The half-built aftermath of the borough’s last great building boom is now on graphic display, thanks to a local lawmaker.
City Councilmember Brad Lander announced this week the release of an interactive map of vacant, stalled or abandoned development sites in his Council district, which includes Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, and Kensington.
“We need to make these sites into assets for the community,” Lander said in a statement.“These developments cause real hazards for their neighbors — fences falling down on sidewalks, loose construction debris that can become deadly in high winds, and unsecured sites that are dangerous for children and an invitation to squatting.We need to get a better handle on these sites, and to take action to convert local blight into community benefit.”
The sites run the gamut from half-built structures to abandoned foundations and vacant lots surrounded by plywood fencing.Eleven currently have a stop-work order from the Department of Buildings, he noted.
Lander said he plans to develop legislation and policy initiatives that would keep these sites “safe, address the hazards and nuisances to neighbors, and put them on a path to productive uses that are a benefit to community residents.”
To help do that, he’s calling on the city to impose a surcharge on vacant properties that have a “severe blighting effect on their surroundings”; strengthen the city’s ability to force property owners to perform emergency repairs; and discourage speculation on troubled apartment buildings by changing state law to limit foreclosure auctions of multiple dwellings to responsible, credible bidders.
The map is available online at www.stalleddevelopment.com.