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Unhappy Red Hook Renters Discover Redesign Plan Via Facebook

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For the latest chapter of Red Hook Gentrification Watch, we turn to Conover Street between Coffey and Van Dyke streets, where there's a strip of 1930s fishermen's cottages now owned by developer Gito Vitale. Vitale wants to redesign the homes?through a contest!?and sell them. Trouble is, they're occupied by renters who aren't happy with the plan, partly because they only found out about it through a link on Facebook. (Tenancy status: it's complicated?) The tenants have at least another year in the cottages at their current rents, The Brooklyn Paper reports. But "they should be ecstatic that they've been there for four years paying close to nothing in rent," Vitale says. And hey, the ingrates are welcome to buy the cottages once they're redeveloped! The contest calls for "modest, tasteful single family homes...which blend into the existing fabric of this Red Hook block," so the results might not be anything too wacky.
· Official website: Conover Cottages competition [theconovercottages.com]
· Historic preservation -- or gentrification? -- on Conover Street? [BK Paper]