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Williamsburg’s Pfizer rezoning is a go with City Council approval

The full City Council approved the rezoning despite opposition from local residents

Department of City Planning

The City Council approved the Pfizer rezoning on Tuesday, paving the way for an eight-building development in South Williamsburg’s Broadway Triangle area. The vote was not unanimous however, with seven City Council members voting against the rezoning, most notably City Council member Antonio Reynoso, who has continued to argue over that past few months that the rezoning will displace a disproportionate amount of Williamsburg’s latino community.

“Since the waterfront rezoning in Williamsburg, 25 percent of the Latino people in the neighborhood have been displaced,” Reynoso said at the meeting. “This is a sad day for Brooklyn. This will contribute to a long history of segregation in the neighborhood.”

Despite vocal opposition from several community groups (primarily over the lack of affordable housing) including the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition and Churches United for Fair Housing, the rezoning application had already passed the Council’s land use, and zoning and franchises subcommittees. Tuesday’s vote market the final vote on the rezoning by the full City Council.

In the end, 37 Council members voted in favor of rezoning, seven voted against, and two Council members abstained.

“I want to thank everyone who came out to express their views,” City Council member Stephen Levin, whose district the project is in, said at the meeting. “It was a complicated rezoning, but I do believe it will serve all the residents of this community.”

As plans stand right now, the 4.2 acre site bounded by Harrison and Union Avenues, and Walton and Gerry Streets, will lead to creation of 1,146 apartments. Of these, 287 apartments (about 25 percent) will be permanently affordable. In addition, the project will also create 65,000 square feet of retail, and half an acre of public open space.

Construction is expected to get underway in January 2018, and the first set of residents will start moving in sometime in 2019.