Borough President Markowitz gave his seal of approval to two developments that will create a wall of luxury housing towers on the waterfront in the farthest reaches of Greenpoint, as long as it comes with some extra mass transit and a school.
The controversial Greenpoint Landing project, which will include 10 towers and up to 5,500 apartments on 22 acres near the Newtown Creek, and the 77 Commercial Street project, which will include two 30-story towers housing 720 apartments between Box and Clay streets, are good to go as long as bus service to and from the area is increased and a planned middle school is constructed, the Beep said in his recommendation to the Department of City Planning and the City Council, which have the final say on the two plans.
In his reports, Markowitz said he welcomed the “affordable” housing that would be part and parcel of the projects, as well as the fact that the projects would make that northern stretch of waterfront, which has been blocked off by fences for years, available to the public.
“The open space would enhance the residential uses developed in the area,” wrote Markowitz.
Markowitz’s “Yea” vote flies in the face of the neighborhood community board, the lowest tier of government whose volunteers — all of whom are approved to serve by the Beep — voted down the plan last month, citing their lack of trust in the developers.
“They are not doing the right thing,” Community Board 1 member Rob Solano said of the developers. “They are arrogant, they don’t get it, and they answer questions with questions.”
Two community board meetings in August drew hundreds of outraged neighbors and, in early September, residents rallied at a protest, vowing to sue the city and developers over supposedly inadequate environmental studies.
At Markowitz’s public hearing regarding the project on Sept. 17, 12 people spoke, with the majority testifying against the project, according to the Borough President’s report.