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Controversial Downtown Bklyn Skyscraper Project Gains Support



Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a public hearing for the proposed Downtown Brooklyn mixed use project, including one of the borough’s tallest buildings to date located at 80 Flatbush Avenue last week, as part of the city’s public review process (ULURP).

The controversial project includes a one 38-story, 560-foot skyscraper and a 74-story, 986-foot skyscraper that would be home to two public schools, 900 units of affordable (200 of which would be permanently affordable) and market-rate housing, a cultural facility, commercial office and retail space.

At the recent hearing, the support was voice from local groups and labor unions.

“NYC is in a housing crisis, and the need for affordable housing has never been greater. Of the project’s 900 units of new housing, 200 will be owned and developed by the nonprofit Fifth Avenue Committee and permanently affordable to low- and very-low income households earning between 40 and 80 percent of the “Area Median Income”. This kind of residential development is essential across the city and especially here in Downtown Brooklyn,” Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s President Regina Myer said.

The project is expected to create roughly 3,000 jobs, including roughly 1,500 permanent jobs. As such, it has the strong support of 32BJ SEIU, the largest property services workers union in the country.

“The 80 Flatbush project stands as a model of responsible development in our city. By creating good jobs that pay a fair wage and provide good benefits, Alloy Development will help its workers continue to live in, raise their kids in, and retire in New York City. It is in our common interest to make sure that all city projects are equitable and benefit the entire community,” read a statement from the union at yesterday’s hearing.

Last Thursday, The Arab American Family Support Center (AAFSC) delivered more than 600 petitions to Adams in support for the proposed mixed-use project, that will house one of the City’s first public schools to specialize in Arabic language and studies. The proposal includes a new state-of-the-art Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA), one of only three international baccalaureate programs in the city.

Many local community members on the other hand have been opposed to the project. Those opposed have sited, over congestion, the building being out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood which circumvents zooming restrictions. Anti-Flatbush 80 community activists are also concerned the 986 Foot tower will block sunlight to the surrounding buildings, and cause damage to a nearby community garden. The Boerum Hill Association and block 80 Flatbush Towers have petitioned heavily in the Downtown Brooklyn area to block the progress of this large project.

By Kelly Mana

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