The contested mixed-use project proposed for 80 Flatbush Avenue has hit another snag as it wends its way through the city’s ULURP process. Brooklyn’s Community Board 2 rejected the proposal, with a vote of 32-1 (with several abstentions), during its board meeting this week; while this doesn’t mean the project is DOA, it’s another hurdle as it seeks approval from the City Council and the mayor.
To recap: Alloy Development is seeking a spot rezoning for the site, bounded by Flatbush Avenue, State Street, Schermerhorn Street, and Third Avenue, in order to build a more dense project than is currently allowed. Alloy’s proposal would add 900 apartments—200 of those permanently affordable—along with a cultural space and two schools. This would all be spread out across five buildings, one of which would rise 986 feet—making it one of Brooklyn’s tallest towers upon completion.
Predictably, this has set off a fight among the city’s competing pro-development and pro-preservation sets. The former believe the project, which is close to the bustling Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center transit hub, is crucial for alleviating pressure on rents in surrounding, lower-income areas; the latter are chiefly concerned with preserving the character of nearby historic areas, including Fort Greene and Boerum Hill.
There are vocal supporters and detractors on both sides. Public Advocate Letitia James and preservationists have come out against the project; civic and transit groups, including the Riders Alliance and Transportation Alternatives are for it. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has yet to weigh in, despite hosting several hearings on the development, but the Community Board vote is likely to influence other elected officials’ support for the project. (It’ll need approval from the City Planning Commission, the City Council, and the Mayor in order to move forward.)
Howard Kolins, the president of the Boerum Hill Association (and one of the most vocal opponents of the project), told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that the group is “gratified” by the CB2 vote, and hopes to work to revise the project into a “reasonably scaled development” with Alloy.
Alloy, meanwhile, is still hopeful that the project can proceed as planned; in a statement, its president, AJ Pires, said that ,“While we respect [CB2’s] position, we’ve also received a lot of support for the project, both in the neighborhood and citywide. The consensus among those many supporters is that building in Downtown Brooklyn along Flatbush Avenue and across from one of the largest transit hubs in the City to deliver affordable housing, two schools and cultural space makes 80 Flatbush a model for intelligent development.”