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What Will Rezoning Bring to East New York?

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A rezoning plan for East New York was passed last year as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s effort to create or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units by 2024.  The East New York Neighborhood Plan, in conjunction with the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program, provided $267 million for affordable housing and additional construction in East New York, and is expected to bring more retail and community spaces to the area.

The East New York Plan is a comprehensive attempt to revitalize the areas of East New York, Cypress Hills and Ocean Hill.  In addition to the rezoning, (which will lead to the construction of more housing), the Plan also calls for government investment in businesses in designated zones, the creation of a Workforce1 Career Center and other cosmetic repairs to make the area more attractive to visitors.  Community resources like playgrounds, schools, parks, and street-side safety precautions are also planned.  With greater resources and more money in the pockets of locals, the hope is that East New York will experience a renaissance.

Many developers are already staking their claims in East New York.  New York YIMBY has been covering planned developments in the neighborhood, and in 2017 alone has reported on seven of them.  Some are currently little more than applications, like Blessed Homes LLC’s proposed five-story mixed-use building at 2746 Fulton Street, and the four-story mixed-use building at 344 Van Siclen Avenue applied for by Nyron Hall Engineering Services.  Other proposals are already taking shape.  In January, Phipps House filed permits for 3301 Atlantic Avenue, a 14-floor building consisting of ground-floor retail below 403 affordable apartments.  Renderings for 3301 Atlantic Avenue were released in early July.  Renderings have also been released for 1427-1449 Loring Avenue by developers Canyon, Sterling & Emerald LLC and Radson Development.  This behemoth will take up an entire square block and will include 521 affordable units (out of which 130 will be permanently affordable), retail and a community facility above one hundred parking spaces.  This building will be near enough to the Grand Avenue A train stop that the developers hope and believe the lack of parking spaces will not matter.

Current residents of East New York have different reactions to the Plan.  On one hand, greater access to housing and retail will help in the short-term.  On the other hand, some residents complain that the proposed affordable housing still is not affordable enough and in the long-term, some affordable housing may rise to market rate and push longtime residents out.  If housing prices rise, landlords of current rent-controlled buildings may resort to slimy tactics to pressure their tenants to leave, enabling the landlords to resell those apartments at market rate.  On the flip side, the planned improvements to Atlantic Avenue and re-paved roads are popular items.  Additionally, more development in an area typically coincides with a reduction in crime, to which no one is objecting.  Ultimately, only time will tell.

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