What the Developers want for Empire Blvd.
At this moment, Community Board 9 members, City Planning and Borough President Eric Adams are wanting the change from commercial to mix-residential and commercial on Empire Blvd., with the idea of wanting affordable housing.
At the City Planning meetings, the suggestion was put on the table to have six story buildings on Empire Blvd. to increase density and provide affordable housing. This would be the five stories of residential and bottom level commercial.
Thus the first thing we did was calculate how many additional people would come to the neighborhood, using the square footage of space, plus the various other conditions, such as open space etc… that is required by zoning laws to create the maximum legal amount of people required by law. We calculated around 6,000 more people.
Please note that this estimate did not include the Northern Side of Empire Blvd..
(Western Beef, Wendy’s, Carpet store etc). Thus, we added the Northern side of Empire Blvd.,
in our calculation for this paper. We added another 3,000 people totaling 9,000 more people into the area.
However, if they were to get their 20 story buildings, and they will (if we allow residential to remain on the request) because that is what they want, not affordable housing! We just times 4 times 9 and got 36,000 people. We currently have 202,700 people in our community within a 3.243 square mile radius, thus making us the densest neighborhood in Brooklyn. Our density population density is 62,504 not including those 14 new development and others that are planned, adding another 36,000 people, will increase our density to 73,605. Talk about increase density!!! We got population density by the total population divided by the total area.
The second issue is the height of these buildings compared to the current existing structures, both on Empire Blvd. and the properties adjacent to Empire. We did both a close up view and a long view.
Close up View
We took a photo of 626 Flatbush (23 stories) and looked at the homes on Chester Court who are also two story buildings. You have to look really careful because they are boxed in between the six story building on Flatbush etc.. In the image you can find Chester Court at the bottom right hand back corner of 626 Flatbush, where there are trees and then the homes. This is what it will look and feel like all along Empire Blvd.
The Long View, before the rezoning
This is the view that is currently on Empire Blvd.. As can be noted. Most of the existing structures are one story in size, giving this Blvd., an open and airy space.
We need this type of open space because we are surrounded on three sides by the denest populated area in Brooklyn. Without this our community would feel cramped and almost unbreathable. We however want to improve the appearance and take advantage of all of this open space, by doing some contextual zoning, which we talked about in another article.
The Long View after the rezoning.
This is the after aerial views of Empire Blvd. based upon the 20 story height limits.
These height limits are in line with 4th Ave’s current buildings being built and is supported by Eric Adams plan to build up Empire Blvd.. In Eric Adams speech on June 8 at 15 Crown St,
he talked about building up the Aves, 4th Ave, Atlantic Aves and Empire Blvd..
Within those same calculation, we did some calculations of luxury developments
based upon current luxury development trends going on within the neighborhood. We have an estimated 8,000 luxury units proposed.
Now some people will try to convince you that we could get those 6 story height limits during the rezoning process. But let’s pay attention to what the Mayor and Borough President have been saying, not what some folks and City planning are saying behind closed doors. They have said in order for you to get affordable housing you have to go up!
And why here? When we are the densest populated area, and this construction can increase an already over populated area? Why here where the land is the most expensive, (because it is close to the park) thus you will have to go higher to get the same amount of affordable units, than if you went to a less expensive area and built there? Well that is simple, the park views!
That is why at our last City Planning meeting, those Community Board 9 members were screaming at us (the residents), City planning trying to convince us to let the request for residential on Empire proceed on to the pre-application phase for them to study, the want to be representatives, who currently sit on Community Board 9, Diana Richardson and Demetrious Lawrence telling us to compromise. And our elected officials representatives all just standing around watching!
Nobody fights that hard against a group of passionate and angry home owners, and tenants fighting for their homes and community, for affordable housing! If it truly was just about affordable housing they would just say okay you don’t want it, find we will take it off. But what they said was we will decide this at Community Board 9, where they have the decks stacked against the community and in favor of the developers!
No Residential On Empire Blvd.!
No increase Density On Empire Blvd.!
Preserve Our Affordable Community
Contextualize Empire Blvd.!