Borough President Markowitz endorsed two of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s pet projects this week, giving his blessing to a controversial rezoning and the powerful Democratic Party boss’s Council candidate.
Markowitz came out in favor of a Lopez-supported plan to allow residential development of 1,851 units — 905 of which would charge below-market rate rents — in a largely industrial area of Williamsburg called the Broadway Triangle. Days later, Markowitz recommended that voters support Steve Levin, a former Lopez chief of staff, in his race to represent the 33rd Council district, which includes Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and parts of Park Slope.
Markowitz made it clear that he endorsed Levin even as opponents say his Triangle plan is flawed because the city gave a no-bid contract to two Lopez-linked non-profits.
“I know Steve’s opponents think process is more important than results … but he understands that results are the most important thing,” said Markowitz.
After holding a public meeting earlier this month where Broadway Triangle opponents — who favor taller buildings on a larger site with more units of affordable housing — outnumbered supporters five-to-one, Markowitz’s recommendation includes a few suggested alterations to the project, including:
• Encouraging the development of another 150 units of affordable housing by tweaking zoning regulations and floor-area-ration requirements.
• Ensuring that the affordable housing remain “affordable forever.”
• Offering displaced businesses a promise that they will not be relocated until alternate locations have been secured, and that they receive “sufficient funding and resources.”
Levin told The Brooklyn Paper he was thrilled by the Beep’s endorsement.
“It means so much, [he’s] one of the most popular public figures in New York City,” said Levin, a former community organizer who is one of the front-runners in the seven candidate race to succeed Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights).
©2009 Community News Group
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