Hot stuff! Markowitz and Levin announce big cash for Northside Center

Hot stuff! Markowitz and Levin announce big cash for Northside Center
The Brooklyn Paper / Ben Muessig

Borough President Markowitz and Councilman Steve Levin will fork over more than $1 million to turn the former Engine 212 firehouse in Williamsburg into a community arts center.

The pols will announce the funding today at the defunct Wythe Avenue firehouse.

“The Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center will be a hub of activity for families and kids, a place where organizations and nonprofits can find affordable office and meeting space, and a place for local artists to exhibit their work,” said Markowitz, who will allocate $742,000 in taxpayer dollars to the cause.

Markowitz, Levin (D–Greenpoint) and Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Greenpoint) pledged to set aside $1.25 million of your money to Northside organizers in September to pay for extensive renovations.

But now, public officials have the money in hand and the allocations will cover more than half the cost of the plan that Levin said would become the “center of North Brooklyn civic life.”

The government grants will bouy a round of private fundraising that has raked in nearly $250,000 for the center, including $75,000 from this month’s Taste of Williamsburg Greenpoint event.

The firehouse has been vacant since 2003, when Mayor Bloomberg closed the station, claiming necessary budget cuts.

Residents strongly opposed the closure and staged lively demonstrations, one of which resulted in eight arrests. Many of those same activists are the behind the transformation of the three-story firehouse.

Upon completion, the building will serve headquarters for Neighbors Allied for Good Growth and the People’s Firehouse.