Upward momentum: Beep rejects rezoning for 80 Flatbush complex, suggesting tweaks that could lead to compromise

Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

It’s a no — but not a never.

Borough President Adams rejected a developer’s application to rezone a swath of land at the edge of Boerum Hill in order to erect a five-building megadevelopment, arguing that its tallest 986-foot tower needs to shrink by more than 300 feet before it can rise.

But the beep’s June 15 recommendation that the city “disapprove with conditions” the upzoning request for 80 Flatbush could open the door to negotiations with builder Alloy Development about its controversial project, and the types of revisions needed for critics to embrace it, according to the leader of a group opposing the scheme as is.

“If Alloy would take these recommendations we’d be very happy to have a conversation with it about how this plays out,” said Boerum Hill Association president Howard Kolins. “We’d love to see that plan, and hopefully see it’s a starting point, not a done deal.”

Alloy wants to rezone a plot of land bounded by Flatbush and Third avenues and State and Schermerhorn streets in order to erect a complex that includes newly constructed 986- and 560-foot towers and a separate two-school facility built from the ground up, as well as two restored properties already on site. In addition to new classrooms, the complex would boast cultural and commercial spaces along with 900 residential units, 200 of which will be so-called affordable housing, according to the developer.

But in order to proceed, the city must green-light the developer’s request to nearly triple the land’s allowable floor-area ratio — a zoning measurement abbreviated as FAR that determines how high a structure can be relative to the size of the land it is on — from 6.5 to 18, which is roughly one-third larger than the citywide cap of 12 for buildings with below-market-rate housing.

And Kolins and other Boerum Hillers from day one charged the project’s massive towers are out of context with their neighborhood’s many landmarked brownstones just blocks away — a complaint Adams echoed when rejecting the current scheme, citing the need to maintain the integrity of blocks surrounding 80 Flatbush as just as important as the development’s public good.

“My goal is to realize the perfect combination of addressing the need to create affordable housing — the most critical issue facing Brooklyn — while simultaneously taking into consideration the history of the neighborho­od,” Adams said in his purely advisory recommendation, which he delivered on the heels of his April 30 public hearing on 80 Flatbush.

The beep suggested Alloy cap its taller tower at just 600 feet so that its height more closely mirrors that of its already standing neighbor, the 610-foot Hub building on Schermerhorn Street, which is currently the borough’s tallest high-rise.

Adams also proposed minor changes — which included relocating the complex’s loading dock from Flatbush Avenue to Schermerhorn Street and moving the entrance to one of the schools to the Third Avenue–side of the development — that he called quality-of-life measures to mitigate the project’s effects on locals who live on the blocks immediately surrounding 80 Flatbush.

And he wants Alloy bigwigs to cough up cash to help fund a new subway entrance that would connect the complex to the nearby Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center hub in order to reduce congestion at existing stations and promote public transit.

Kolins applauded the beep’s suggestions, noting that implementing them all would result in a much different project — one he and fellow critics would need to see before they could believe in its potential to benefit the area.

“He made a lot of recommendations and it remains to be seen how those would be acted upon,” he said. “What is the project when all recommendations are taken into account? That is what’s hard to discern.”

An Alloy rep declined to comment on whether it would break ground on a development that includes all of Adams’s recommendations, but a bigwig at the firm embraced the beep’s feedback as a win nonetheless.

“We appreciate that the decision reflects the widespread support we’ve received for the project, both in the neighborhood and citywide,” said Jared Della Valle.

Adams’s disapproval with conditions followed Community Board 2’s outright rejection of the scheme back in May, which the lone board member in support of the development called short-sighted at the time, because it left no room for negotiations.

The City Planning Commission will next vote on Alloy’s rezoning application following its June 13 hearing on the proposal — which an Alloy rep said drew more supporters than opponents — before the request moves onto Council, and ultimately Mayor DeBlasio.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:42 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

MLK from BKNY says:
Build it as planned - DoBro is hemmed in on all 4 sides and has no where to grow but up. Remember the nimby activist neighbors tried to stop the Barclays center from being built. That would have been a disaster if they would have been successful.
June 19, 2018, 8:33 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
It's disappointing and irresponsible for Adams to cut 300 feet from the building and then expect the Department of Education to make up the difference in money to build the schools.

He's in the pocket of the NIMBY property-owners, and I thought he was better than this. Low-density luxury brownstones are out of context with Flatbush Avenue.
June 19, 2018, 9:20 am
Ft. Greene Historian from Ft. Greene says:
The trolls are out.

Not only are the so-called NIMBY property owners paying the taxes for schools, FDNY, NYPD, Emergency Vehicles, infrastructure and politicians salaries, they are being railroaded by greedy developers who only see dollar signs.

Brooklyn is not Manhattan; for Mike (who claims he's from Williamsburg, plus the interloper who wants to call himself MLK; who wants to call out Eric Adams for doing the right thing; low-density brownstones are not out of density with Flatbush Avenue.

Revoke those 421-a tax rebates, make them build the schools first, then the platforms. Make sure emergency vehicles will be able to accomodate any surprises, accidents that are bound to happen.

It's obvious these two are dumber than rocks are they would understand, you never just build upwards without taking into account the surrounding areas.

Go back to Ohio, Pennsylvania or Missouri. Go build up there, as the Harper's Bazaar is reporting this month; these interlopers have destroyed NYC and are well on their way to destroying Brooklyn.

The jealousy of not being to own a brownstone, is so very sad.
June 20, 2018, 3:05 pm
Ft. Greene Historian from Ft. Greene says:
BTW, there were way more people in opposition than in favor of; (many left after not being able to testify). The post emitting more people for it is an out right lie. RBNY and Alloy should just stop.

These two trolls(Mike, MLK) are obviously being paid "dirty money" by the Developer to post on this site and tell lies. Sad, sad, so very sad. What a pitiful shame.

The wind tunnels created by the buildings in the winter will currently blow smaller people to end of the block; more of this same garbage will do more harm than good to small children, the elderly. Harper's Bazaar speaks truth to power when the disgusting chain stores remove all character.

The Ashland has suffered a loss, no one was going to the horrible restaurants. More retail, retail for who? This entire project seems, no it is cursed.

Look at Barclays; locals state that they have the most uncomfortable seating in the history of stadiums. They cannot give their tickets away. There is always some email giving away free tickets. That's a straight up disaster. Interlopers are developing and doing nothing but destroying beautiful Brooklyn, NY.

These interloping outsiders are the most disrespectful to the elderly who are a portion of the larger population of brownstone and apartment building residences.

Jealousy gets you know where. It only makes you more miserable. Jealous types are just straight up losers.
June 20, 2018, 3:31 pm
NN from Boerum Hill says:
I’d like to get some dirty money for posting on this site where do I sign up?
June 20, 2018, 8:26 pm
NN from Boerum Hill says:
But seriously Mr. ft Greene historian: all this talk about “interlopers” and “go back to where you came” from sounds exactly like Donald Trump. That’s not what Brooklyn is, or has ever been about.
June 20, 2018, 8:29 pm
Nunaya B. Ness from Rikers says:
Ft. Greene dude is very scary and clearly unstable. Stop shutting down alternative opinions by calling people trolls and saying they are taking handouts from the developers. Go back to Ohio? I'm sure that most of the people who are against the project are new to Brooklyn too. Have you joined Antifa or the 'resist fascism' movement? You could be their leader!
June 20, 2018, 8:38 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
That's the perfect example of demented NIMBY logic: "we are paying the taxes" but also "you can't allow new market rate housing in the neighborhood because it's only for the rich."
June 20, 2018, 11:49 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you cannot handle the density, move to the suburbs. Ft. Greene Historian has absolutely no business living in Brooklyn. Ohio awaits you. Sashay away.
June 20, 2018, 11:51 pm
Ft. Greene Historian from Ft. Greene says:
It's obvious all of you-wannabes are paid trolls from Alloy and RBNY! Stop lying, get lives, stop trolling.

Yes, the Brooklynites see you; you wish you were. Wanting to be like us, we brought you here, you watched Bill Cosby shows, could, you saw REAL people with happy lives in Brooklyn, so you move here thinking it's possible for you, but it's not, will never be. With or without affordable housing, you will still be miserable, sad souls.

So many of you are welcome, you live the happiness with where you are, the rent you pay, perhaps in a brownstone, but okay if not; unlike the fool Mikey from Williamsburg and Noname who claims to be from Boerum Hill but is probably the same wingnut.

You whitewash the culture; true fun Brooklynites no longer attend events, enjoy the parks or go to dinner as much. It must be pretty depressing to be a sad wannabe, wishing you were hip by using vernacular creating by blacks, browns, hip whites who have lived in Brooklyn for generations.

Oooh, the jealousy. The native youth see you; they laugh at you; they do not like you. Talk about you in horrible ways. No need for comedy, just read these posts and like sad little Mikey/Noname from Williamburg, go home, you are not making it here; it's obvious. Better watch it or you will end up homeless! (Your paycheck from Alloy covers your rent now, but if they have to build those schools, extend the platforms and miss construction deliveries, that money will dry up faster than your drugs/alcohol is consumed).

Your're right, I want you no where near me; so much so when encountering true Brooklyn residents from the projects, (you know get robbed for doing the dumb stupid stuff you do) we all just laugh. They know you; you stick out like sore thumbs. The comedy is printed on a weekly basis in this paper.

Yes, go back to Ohio, Pennsylvania -- where ever you came from; you are white, male (maybe female; they can hate too), racist, sad, jealous (horribly unhappy people -- you know the types who pay the shrinks, do drugs, alcohol, but it never helps; you're still miserable, will die miserable) that people have happy lives; you can't deal with it.

Born, raised with family members going back generations, so it's you who have no business in Brooklyn. Mike, dear, go hide in your apartment; troll the internet and try and make your sad, depressed, worthless existence mean something.

My life is great. When I am on the train, at the theatre, in the park, taking a walk-about, I see folk like you, talking too loud, wanting to be seen, rude, you have no idea how to even walk on the sidewalks. Believe us NIMBYs; no one cares, and true Brooklynites wish you would go away.

You came from the suburbs, you go back; you are so ignorant that you are dumb enough to know how to spell the word density, but have no idea how density is supported, how you increase infrastructure using union wages, you zone schools properly, make sure there are existing emergency care facilities in place for glass that goes flying in the streets due to the shoddy construction of the greedy developers giving you your pennies to troll this site.

Facism is abound, but it's you sick, depressed, opiod-dependent wannabes creating the facism. Trump; you fools all voted for Trump, you know it; stop disclaiming him.

NO, NO, NO for up-zoning on 80 Flatbush. Build the schools first, expand the platforms, then get the AAA Bonding; without any of this, no AAA Bonding. Eradicate 421-A taxbreaks totally.

ANY future running politician that uses eradicating 421-A will win hands down. Thank goodness there are some born and bred Brooklynites coming of age, ready to run, looking out for their children to continue the rich heritage of Brooklyn.

Weed is about to be legal; add some alcohol with it, perhaps you can find happiness like the rest of us!
June 25, 2018, 11:32 pm

Comments closed.

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.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: