Residents Reject Plan to Enlarge Sunset Park Library With Affordable Housing

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Community reaction to the Brooklyn Public Library’s plan to rebuild its Sunset Park branch to add affordable housing and a bigger library was strongly negative at the public meeting Monday, reported DNAinfo.

“It smells like gentrification,” said one of the more than 75 locals who attended. Even the executive director of the Sunset Park Business Improvement District didn’t like the plan.

As reported yesterday, the library would partner with nonprofit Fifth Avenue Committee to build a bigger library, which the library would own as a condo, as part of an eight-story affordable rental building. The structure of the deal is similar to other library and church development plans taking place in Brooklyn, but instead of for-profit development of mixed market rate and affordable housing, it would be 100 percent affordable.

Without commenting on the merits of the plan either way, we think the strongly negative reaction is telling of a shift in public perception of affordable housing. Rampant for-profit development of market rate housing with a small percentage of affordable housing may be tainting public perception of all affordable housing, and turning public opinion against development. Or maybe people just want their libraries to stay libraries. What do you think?

Sunset Park Locals Blast Plan to Add Affordable Units in Library Overhaul [DNA]
Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

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