DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN/FORT GREENE – At the Brooklyn Community Board 2 General Meeting last Wednesday, the board voted against a rezoning request that would allow a 40-story tower to rise at 570 Fulton Street.
Slate Property Group is planning to demolish a three-story structure at 570 Fulton and build a 558-foot-tall mixed-use tower in its place, next to 1 Flatbush Avenue, another project the firm is working on. The proposed building would feature 111,250 square feet of residential space, 89,900 square feet of office space, and 12,400 square feet of commercial/retail space on the first two floors. 570 Fulton would include 139 apartments with thirty percent of the units set aside for affordable housing.
The full CB2 board voted against Slate’s proposed plan 19 to 13, and one abstention, Brooklyn Paper reported, with board members arguing that the project does not offer enough affordable housing or employment opportunities.
The community board’s Second Vice Chairperson, Lenue Singletary, told Brooklyn Paper that by rejecting the proposal, he feels the board missed an opportunity to negotiate with the developer. Had the board voted to approve the project with conditions instead, they could have demanded an increase in the number of affordable units and jobs as well as addressed other concerns, he said.
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The next step in the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process for Slate’s zoning amendment request is Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ recommendations on the project.
Preserve Our Brooklyn Neighborhoods is filing the lawsuit in an attempt to stop the development from being built in the low-rise neighborhood. The site is currently home to a three-story Seventh Day Adventist Church which will be demolished to make way for the new building. The rezoning request for the site was unanimously approved by the City Council during the project’s ULURP process in July.
In February 2018, Senator Velmanette Montgomery penned a letter to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the NYC Planning Commission expressing her opposition to the 142-150 South Portland project, noting that in 2007, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill were “rezoned in an effort to protect and preserve the predominantly brownstone character of the neighborhood’s residential core.” She added if the rezoning were approved it would “impose non-contextual height and density and open the door to further such applications in the area moving forward.”
Borough President Adams approved the proposal in April, however recommended “restricting the proposed rezoning to exclude any non-contextual development,” Kings County Politics reported.
The church and the developers, MDG Design & Construction, insist that the new building will bring “much-needed affordable housing to the neighborhood,” according to Patch. The proposed 100-unit building would offer 25 apartments priced at 60 percent of the Area Median Income, of which studios to three-bedrooms would range from $761 to $1,339.
NYC has committed $50 million to subsidize the project under Mayor de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program, according to Patch, which allows developers to create larger buildings if they provide a percentage of affordable housing units.
Jack Lester, the attorney representing Preserve Our Brooklyn Neighborhoods, told Patch he plans to appeal the city’s decision and file an Article 78 arguing that the development “obliterates local zoning while not producing increased affordable housing as promised.”