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Developer of Williamsburg’s former Pfizer site announces ‘community commitments’

The Rabsky Group says that economic benefits from the controversial development project will go back into the community

Via Department of City Planning

The Rabsky Group, the developers behind the controversial plan to rezone a two-block site at 200 Harrison Avenue in Williamsburg, known as the Broadway Triangle, announced plans to ensure “community commitments” (their words, not ours) at a recent public hearing held by the neighborhood’s land use committee.

Developers are making an attempt to ensure that the rezoning plan to allow for 1,146 mixed-income apartments on the former Pfizer site will pump “economic benefits generated by the development” back into the community, states the press release. So what exactly does this mean? In reality, not much.

The plan touts the 287 permanently affordable housing units that were already promised, in exchange for the rezoning, but did make new mention that the project will employ local workers for the development’s construction and operation and that developers are committed to paying “the prevailing wage to building service workers.”

All in all, the meeting was much ado about nothing and likely won’t put residents that oppose the project at ease. Since 2009, Black and Latino community members have argued that the rezoning unfairly benefits the Hasidic Jewish community, even going as far as to file a lawsuit that prevented the project from moving forward. It wasn’t until late May that developers officially began the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) for the rezoning.

A full community board meeting is scheduled for next week. Should things work out in favor of the Rabsky Group, construction is projected to begin in January 2018 and wrap up by 2019.