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‘Sweet deal’ for Commercial Street towers, according to councilman who says he leveraged perks

Big little brother: Neighbors also want to stop the two tower 77 Commercial Street development in its tracks.
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Yet another massive development project planned for the Brooklyn waterfront has passed city muster.

The 77 Commercial Street project, one of two high-rise luxury developments planned for the East River shore in the far reaches of Greenpoint, won a yes vote from the Council on Thursday. Councilman Steve Levin (D–Greenpoint) said he voted to green-light the towers that many of his neighbors hate because he feels, on balance, it will be good for the ’hood.

“I have heard from many Greenpointers expressing their opposition to the height and density of this project, but the open space and affordable housing needs of our community that have persisted for years also go without question,” said Levin.

The pol added that the Council worked to get as many concessions as possible out of both the developer and the city.

The perks include $9.5-million to fully fund the Box Street park that the city once promised to build before tethering it to the development. Also included is $14-million to move the city vehicles currently sitting on the site of the future park, including transit authority Access-A-Ride and emergency response buggies that have sat there for decades.

Two hundred of the 720 apartments planned for the two 30-story high-rises will be set aside for below-market rate housing as part of the deal. The so-called “affordable” units will be reserved for people making from 40 to 125 percent of area median income, which is down from the rates of between 80 percent and 175 that the builder had proposed.

“It has been years in the making but Greenpoint will now be getting a beautiful, fully-funded, and long-sought for park on the waterfront and 200 permanently units of affordable housing that make our community more affordable for working families,” said Levin.

The approval comes on the heels of the Council giving key elements of the huge Greenpoint Landing project the go-ahead last week.

Developer spokesman Jay Segal did not return calls for comment.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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