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Take an historic trolley tour through East New York this Sunday.

The event is being held by ARTS East New York, which has sponsored public art installations throughout the neighborhood. The Explore East New York trolley will bring straphangers to several of the installations, as well as stopping at the African Burial Ground.

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Real Affordability for All — a low-income advocacy group and de Blasio ally — has released a new report critiquing the mayor’s rezoning and affordable housing plan (PDF) for East New York. The 13-page report asserts that de Blasio’s plan fails to address job inequality and will not assist East New York’s neediest residents, but will in fact lead to the “whitening” and further displacement of the neighborhood.

Made of a coalition of close to 50 tenant groups and community organizations, Real Affordability for All suggests that de Blasio’s rezoning plans incentivize developers to promote gentrification in East New York. Thus, the group believes, de Blasio’s mandatory inclusionary zoning plans will “fail to address the affordability crisis,” doing more harm than good in neighborhoods like East New York.

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Last year, Mayor de Blasio spoke in general terms of plans to change zoning rules to create more affordable housing in Brooklyn and beyond. Monday, the exact wording of these three proposals will be revealed, and Brooklynites will have the chance to comment on them.

At issue is the character of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and the future of East New York — and, of course, the building of more affordable housing by private developers.

On Monday, City Planning will “certify” the proposals, which are complex and have many parts, kicking off the official and formal public review process known as ULURP, or Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

The mayor is asking for three zoning-related changes:

Brooklyn, one building at a time.
This factory for the American Numbering Machine Company once shaped the economic life of East New York. Today, the building shapes the spiritual lives of its congregants.

Name: Former American Numbering Machine Company, now New Genesis Christian Center
Address: 224-226 Shepherd Avenue
Cross Streets: Corner of Atlantic Avenue
Neighborhood: Cypress Hills
Year Built: 1919
Architectural Style: 19th century brick factory
Architect: Harold G. Dangler
Other works by architect: Manufacturing buildings and garages in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens
Landmarked: No

Windows Giving Praise-Worthy Natural Light — Now Bricked-In
The American Numbering Machine Company started on Essex Street in East New York in 1908. By 1912, the company needed a new factory building with more room. Architect Harold Dangler designed and built the factory building at 224 Shepherd Avenue in 1912, and expanded it to its present size in 1919.

A 19th century-style two-story brick factory building, this facility was praised for its many windows, allowing lots of natural light into the work space. Those windows have since been bricked in and much reduced.

Pop quiz: What is a numbering machine?

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City Planning’s vision for a rezoned East New York

Whither East New York? As Brooklyn’s waves of gentrification lap at the neighborhood’s shores, it’s a question on a lot of people’s minds, including eager developers, city planners looking to site affordable housing there, and wary residents looking at what’s happened to nearby Bushwick and Bedford Stuyvesant.

It’s also the question at the center of a panel discussion at the Brooklyn Historical Society tomorrow night, called “A Biography of East New York.” The assertion behind the discussion is that the neighborhood “is where NYC’s future is going to happen,” but that it’s also a place that is “by geography, class and race a far distance from the city’s centers of power and influence.”

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The lottery has just opened for hundreds of affordable units in a new housing development in East New York. The complex of buildings, known as Livonia Commons, will have studio apartments starting at $500 a month, one-bedrooms units starting at $538, two-bedrooms at $655 and up and three-bedrooms at starting at $749. The most expensive unit is a three-bedroom for $1,196.

The opening of the lottery was first reported by Brokelyn.

A few details on the income restrictions: The least expensive studio unit is available only to someone earning between $18,515 and $24,200 a year. The most expensive units could go to a family of six earning between $42,892 and $60,120 a year. A PDF of the table outlining the income requirements can be downloaded here.

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The formal land-use review for the mayor’s proposed East New York rezoning could kick off soon. City Planning Commission expects to certify the rezoning application “this spring,” according to Capital New York, which technically begins March 20. During a City Hall budget meeting this week, City Planning Director Carl Weisbrod said, “I do anticipate we will be entering the formal [land use] process this spring.”

Once the ULURP process begins, it could take up to a year. The process starts with review at the community board level, then moves to the borough president, City Planning and the City Council. The mayor’s rezoning plan aims to bring 7,000 new apartments to the area by allowing housing and taller buildings along commercial and industrial corridors. Above, the 1935 Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church at the corner of Glenmore and Pennsylvania Avenue, in the proposed rezoning area.

Timing of City’s Rezonings Still up in the Air [Capital NY via TRD]
East New York Rezoning Coverage [Brownstoner]

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Local non-profit Arts East New York is hosting a panel on gentrification in East New York and negative portrayals of African Americans in mainstream media this Friday, as part of a celebration of Black History Month. Panelists will include Cyril Josh Barker, a staff writer for the New York Amsterdam News, and Shaun Neblett, a playwright and the youth theater coordinator for Changing Perceptions Theater.

“Culture x Conversion comes as a response to the growing influence from city agencies and media in the sudden changing of the East New York landscape. We are asking East New York residents to be informed and active in the planning of our community to prevent displacement,” said a press release.

Panelists will discuss how urban planning, eminent domain and development are affecting East New York, and how residents are responding. And kids from AENY’s Young Artist Institute, which helps train elementary and middle school students in music, dance and theater, will perform after the panel.

There will also be free refreshments. The free event will happen from 6 to 9 pm this Friday at George Gershwin Junior High School, at 800 Van Siclen Avenue.

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We’re sorry to report that the former East New York Savings Bank at 91 Pennsyvlania Avenue will be demolished to make way for a seven-story medical building. A demolition permit for the four-story Renaissance Revival building was issued in December.

One of New York City’s most important architects, Richard Upjohn, Jr., designed the bank, which was built in 1889 and occupies a full block on Atlantic between Pennsyvlania and New Jersey avenues, smack in the middle of the soon-to-be-rezoned East New York business district. The property was a Building of the Day last year.

An application for a new-building permit filed last week calls for a seven-story building with 121,000 square feet of space, as well as 153 parking spots. It will house “ambulatory diagnostic or treatment health care facilities,” according to schedule A filings. Udo Maron of Array Architects is the architect of record.

The 34,000-square-foot structure last changed hands for $5,500,000 in 2005, according to public records. Jonas Rudofsky of real estate firm Squarefeet.com appears to be the owner and developer, according to permits.

With so much empty and underutilized land available in East New York, we think it’s a shame the developer chose this particular location. This building looks ideal for adaptive reuse, such as a mixed-use condo development. We haven’t seen a rendering yet but we’re not hopeful it will be better than the building there now.

Building of the Day: 91 Pennsylvania Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark