An overflow crowd estimated at more than 400 people packed a town hall meeting about high-rise development in Prospect Lefferts Gardens last night. Borough President Eric Adams, who lives in the area, State Senator Kevin Parker, Council Member Mathieu Eugene and Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna listened to comments and questions from the audience following a presentation by the Prospect Park East Network, which convened the meeting.
PPEN called for a temporary halt on new development exceeding nine stories while they pursue a lawsuit and downzoning of the area, in process since 2008, “before it becomes a moot point,” said presenter Suki Cheong.
“I don’t have anything against construction because it creates jobs, but this building is too big,” said a resident whose bedroom window overlooks the construction site at 626 Flatbush Avenue where an as-of-right 23-story tower is planned. Another speaker, a resident since 1964, proposed hiring a full-time community organizer, which the neighborhood had in the 1960s. A representative of small business owners said they were concerned that increased land values due to high-rise development were already causing increased rents and shorter leases.
Many residents said they value the friendly, integrated community and don’t want to see it disappear. Many said landlords are trying to increase rents and push out regulated tenants. “Prospect Lefferts Gardens is the most densely populated part of the borough,” said a lifelong resident. “We’re not asking for special treatment, just fairness. We’re asking for the same treatment Mayor de Blasio’s side of the park gets,” he said, referring partly to the 80-foot height limit on construction there.
Click through to the jump to see more photos. Did anyone else attend?
From left to right above: Eugene, Parker, Adams and Reyna at the table while moderator and PPEN member Celeste Davis speaks.