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Plans to bring 300 apartments to Bed-Stuy rejected by community board

The community board wants the apartments to be more affordable

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Less than two weeks after the developer behind Williamsburg’s William Vale hotel announced plans to bring nearly 300 apartments to the border of Bed-Stuy and Brooklyn Navy Yard, the local community board is putting a dampener on that project.

Plans call for the apartments to be spread out over two buildings, one located at 376-378 Flushing Avenue, and the other at 43 Franklin Avenue. Of the 296 apartments, 88 would be affordable, but in order to move forward, the developer, Zelig Weiss of Riverside Developers USA, needs the area to be rezoned to residential.

As part of the approvals process, the developer has to go through the local community board, but they weren’t on the same page with this project, DNAinfo reports. It was a close call nevertheless with 18 board members voting in favor of the project, 17 voting against, and two abstentions. According to Brooklyn Community Board 3’s laws, abstentions count as votes against, and hence the project was rejected.

The main concern the board had was the range of affordability. The developers are currently willing to offer 30 percent of the building’s units as permanently affordable at 80 percent or below the area median income.

The board members however wanted the threshold reduced with 25 percent of the units being offered to people making 60 percent of area median income which means it would be open to a family of three making $48,960.

The board members were also concerned that the residences wouldn’t be occupied by locals, even though the developers insisted that there was a 50 percent community preference in place for the affordable apartments. The board also asked Riverside Developers to ensure that a local agency is working to market the affordable units.

Riverside in turn said it would have to ensure that it was financially feasible in order to commit to that threshold of affordability. This project has previously been mired in controversy with the initial group of developers coming to a disagreement over the development.

The project will now be presented to the Brooklyn Borough President, after which the City Planning Commission and the City Council will seal the fate of this development.