Early Friday morning, a group of opponents to the 23-story tower Hudson Companies plans for 626 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens spontaneously blockaded some cement trucks that had arrived to pour the building’s foundation, according to a protestor who was present and sent us these photos. The protesters prevented the cement trucks from entering the site for about an hour or more, until the police arrived. One person was arrested.
Later that morning, at a previously scheduled hearing at the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against the pouring of the foundation while a court case concerning an environmental review of the project is proceeding.
A rally against the project is planned for this Friday, June 6, at City Hall.
While the lawsuit is likely to be dismissed, said Hudson Companies principal David Kramer, in any case the as-of-right project will proceed even if litigation requires modifying the financing. “While some neighbors might be unhappy that a new, 23-story building is being developed next to them, there’s no reason to demonize Hudson in all their inflammatory comments,” he said. “We’re very proud of this development, which will offer new housing, new affordable housing, new retail stores for Flatbush Avenue and new community facility space for nonprofit use.”
The Prospect Park East Network (PPEN) contends Hudson could put up a shorter building with the same square footage but a different foundation on the existing lot.
To see the press release issued by the Prospect Park East Network about the temporary restraining order and rally, Hudson’s full response, and more photos of the protest and the site Friday morning, click through to the jump.
The press release issued by Prospect Park East Network:
Residents of Prospect Lefferts Gardens won a major victory on Friday, May 30, when the New York State Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order stopping Hudson Companies from pouring cement for the foundation of their proposed luxury tower development at 626 Flatbush Avenue. The order is designed to prevent Hudson from getting a building “footprint” set in stone before the judge can make a decision on a filing for a preliminary injunction against the building project. Prospect Park East Network (PPEN), Flatbush Tenant Coalition, Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association (PLGNA), and individual plaintiffs are demanding inclusion of more affordable units and down-scaling of the building’s height to be more appropriate to our low-rise neighborhood. The TRO wouldn’t have happened without an active, vocal, engaged community, and now is the time to keep the pressure on! Together we can win. We will take our case to City Hall with a rally on Friday, June 6, from 1-2 pm (details below–a printer-friendly copy of the flier is attached). Come out if you can, and please spread the word!
The Prospect Park East Network (PPEN) Rally Committee
RALLY TO TELL OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS: WE WANT A TEMPORARY HALT TO OUT-OF-SCALE HIGH-RISE CONSTRUCTION IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!
Friday, June 6, from 1-2 pm
The steps of City Hall, lower Manhattan
Featured speakers include City Council Member Mathieu Eugene
By subway, take the 2, 3 to Park Place; 4, 5 to Brooklyn Bridge; Q to Canal St. and transfer to R to City Hall
We support retaining and expanding PLG’s existing affordable housing. Luxury towers don’t help!
We are the only neighborhood bordering Prospect Park without building height limits. A temporary halt will allow needed time for sensible rezoning.
At our April 7 Town Hall with Borough President Eric Adams, over 500 residents of Prospect Lefferts Gardens came out to demand responsible, low-rise development. Taking our case to City Hall is our next big step.
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! BECOME PART OF THE PROCESS, NOT ITS VICTIM
Sponsored by Prospect Park East Network (PPEN), Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association (PLGNA), and Flatbush Tenant Coalition. For more information or to sign our online petition, visit www.ppen.org.
Hudson’s comment on Friday’s events:
1) Construction work other than concrete is continuing.
2) The lawsuit involves a very narrow question of whether a public agency undertook the environmental review required by State procedures before issuing bonds. Our project continues to be an as-of-right, legal project for which we’ve already pulled a building permit. This project will get developed, whether as currently financed or with any modifications required by the litigation.
3) Curiously, we had scheduled to meet with the plaintiffs last week, and they cancelled the meeting.
4) While some neighbors might be unhappy that a new, 23-story building is being developed next to them, there’s no reason to demonize Hudson in all their inflammatory comments. We’re very proud of this development, which will offer new housing, new affordable housing, new retail stores for Flatbush Avenue and new community facility space for nonprofit use.
5) While the lawsuit is unwelcome and in our view totally unwarranted, we have every confidence that the Court will recognize that the environmental review of the project was lawful and in accordance with clear precedents and will dismiss the lawsuit.