Friday, November 2, 2007

Plan Promotes Alternative, Affordable Office Space in Vibrant Downtown District

Here's something from "Bloomberg Administration Unveils Development Plan for Downtown Brooklyn," an NYC Department of City Planning Press release:
The sweeping proposal calls for the City to increase zoning allowances, assist in the assembly of key commercial and residential sites and undertake a series of infrastructure improvements to help facilitate the creation of as much as 5.4 million square feet of new commercial space and about 1,000 units of housing.
That's what they said in 2003. Here's what NY1 reported in "Downtown Brooklyn Set To Get A New Look" (November 2007):
New renderings were released today as part of the so-called "Plan for Downtown Brooklyn." The video proposal, narrated by stage and screen star Ian McKellen, calls for a new hotel, retail and office space, and more than 14,000 new housing units.

The year-old Downtown Brooklyn Partnership hopes to use the animated renderings to help attract corporate tenants, retailers, and investors to the more than 50 projects planned or already in the works at a cost of $9 billion in private money and $300 million in public investment.

Currently, a new hotel, a park with a 700-car underground garage, and a new office building are planned to be completed at the former Albee Square Mall by 2012.
The first think you might notice is that the number of housing units has gone up. Way up, from 1,000 to 14,000.

The next think you might notice is that among the massive, massive developments, a little 700-car garage and 1.15 acre grassy knoll gets high billing. The Downtown Brooklyn plan has already brought the destruction of hundreds of parking spaces- what's so important about this parking lot?

Well, for some reason the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has decided to make a big splash during the extremely brief period of public commentary regarding this parking lot. It may be a coincidence, but the public has until Monday 11/5 at 5pm to submit their ideas about the planned destruction of the Duffield Street homes in order to build said parking lot.

Please submit your comments to Jack Hammer at Let him know whether you think the City should destroy the Duffield Abolitionist homes immediately, or whether they should be researched further to find if they had a role in the Underground Railroad slave safehouse movement. Given the massive buildings that continue to grow in the area, do you think eminent domain is critical to future development?