Levin still has thorns from Rose Plaza, seeks more ‘affordable’ units

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

A controversial developer has added more affordable units to his proposed complex on the Williamsburg waterfront, but not enough to satisfy Councilman Steve Levin.

In an attempt to win more support from Councilmembers who will vote on the project later this month, Rose Plaza developer Isack Rosenberg agreed to reduce the project’s size from 801 units to 776, while increasing the percentage of affordable units from 20 percent to 28 percent and doubling the number of family-friendly three-bedroom apartments to 60.

Yet at a hearing of the Council’s Land-Use Committee on Wednesday, Levin (D-Williamsburg) hammered Rosenberg’s representatives over the proposal’s omission of four-bedroom units and chastised them for not getting the affordable housing level above 30 percent.

“The community board and the borough president specifically asked for this,” said Levin. “You determined … that this was something that was not going to be explored.”

Rosenberg’s attorney Howard Weiss defended the project, saying that the levels of affordable housing were consistent with other privately developed sites on the waterfront — and that doing more would cut so deeply into the developer’s profits that the project would not be doable.

“What we’re proposing makes sense,” Weiss said. “The developer will take less of a profit to make [the 28-percent afforable housing set-aside] happen.”

The Council’s debate over Rose Plaza is one of the last steps in a process to rezone 3.7 acres of waterfront property near Kent and Division avenues. The project carries momentum after being approved by the City Planning Commission in March, despite being rejected by Borough President Markowitz and Community Board 1.

The future of the project remains up in the air, as Levin has been lobbying colleagues to vote it down and councilmembers typically vote with the local representative on land-use issues. The Land Use Committee’s vote will likely occur before April 14.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

anywho says:
Levin is delusional.
April 8, 2010, 1:22 pm
Shmaya says:
This new councilman needs to know one think, politics and housing is two different things.
He is a simple schmuck, for denying this beautiful application, which is in the works for 5 years already.
twenty eight percent is unprecedented in the city so far.
The only issue is pure politics, and its a shame for our community to be represented by such an animal.
April 8, 2010, 5:37 pm
levinfan from brooklyn heights says:
I don't live in Williamsburg, but I've been following this for a while, and I like that the new councilman is sticking to his guns. I mean, there ARE other developments on the waterfront that have more affordable housing, and the developer of this project supposedly has a shady history. Isn't he facing bankruptcy or something?

I'm for development, but the idea of just letting a developer do what they want, even after the local community board has spent countless hours outlining why they oppose this project, seems unfair to the people that live in Levin's district.

Here's to the new councilman, someone who isn't afraid to stand up to greedy developers!
April 8, 2010, 8:24 pm
Moshe Aron Kestenbaum from Williamsburg ODA says:
I am Laughing my ass off. Levin and rosenberg are political enemy"s. LEVIN is taking revenge now. If I would be rosenberg I would sue Levin for slander and damages.
April 9, 2010, 8:01 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

This week’s featured advertisers

See all ads