War and Peace
No photos labeling ‘Schvartzes’ allowed. Read More
The community has a lot of ideas about what it would like to see the 138,000-square foot Bedford Union Armory become: a massive roller skating rink, community athletic facility, theater or concert venue. Now developers get to weigh in. The New York Economic Development Council is moving ahead with the redevelopment of the Crown Heights armory; this afternoon it announced a request for proposals.
Bill de Blasio appeared for the final time on the campaign trail today, choosing Crown Heights–the neighborhood at the center of the 20-year-old race riots that his rival, Joe Lhota, attempted to blame him for–to triumphantly greet a slew of ecstatic voters hours before the polls close.
It was the front-running mayoral candidate’s only public stop of the day, aside from a photo-op as he voted earlier this morning.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Developmental psychologists agree: by age 3, your baby should be way past its “killing the vibe on dance floors” phase.
Fortunately, you can enroll your dweeby infant or toddler in Baby DJ School at Cool Pony Crown Heights. Classes start September 18 under the sick-ass tutelage of Natalie Elizabeth Read More
In the Rezone
In recent years, Brooklyn’s defining characteristic has increasingly become the class warfare that has spread, epidemic-like, from the East River towards the ocean. The battles, both brutal and bittersweet, are fought out one cheese shop, exposed lightbulb-lit wine store and frozen yogurt joint at a time. The middle-class displaces the low-income and delights, in the brief window before they themselves are pushed out by the rapidly-escalating rents, in the surge of bars and restaurants, organic groceries and quirky boutiques that follow in their wake.
Once they move on, the cycle repeats, and another community tries to square the undeniable advantages that money brings (more grocery stores, safer streets, better schools), with the fact that staying around to enjoy them will prove increasingly difficult.
The West Crown Heights rezoning has been in the making for nearly a decade, and Community Board 8—which initiated the process—has spent countless hours hashing out the details to maintain the neighborhood’s low-rise character in exchange for allowing higher-density development along the commercial corridors of Franklin and Bedford avenues. The City Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the rezoning proposal next Wednesday, August 7, but now a group of Johnny-come-latelies is trying to shoe-horn in some last-minute changes.
Crown Heights Assembly, a group of ex-Occupiers who have focused on the hotbed of gentrification in recent months, are circulating a petition demanding some big modifications in advance of next week’s vote, according to DNAinfo.
“So many of the civic successes heralded by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,” Ginia Bellafonte wrote in The New York Times back in 2012, “might have happened in Lithuania for all the effect they have had (or could have) on the lives of people in Brownsville,” which Ms. Bellafonte then goes on to helpfully identify as a neighborhood in northeastern Brooklyn.
We’re not sure if gentrification counts as a “civic success,” and we aren’t aware of any pasty-faced, heritage flannel-wearing hipsters wandering around Pitkin Avenue, the neighborhood’s main drag, yet. But if trends in nearby neighborhoods are any indication, it won’t be long before Brownsville—a byword for blight, home to the largest concentration of public housing towers in the city and to this day a place that some mail carriers fear to tread—is selling something artisanal besides stamp bags.
The Mysteries of Brooklyn
This reporter heard from a friend last night that they had seen a line for gas on Empire Boulevard, on the border of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights and Flatbush neighborhoods, that stretched for 10 blocks. Meanwhile, special corespondent Ian Lamb came upon this scene in Kensington:
Brooklyn's Back Bench
Over the years, Jonathan Butler has covered countless Brooklyn real estate deals and developments—and by extension, the delights and absurdities of living in the borough—for his blog Brownstoner.
Now, he can finally write about his own. Mr. Butler and his partners have paid $11 million for a former Studebaker Service Station on Dean Street in Crown Heights. They plan to convert the 155,000 square-feet of space into a commercial mixed-use development that will house artists and assorted creative types as well as a food hall—a $30 million project, to which Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group will contribute $25.5 million. BFC Partners, the developer behind Toren, is also involved in the deal, which was first written about in The Journal and then, of course blogged about by Mr. Butler on Brownstoner.
A promising first step—bringing Selldorf Architects on board to design the space, which should be interesting given Selldorf’s success with high/low projects in the past: Manhattan galleries and penthouses, a renovation of the Plaza’s famed Oak Room and designing a Brooklyn recycling plant.
The emcee invoked Matthew 16:24. “Jesus said to his followers if anyone wants to follow me, he must say no to the things he wants. He must be willing to even die on the cross and he must follow me.”
Hundreds of parishioners had gathered in the basement of the 96-year-old Brown Memorial Church in Read More