public space and retail.
“My recommendations for the future of the Broadway Triangle are guided by thousands of passionate Brooklynites whose concerns and feedback I have considered in recent months,” Adams said. “Considering these land use applications have been about more than one site or project, it represents a chance to evaluate the direction of development in Williamsburg and ensure that we are creating opportunities for everyone to afford to raise healthy children and families in this neighborhood.”
The rezoning application is under public review, which includes recommendations from the local community board, borough president and City Council. Two weeks ago, activists from the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition shut down the public hearing at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
The coalition, made up of 40 groups opposed to the project, have argued that allowing the rezoning would further segregation in the neighborhood and disproportionately exclude Black and Latino residents.
“Any rezoning that the city grants must affirm the standard of diverse, not segregated, opportunity,” Adams said.
In his recommendation, the borough president stressed the need for more affordable housing, a diversity in the bedroom mix and “local administrative oversight” of the affordable housing lottery and marketing.
For the project to be approved, he said, there should be a special permit affordable housing bonus or “other legal mechanism” that commits an additional 21,300 square feet of affordable housing at an average rent based on 60 percent of the area median income (AMI).
Adams supports having half of the units be two or more bedrooms while at least 75 percent be one or more bedroom units. He also wants a local housing development nonprofit to be “administering agents” in the lottery process.
He advised the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) that half of the preference for community residents should include locals within Community Boards 1 and 3.
Adams also recommends improving access to mass transit, furthering Vision Zero street design, expanding open space, promoting sustainable design and using more Brooklyn-based minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs).
His other suggestions include committing money to the MTA to reopen the entrance and street stairs at the G line’s Flushing Avenue and J line’s Lorimer Street stations, implement curb extensions or painted sidewalk extensions near schools and to begin a traffic study on Gerry Street between Flushing and Harrison avenues.
The City Planning Commission will consider the borough president’s recommendations at their public meeting on July 26.
“We all need to remember that we can disagree without being disagreeable,” Adams said. “There are shared challenges facing these communities, and I believe there is an opportunity for all of us, standing together, to reach shared solutions.”
“Divisive rhetoric is not the best path to progress,” he added. “Let us all recommit to working in partnership on creating and preserving the affordable housing that all Brooklynites need.”
In a statement, Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH), a member of the coalition, applauded Adams’s decision on the development.
“The proposed plan should be rejected at every step of the ULURP process,” said Jesus Gonzalez and Rob Solano, co-executive directors of CUFFH. “It will continue the trend of exclusionary housing development in the most segregated neighborhood in our city.”
“We strongly feel that this plan should be rejected and sent back to the drawing board,” they added. “Any plan for construction at this site must recognize and work to address the longstanding history of segregation and discrimination in the Broadway Triangle and create housing that accommodates the needs of all community members in the Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Williamsburg neighborhoods - not just one portion of the community.”