Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon submitted joint comments on the Draft Scope of Work for the Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the development proposed for 80 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. The proposed development is overwhelmingly commercial in nature and historically large (including proposing an unprecedented FAR of 18). Located in an already densely built and highly congested area adjacent to the “crossroads of Brooklyn,” its impacts will likely be great, hence we believe that the EIS process must be as thorough, comprehensive, and inclusive of community stakeholders as possible.
In the letter, Senator Montgomery and Assemblywoman Simon detail their concerns with the proposal including:
we request that a thorough and transparent disclosure be made of the following information: (a) terms of the lease of city-owned land to the developer; (b) the cost of tax-exempt bonds, and every other city or state subsidy, including tax abatements for this project; and (c) where the RFP response of Alloy can be found.
Project Site and Study Area: The Draft Scope of Work indicates that a proposed study area radius of 400 feet from the site at 80 Flatbush will be used. We believe that is entirely too small a study area. The study area must be expanded in order to have a legitimate and contextual understanding of the effects on Downtown Brooklyn and the residential neighborhood of Boerum Hill. Expanding the study area to at least one (1) square mile would allow the developers to assess, account for and mitigate other factors that may well impact the development. This includes housing, traffic, transit overcrowding, public safety, population demographics and other jurisdictional issues, such as the proximity of the site to school District 13, which is also over-capacity in the vicinity and which has many additional units of housing under construction and on deck.
We are concerned that the proposed FAR of 18 is far too great for the area.
We are concerned that the proposed building will further displace the African American community in the area, which has already suffered significant displacement. We would like this thoroughly analyzed as well as the effect on the market value of the housing on the 400 and 500 blocks of State Street, whose homes would be directly impacted by the construction of such tall towers.
We are extremely concerned about the issue of school overcrowding in this area.
We reiterate here our serious concerns regarding the proposal for an 18 FAR, as well as the requests for the elimination of required setbacks to the towers.
Water and infrastructure must be considered in the context of an additional 4,000 to 6,000 new residential units. The area is uphill from the infamous Gowanus Canal superfund site. Water run-off and storm water retention issues must be thoroughly analyzed
The area is also prone to major traffic congestion. Flatbush Avenue is not a safe place to make deliveries, nor is it a good place for school buses to pull up, but neither is State Street for a host of reasons. The issues of loading docks and school drop-off and pick-ups must be carefully and thoroughly analyzed.
To read the full letter, download the attached PDF.
To learn more about the 80 Flatbush Avenue proposal, visit https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/senator-montgomery-assembly-member-simon-and-council-member