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Get in the (Re)-Zone: Billyburg's Waterfront Facelift

Greenpoint residents are waking up to a new reality this morning (Williamsburg residents still have a few hours to go before they shake off their hangovers and roll out of bed), as news of the passing of the giant waterfront rezoning plan sweeps through the borough like a graffiti tag on a FreshDirect truck. The deal calls for 175 blocks of neglected waterfront property, currently zoned for industrial use, to be made available for residential developments and new waterfront parkland. The new towers will range from 20-40 stories tall. (Hello, Brooklyn Battery Park City!)

Because of the protests (ridiculous, confusing, sensational and otherwise) and controversy surrounding the rezoning plan, the City had to throw many a bone to residents and businesses. A brief rundown, after the jump.

1) One-third of the 10,800 new units will be made available to low and moderate-income New Yorkers (up from the original 23% offer).
2) Twenty percent of those units will be set aside for families earning $18,000 or less.
3) Parkland acreage upped to 54 from 49, including a 28-acre park with aquatic center on the river.
4) $20 million fund established to create an Industrial Business Zone along a 22-block stretch near the Bushwick Inlet to protect manufacturing jobs from surging property values.
5) $70 million for the Navy Yards to house displaced businesses.
6) Develeopers will pay union wages to building workers.

A subcommittee approved the plan after a month of intense negotiations between City Hall, local developers and the City Council, and it is expected to be approved by the full Council next week.

Said Councilwoman Melinda Katz: "In 10 years, I can't imagine what Williamsburg-Greenpoint is going to look like." Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
· City Is Backing Makeover for Decaying Brooklyn Waterfront [NYTimes]
· Supersized Williamsburg on the Way [Village Voice]
· Reconsidering the Billyburg Hearing: Okay, We're Awake [Curbed]