The Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) action by developer Greenpoint Landing Associates (GLA) ended this week, with the City Council approving its huge waterfront development project. The hearings focused on two small parcels of the 22-acre development, as most was able to be built as-of-right following the 2005 rezoning.
Following the Council’s decision, Councilmember Steve Levin, who helped negotiate the agreement with the developer, announced several community benefits involving open space, transportation and affordable housing that were achieved for the community through the land use action.
Among the benefits, GLA agreed to add $3 million, on top of the $2.5 million already provided for Newtown Barge Park, bringing the total park budget from $7 million to $10 million. The developer also agreed to keep the 431 affordable units it will build permanently affordable and available to families earning incomes from 40-120% of Average Median Income (AMI).
In addition, GLA pledged to incorporate smaller retail facilities within the project, limiting the size of most retail establishments within the Point-of-Agreement buildings and the City-owned properties to no more than 3,000 square feet, and to work with the Brooklyn and Greenpoint Chambers of Commerce to help identify potential Brooklyn-based tenants for the retail spaces within the project.
Another condition of the approval requires GLA to pursue the inclusion of a car share facility within one of the first three development parcels on the site. The City favors these arrangements, for their positive environmental impact, yet few parking garages have embrace this still new system.
GLA will also donate a site for a 120,000 square foot, 640-seat pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade, District 14 public school and contribute $25,000 annually to keep it open after school hours for use as a community space.
Throughout construction, GLA will maintain a community contact to answer questions and address concerns that might arise during the course of the development.
As part of its agreement, the City agreed to reinstate $500,000 for the CB 1 tenant anti-harassment and displacement collaborative and to fund and conduct a comprehensive transportation plan for Community Board 1.
“As the representative and a resident of Greenpoint, I share the concerns about the lack of infrastructure and open space, as well as the environmental issues facing our neighborhood,” Levin said. “By reaching agreements to increase funding for Newtown Barge Park, build permanently affordable housing, conduct a CB1 transportation plan and fund a local community space, we are bringing real benefits directly to the neighborhood that will have a positive impact for Greenpointers.”