As Prices Soar in Bed Stuy, Borough President Calls for 50-30-20 Housing and Rezoning

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    Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called for 50-30-20 buildings or senior housing along an upzoned Broadway running from Williamsburg to East New York, where 30 percent of the apartments would be aimed at the middle class, at a Corcoran-sponsored event, “Future Opportunities in the New Bedford Stuyvesant,” held at a Bed Stuy church Saturday morning.

    “We need housing for middle class people in Brooklyn,” he said. “That 30 percent is the anchor of the community.” He gave an example of a program that enables police officers to purchase houses in Brooklyn and said it has helped stabilize neighborhoods because drug dealers stop dealing on blocks where the officers live.

    “We can be creative in our upzoning,” he continued. “Broadway can be upzoned without destroying inner communities,” he said, referring to the upzoning of 4th Avenue as a good example to emulate. In exchange for upzoning on 4th Avenue, height limits on interior blocks were preserved — although not the blocks that touch 4th Avenue — and most of buildings on 4th Avenue are market rate. “I’m an investor over there,” he said, meaning Broadway, “because I know that area is going to change and be a place of beauty.”

    Adams first floated the idea of upzoning to 10 stories on Broadway in exchange for 50-30-20 buildings in a memo about The Henry Apartments affordable housing development on Decatur and Broadway in Ocean Hill in May.

    Adams also called for bank fines for misdeeds leading to the fiscal crisis to be earmarked for affordable housing and tenant protection. Churches should sell unused lands and air rights for affordable and senior housing, he said, and his team is mapping those potential development sites.

    Several hundred people attended the event Saturday morning at Nazarene Congregational Church at MacDonough and Patchen. (Above, Corcoran agent Al Florant speaks.) Author and professor Lance Freeman gave an overview of the gentrification process, and panelists spoke of the need for community service and to support small business.

    As the event was wrapping up, a young man in the back of the auditorium shouted out criticism of the event for being profit oriented and sponsored by Corcoran, but he was quickly ejected. Outside, he carried a sign that said “Community, Not Capital,” and spoke with attendees. A six-year-resident of Bed Stuy, he said he plans to hold protests outside “Brokeland Capital’s” headquarters on Malcolm X through the summer. “In 10 years, Bed Stuy is going to be just like Park Slope,” he said.

    In the part of Bed Stuy where the event took place, housing prices have doubled in two years, from about $600,000 to about $1,200,000 for a renovated house with details.

    Closing Bell: Dueling Panels on Gentrification and Real Estate in Brooklyn [Brownstoner]

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