After over a decade of uncertainty, the city has struck a deal to acquire the final 11 acres needed to complete Bushwick Inlet Park. The parcel of land on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront, a subject of controversy for years, will be purchased for $160 million, according to announcement from the mayor’s office.
mayor bill de blasio
Update, Oct. 20, 6:13pm: This post has been updated to include comments from the mayor’s office and the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Elected officials, community activists, labor union members, and preservationists gathered on East 11th Street yesterday to protest a development plan that would demolish five 19th Century tenement buildings to make way for a 300-room hotel. The protest, organized by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and other local groups, attracted several dozen demonstrators who called for Mayor Bill de Blasio to halt the demolition of the buildings.
Perhaps you thought that the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side sounded angry earlier this year when about 60 activists associated with the group gathered outside Gracie Mansion in the bitter February cold to protest the mayor’s “big scam” of a housing plan. But that demonstration was nothing compared to the one staged Thursday, when the Coalition led a large, supremely loud protest against the loss of affordable housing.
Yesterday afternoon a group of vocal protesters gathered along East 11th Street, facing a row of historic brick buildings they’re intent on saving from demolition at the hands of one of the city’s most prolific developers. The structures in question are a streak of five residential buildings, all of them five-story, Old Law tenements that, according to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, have changed little since they were built between 1887 and 1892.
GVSHP and the other preservation groups that organized yesterday’s protest– including the Historic Districts Council, the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative and the East Village Community Coalition– are appealing to the city’s Landmarks and Preservation Commission to come through with an eleventh-hour historic district designation that would thwart plans for a 300-room hotel.
If the Olympics put you in the mood for serving and spiking, here’s some good news: The Henry M. Jackson Playground is getting a volleyball area. It’s just one of many perks coming to two Lower East Side playgrounds as part of a city initiative to modernize ailing parks.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office revealed plans for an expansion of the NYPD’s Neighborhood Coordination Officers program. Two patrol areas in the downtown area– including the 9th precinct on the Lower East Side and the Housing Bureau’s PSA 4 in the East Village– are among a dozen new locations where the NYPD will apply its latest neighborhood-based policing strategies which they say will allow police officers to work more closely with the community and identify special concerns.
New York City’s 46th annual Pride March was bound to be even more political and urgent than usual. In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings at a gay nightclub during the weekly Latino night, feelings of solidarity, of mourning, and of resistance were more present than ever among this year’s marchers.
The mayor, governor, and thousands of members of New York’s LGBT community and their supporters gathered around Stonewall Inn yesterday evening for a vigil to mourn the 49 killed and dozens more injured during Sunday’s attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The Department of Transportation thinks your graffiti is vulgar, and will power-wash it into oblivion until New York City is restored to the sparkling shiny gem it once was. At least, that seemed to be the general message at this morning’s press conference with DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg, held under an overpass of the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown.
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.
Bushwick council member Antonio Reynoso was among the many who challenged Mayor de Blasio’s affordable housing plan last week, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to shoot it down entirely. Upzoning (i.e. rezoning certain areas to allow for higher buildings) is one of the more controversial aspects of the the mayor’s plan, and something that Bushwick residents have vehemently protested against in recent years. But in a report released earlier this month, Reynoso concludes that the mayor’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, which would require a share of those taller buildings to be permanently affordable, represents the chance to address “missed opportunities” in North Brooklyn housing development.
At an emotional Lower East Side town hall meeting on Saturday afternoon, hundreds of concerned residents, a number of small business owners, and representatives of community organizations were visibly upset. Instead of being met by Mayor Bill de Blasio himself, they were greeted by a representative from the administration. “We have been reaching out to him for months,” Jei Fong, a coalition representative, told B+B. “We personally invited him to this meeting. This is a real slap in the face.”