Last night at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna took aim at a 14-block rezoning proposal that would allow for the construction of Brooklyn Generator, an eight-story, 480,000-square-foot office complex slated for development in Williamsburg. The special permit being sought by developer Heritage Equity and the Department of City Planning would transform a majority of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Industrial Business Zone and have major implications for the IBZ’s fast-shrinking homegrown industry as well as the city as a whole.
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Already ground zero for some of the city’s most dramatic rezonings, Williamsburg is facing yet another contentious development: an eight-story, 480,000-square-foot office complex known as the Brooklyn Generator. On Tuesday, Community Board 1 met to vote on whether or not to support the creation of a special mixed-use zone that would allow developers to move forward with the massive project. And they didn’t take the matter lightly. “This is going to affect us for the rest of our lives,” CB1 chairperson Dealice Fuller said of the board’s decision.
Surprise, surprise–North Brooklynites aren’t exactly thrilled about a potential parade of up to 30 tankers hauling organic waste through their neighborhood every day, even if the compost does eventually get converted into natural gas.
Hey, Greenpoint’s getting a shiny new park! Alright, technically it’s a “playground,” but with a new skate park, handball court and basketball court, hopefully it’ll make grownups want to come out and play, too. The major overhaul of tired old Sgt. William Dougherty Playground is scheduled to begin late next year, according to Department of Transportation officials, who announced the plans at a Community Board meeting last night.
Despite a stalemate with the local community board, it looks like Brooklyn Barge Bar isn’t dead in the water just yet. Aiming to be Brooklyn’s smaller version of the Frying Pan, the bar recently announced on Facebook that it hopes to open later this month. There are photos circa late March of the team building the gangway in Kingston, New York, and they’ve also launched a website detailing its menu and plans for engaging the community in (hopefully) non-alcohol related outdoor activities like sailing and fishing (though we’re not sure drunk fishing will be left totally out of the equation).
The owner of Trash Bar, who recently announced his music venue will be closing its doors this spring, faced a wall of opposition against his proposed new bar at a meeting in Williamsburg last night. Though Aaron Pierce claimed his new venture would be a classy bar and restaurant, he wasn’t able to shake Trash Bar’s reputation as a drunken, divey free-for-all (delightful for patrons but frequently termed “a nightmare” by those who would be living near the proposed new establishment). His bar failed to get the support of CB1’s SLA Committee.
A trio of hotel projects caused a stir last night at a Brooklyn Community Board 1 meeting, with neighbors voicing concerns about noise and traffic, and accusing the hotel operators of pulling switcheroos.
When the 21-floor Level Hotel opens in Williamsburg, on the corner of Wythe Avenue and North 13th Street, it’ll have a look that’s closer to The Standard, High Line than to the neighboring Wythe Hotel. The owners, Yoel Goldman and Zelig Weiss (Weiss also owns the Condor Hotel in Williamsburg) considered going the red-brick route, but decided against creating “this big giant building and pretending that it was always there” in part because “that’s not what the neighborhood is about,” said Mordy Steinfeld, director of operations and development with Riverside Developers. “It’s about authenticity and creating the space you need for the area you serve.”
Greenpoint residents raised concerns last night about the expansion of Newtown Barge Park, with some pushing for a much-needed dog run and others complaining that they hadn’t been given a fair chance to weigh in on the $7 million project’s design.
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A couple of weeks ago operators of the Starbucks that’s set to open at 154 N 7th Street got an earful from Williamsburg residents at a community board meeting as they pled their case for selling beer and wine. According to Gothamist, the owners of a nearby coffee shop, The West, managed to wrangle 500 signatures in three days opposing the liquor license. But nevermind all that: the ‘bucks is determined to win the hearts and minds of Williamsburgers — via (what else?) yarn bombing.
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Members of Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 are expressing “outrage” that the Department of Buildings is allowing the developer of the Domino Sugar site to build on weekends, potentially disrupting Williamsburgers from sleeping in on Saturdays.
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Opponents of the plan to redevelop the Domino Sugar refinery are speaking out again as Mayor de Blasio asks for additional affordable housing just days before a make-or-break City Planning Commission vote.
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