State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan, State Assembly Member Erik Dilan, Arlington Village tenants, members of the Coalition for Community Advancement: Progress for East New York/Cypress Hills and advocates today called on City officials to exclude Arlington Village, East New York’s largest, private low-income housing development from a proposed rezoning plan.
Through the city’s East New York Community Plan, Arlington Village—a two-story, 212-unit 310,000 square foot low-income rent stabilized complex—could be razed and replaced with a 12 story 1,184,580 square foot complex. Plagued by the under-handed tactics of previous owners, Arlington Village has been reduced to less than 20 percent occupancy as vacated units were not leased to new tenants.
“Arlington Village is a perfect example of North Brooklyn’s affordable housing woes. With our affordable stock depleting, here sits a heavily under-utilized property that is largely in part to unscrupulous tactics to drive current tenants out and keep others from coming in,” said Senator Dilan. “Now, a community-wide plan that aims to grow East New York’s housing stock, stakes a claim on the community’s largest development parcel whose current owners have sought City Planning Commission approval to increase the buildable square footage there for more than a year.”
Arlington Village is both centrally located within the community as well as the administration’s highest allowed density “Growth Corridor” zone. As proposed, the redevelopment of the site could become the epicenter of East New York gentrification as only 25 percent of constructed units would be offered at 60 percent of the city average median income (AMI). At that rate, those units would be affordable to only half the neighborhood’s residents. The remaining, 75 percent of units, would be leased at a higher AMI or at market rate.
Providing additional density at the Atlantic Avenue site through the city’s East New York plan would avoid both an extensive public review process of this site as well as the need for developers to enter into a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). Such a binding contract would guarantee that, in exchange for the community’s support of an Arlington Village redevelopment, the end project would provide agreed-to conditions and standards that would be of benefit to the East New York and Cypress Hills community.
"Arlington Village has been an eyesore in Cypress Hills for years and the tenants have lived in deplorable conditions thanks to the previous owners. Now, under the new ownership, the abuse continues. The new owners are repairing apartments that have been empty for over 25 years, while not repairing the 40 currently occupied units. Instead, they are harassing tenants and ignoring their rent-stabilized status. Besides, the new owners that bought Arlington Village for $30 million last year, quickly started circulating it for sale at $60 million," said Darma Diaz, Coalition for Community Advancement: Progress for East New York/Cypress Hills.
The Community Plan was approved by the New York City Planning Commission on February, 24. The final plan is expected to be voted on in the City Council by April 20.