Wednesday, July 9, 2014

East New York: Ripe For A Rezoning

I like the look of this proposal for rezoning East New York:
According to a new script being written by the de Blasio administration, that lot and, more broadly, all of East New York are on the verge of assuming an entirely different role, as a launchpad for City Hall's ambitious $41 billion plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing during the coming decade. City Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod aims to spur a renaissance of the neighborhood by rezoning the area to spark the development of thousands of residential units ringed by mixed-use corridors and bisected by a reimagined Atlantic Avenue.
"The plan for East New York offers a template for how our ambitious housing goals can be accomplished on a neighborhood level," said Mr. Weisbrod. "It sets out a framework for new housing and economic development along key transit corridors."
Although the area is poor in economic terms—median annual income stood at just under $33,000 in 2011, 40% beneath the city median—it is surprisingly rich in transit connections. In addition to being virtually adjacent to JFK airport, East New York features a major transit hub of its own, at Broadway Junction, in the neighborhood's northeast corner, where five subway lines converge and the Long Island Rail Road has a busy station.
According to a city planning report on East New York's potential rezoning, a reimagined Broadway Junction will anchor the revitalized neighborhood. The report calls for a redevelopment similar to that of Atlantic Terminal at the edge of downtown Brooklyn, also a major subway and LIRR hub. Today, it is surrounded by a mix of new office and retail space centered on a public plaza.
Now let's make sure that we're focusing on transit-oriented development here.   Broadway Junction is a pretty robust transit hub.  And this should tie in nicely with the effort to remake Atlantic Avenue into a safer corridor.

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