A meeting yesterday to discuss two massive—and massively contested—Brooklyn developments in Crown Heights and Williamsburg was eventually called off, after opponents to those projects protested during the meeting, then led a walk-out, according to DNAInfo. The hearing was set up for community members to voice their concerns about the redevelopment of the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights, and the former Pfizer site (now known as the Broadway Triangle) in Williamsburg.
Perhaps this was inevitable, considering both the Bedford-Union proposal and the Pfizer proposal have rankled local residents from the get-go. Opponents of the former, developed by BFC Partners, have long argued that the development should have only affordable housing, and as of last month, it’s lost the support of both City Council member Laurie Cumbo (who represents Crown Heights) and Community Board 9. Pfizer’s opponents, meanwhile, have similar concerns about affordable housing (and who the development will ultimately benefit), and have gone so far as to file lawsuits to stop the development (helmed by Rabsky Group) from proceeding.
The hearing was being held as part of the uniform land use review proecedure (ULURP), which both projects are currently in the midst of in order to rezone their respective sites. So far, Pfizer has fared better than Bedford-Union, with Community Board 1 (which represents Williamsburg) giving its approval to the 1,146-unit project last month. Borough President Eric Adams is due to weigh in on both projects as part of their ULURP requests, and set up the hearing as a way to get public input on both, according to DNAInfo.
Well, ask and ye shall receive:
Huge crowd of community members waiting to get into the Bedford Union Armory hearing #KillTheDeal pic.twitter.com/03F8DabD9F— NY Communities (@nychange) July 10, 2017
In front of Borough Hall for ULURP hearings on Bedford Union Armory and Broadway Triangle #KillTheDeal #TellCumboNo pic.twitter.com/ejcBLl38Qx— Trigger Thomas (@ComplxBlackness) July 10, 2017
Tried to go to the Bedford Union armory borough board meeting and it was shut down by protesters pic.twitter.com/L5kLzyIkOp— Rebecca Baird-Remba (@thecitywanderer) July 10, 2017
The hearing was being led by Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, who eventually told those assembled to email their comments to Borough Hall. She told DNAInfo that “the people are speaking. They've lived through this for 40 years. We're expecting that they're going to be in touch with Borough Hall.”