On April 30th, Senator Velmanette Montgomery submitted comments to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams' as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure Public Hearing on 80 Flatbush Avenue Rezoning (180216 ZMK, 180217 ZRK, 180218 ZSK).
Alloy Development and the NYC Educational Construction Fund's proposal calls for the rezoning of 80 Flatbush Avenue to allow for an additional 30 floors, the tripling of the Floor Area Ratio from 6.5 to 18 and the creation of 900 new apartments (700 market-rate units/200 "affordable" units). 80 Flatbush is located in the residential neighborhood of Boerum Hill and is bounded by Flatbush and Third Avenues and State and Schermerhorn Streets. If the rezoning application passes the New York City Council, Alloy Development would construct two towers (74- and 38-story high rise buildings), the largest of which would almost double the height of the Williamsburg Savings Bank building. The public cost of tax-exempt bonds and city or state subsidies and tax abatements for this development remain unknown.
Senator Montgomery stands with the residents of State Street and 1 Hanson Place along with the Boerum Hill Association, the Fort Greene Association, the Society for Clinton Hill and Community Education Council District 15 in opposing this massive development project.
Senator Montgomery urged Borough President Adams to reject Alloy Development and the NYC Educational Construction Fund’s proposal to rezone 80 Flatbush Avenue to allow for an increase in density (FAR) and height at the site to accommodate an additional 30-plus stories. Senator Montgomery notes:
I am unequivocally against using public resources to support the proposed development at this site.
In Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Comprehensive Financial Report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2016, he notes that the largest amount of tax breaks were granted to housing and economic development projects. These tax abatements totaled $3 billion dollars in lost revenue.
We as citizens are being asked to shoulder the tax burdens for these giveaways. While the tax abatements for an individual apartment unit or building may appear nominal, its cumulative impact on our city and state revenues over decades is staggering. The skyrocketing property taxes for individual homeowners and small businesses and increased fines and surcharges cannot generate enough revenue to offset the public subsidy giveaways.
For decades, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) have been chronically underfunded. At the same time, New York City has granted billions of dollars in tax abatements to private developers. As federal funding continues to decline and with 60,000 New Yorkers homeless, limited public resources should be targeted to the needs of our people. We as elected officials must work to create innovative and sustainable housing solutions for our communities.
Now more than ever, New Yorkers are beginning to feel the impact of the loss of revenue from the tax abatements and subsidies. Our public transportation system is in crisis and our roadways are deteriorating. Millions of workers who are the backbone of our economy struggle to make ends meet in a City that is rapidly becoming unaffordable for low-and-middle-income New Yorkers.
I am not against development. I am against socially irresponsible, out-of-scale, over-development. We should not be forced to accept the larger structures, the public subsidy giveaways, the inadequate affordable housing and our communities living in permanent shadows.
To read Senator Montgomery's full letter, download the PDF.
To learn more about the zoning application, download the Borough President's public hearing notice.
To learn more about Senator Montgomery's work on this issue, visit: