Community Garden to Make Way for Affordable Housing

Affordable housing will replace a community garden at 346 Bergen Street, between 3rd and 4th avenues, in Boerum Hill. It’s not a surprise, though, to the organizers of the community garden, which has always been temporary. The building plans call for 24 rental units and six stories, with studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and three-bedrooms. The design will blend in with neighboring buildings. Rents will run between $1,850 to $2,200 a month and tenants will be selected through the city’s affordable housing lottery. According to the most recent minutes of the Community Board Two Land Use Committee, this project has been in the works for awhile but only recently acquired financing from the HPD. (The DOB first approved the developer’s building application back in 2005.) The garden, Feedback Farms, has tentative plans to move elsewhere once construction begins. Here’s what they said in February:

Our tenancy at 346 Bergen has, from the beginning of this project, been temporary. The lot we use, as well as the one on the west side of the space, is owned by the city and has Greenthumb Community Garden status. But the middle lot is privately owned, and the owner has always planned to build on all three lots. He has generously allowed us to use it until he secures the permits and financing he needs to build. We’ve heard from him that the earliest he’ll begin building is August or September of this year, and we have decided to go ahead with our growing season full-steam, with the understanding that even if we have to leave in the late summer, our work will have been well worth the effort for even a truncated season’s worth of fun and fresh produce. Hurray! He’ll give us 30 days notice if he needs us to vacate, and we will decide then what the best way forward will be should that happen.

Apparently the developers already have the permits in place to begin construction, but we hope they hold off until the fall. New building permits haven’t come through yet with the Department of Buildings. GMAP

4 Comment

  • Seems like the garden organizers have a reasonable response to what is actually a good thing – creation of affordable housing. I hope we can continue to be creative about finding spots for community gardens. But sometimes the locations for community gardens (and I know they come in many different flavors). For example the “garden”on Dekalb across from Fort Greene Park seems kind of silly. It seems to me (as a casual observer) to be more of a hang-out spot for a small group of people, and would be better back on the tax rolls as a market rate housing project.

  • i pass this place nearly every am on my commute…the organizers got 2 good seasons outta there, and tons of produce…

  • Greenthumb as of a couple of years ago, made their guidelines stricter in an effort to shake out some of the more underutilized gardens for sale and development. That sounds like an “evil” plan, but it’s not. I am a community garden member, and it is hard work running a Greenthumb Garden. There are many out there that have small memberships and are not well managed or maintained; and for that reason, they should go, in favor of this kind of development.

    It is good to remember why these gardens exist: Vacant lots in blighted neighborhoods due to the city in decline decades ago. Now that these neighborhoods are coming back, the city needs more housing stock to grow, and New York will continue to grow for many years.

    There will still be plenty of active and flourishing Greenthumb gardens to make out lives greener!