Community Board 1 is on track to issue its final demands regarding a dozen residential towers, a school, and a pair of parks headed for Greenpoint beginning next year. Last night, the Land Use subcommittee released a document calling for more affordable housing units for seniors and disabled residents, cheaper market-rate units, and better integration between the units, among other things.
At a subcommittee meeting Tuesday, Greenpointers again accused representatives from Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial Street of having ignored the community’s needs as they drew up elaborate waterfront plans. “Parks, affordable housing, see, these are critical issues,” Chris Olechowski, chair of CB1, said to a lawyer for one of the developers. “Did anybody analyze this community’s specific problems?”
The subcommittee’s report expresses the same sense of being left out in the cold when the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfront was rezoned in 2005, clearing the way for current development. “Promises made on May 1, 2005 regarding affordable housing were never delivered and parks were never built!” the document says.
During Tuesday’s meeting, CB members reopened that conversation, zeroing in on the need for adequate affordable housing and holding developers responsible for doling out sufficient cash to build two public parks, known as Box Street and Newton Barge Parks.
Though their previous requests have purportedly fallen on deaf ears, the subcommittee requested a set of modifications that we’ve summarized below.
77 Commercial Street:
- Of the 200 proposed units of affordable housing, 70 should be allocated for senior citizens/disabled at 30% Area Median Income.
- The balance of affordable housing units should be 30% studio apartments, 35% one bedroom apartments, 30% two-bedroom apartments and 5% three bedroom apartments.
- Income breakdowns should correspond to 60% of the units at 40% AMI; 20% of the units at 50% AMI and 20% of the units at 60% AMI.
- Market-rate housing should not exceed 60% AMI, as opposed to the developers current rate of 80%.
- 50% of units should be reserved for Community Board 1 residents.
- All affordable units should be integrated with market rate units.
- On-site amenities and parking for affordable-unit residents should be discounted.
- All money donated by the developer for the construction of Box Street Park ($8.2 million) should be earmarked for this park and not placed into the City’s General Fund.
- 100 of the earmarked affordable housing units should be earmarked for seniors/disabled residents at 30% AMI and lower.
- The balance of the units should be developed with the same income breakdown as 77 Commercial Street
- 50% of available units should be reserved for residents of Community Board 1.
- The cost of amenities (including parking) should be discounted for residents of affordable units.
- Affordable units should be integrated throughout both towers (and not only in the six-story base).
- If the cost of Newton Barge Park development increases, the developer’s portion should increase in proportion to the amount originally contributed ($2.5 million, added to the city budget of $4.5 million).
- The 640-seat school in the complex should remain a district school, and not a charter school.
Unless the above recommendations are incorporated into the developers’ blueprints, Community Board 1 will likely recommend disapproval of both plans when they are sent to the Borough President’s office early next month. The full board meeting is set for September 9.