Councilman Bill de Blasio organized a Brooklyn blogger gathering on Wednesday night, ostensibly because “more and more of my constituents say they’re getting their news from blogs.” The meet-up may have also had something to do with the rumor that de Blasio is running for borough president (he admits to being interested in the gig, but says he hasn’t “made a decision yet”). Discussion at the meeting, which was attended by bloggers from Gowanus Lounge, Atlantic Yards Report, Found in Brooklyn, Pardon Me for Asking, and Green Brooklyn, touched on de Blasio’s positions with reference to a wide range of Brooklyn development issues. The capsule version: De Blasio worked at HUD before becoming a Councilman, and conversation seemed to inevitably circle back to questions of affordable housing. “The government’s approach to housing is broken across the board,” he asserted. He noted that the city and state’s hands-off policies when it comes to subsidized housing (as evidenced by the sunsetting of Mitchell-Lama, problems with the Section 8 program, and the fact that no new public housing is being created), combined with the rising tide of gentrification, have placed the onus of affordability on new construction. Thus, he thinks City Planning’s initial framework for the rezoning of Gowanus is “legitimate,” particularly in terms of the height and density that are being proposed for the Public Place site (where towers may be allowed to rise as high as 14 stories), since he believes that sort of height is necessary to support the creation of affordable housing. Similarly, he said he approved of Atlantic Yards in large part because of its “tiered approach” to affordable housing (whereby units are set aside for low- to middle-income residents), and that the project deserved the special subsidies it received through the revamp of 421-a tax abatement legislation because of the number of affordable housing units that Forest City Ratner has pledged to build. The councilman was critical of Forest City Ratner’s lack of “transparency,” especially in terms of keeping community members abreast of demolitions. He said he was also interested in ensuring “transparency” from the DEC during cleanups of toxic sites in Gowanus like the Public Place, and seeing a DOB that’s better at communicating with Brooklynites, especially when it comes to responding to citizen complaints at development sites. And so just how communicative and transparent is Bill being about his possible run for borough prez? “The world’s changed a lot since Marty came into office,” he says.
A San Francisco-based co-working space called Makeshift Society is opening a location in Williamsburg on the first two floors of a converted warehouse at 55 Hope Street. Makeshift’s Brooklyn spot occupies 4,000 square feet across both floors and offers 17-foot ceilings, open seating and dedicated studio desks. It will also have a creative tool lending library […]
Here the developers have gutted a small one-family and turned it into three small open-plan apartments, each with two bedrooms. (The listing says there’s an owner’s duplex, but going by the floor plan, it seems to be referring to the cellar.) Some charm still remains in the form of beautiful fireplaces and the exterior, which has […]
This two-bedroom, two-bath triplex in a Park Slope conversion has an airy feel with two terraces and a roof deck and an interesting mezzanine space. There’s also plenty of room for a home office or two and walk-in closets for both bedrooms. We’re a little puzzled by the floor plan, however, which seems to chop […]
This three-bedroom, two-bath duplex in a Prospect Lefferts Gardens house looks large and well-cared for. The 1,500-square-foot pad has an updated eat-in kitchen with a dishwasher, and both bathrooms appear to be in good shape although not renovated recently. The house also has a screened-in porch, shared backyard, and parking for an additional fee. It’s […]
Work has started at the long-empty double corner lot prominently situated across from Saratoga Park at 840-838 Halsey Street. At one time it was slated to become a community garden, but now plans call for two-three family, three-story buildings. There are no renderings on the fence, but we won’t be surprised if they are Fedders. […]