Friday, October 17, 2014

Massive Development Planned For Sunset Park

An article on another development  in downtown Brooklyn had a link to this story that somehow went under my radar in The Brooklyn Paper. Apparently someone has big plans for the empty lot next to the N train station on 62nd street and 8th Avenue. The lot recently changed hands for it's previous owner for, get this, an astounding $51.5 million. That kind of outside money coming into the neighborhood is what is changing the dynamics of the hood. With mainland Chinese money being heavily invested in New York City (The recent sale of the Waldorf Astoria to the Chinese for example) it would only be natural that one of the places it would end up would be what has become New York's premiere Chinatown our own neighborhood of Sunset Park. According to the article the plans are for a "Plans call for a three-story, Chelsea Market-style retail space to cover the entire site, which is covers an area about as big as three football fields. Rising from that base will be a 150-room hotel standing about 10 stories, two 15-story residential towers with a combined 350 apartments, and an office tower standing 17 stories". Additionally plans also call for "A public green space and sculpture garden will cover exposed sections of the retail building’s roof, and a library, computer lab, and space for a pre-kindergarten program will serve the area’s burgeoning immigrant population". Nothing this massive has ever been done recently in the neighborhood. With all the additional money coming into the Industry City area on the other side of 3rd Avenue we will see a completely different neighborhood in the next ten years if not sooner increasing a process of gentrification that has snowballed into an ever increasing acceleration in the last two years. The question for our neighborhood is whether to oppose it, accept it or ignore it. The only two places where we can make our voices heard in whichever direction you fall is The community board and our local City council member Carlos Menchaca. Notice that none of this was in the news and most of us in the neighborhood are the last to hear about it. And yes, the plans include yet another Hotel in the neighborhood. It might be good for tourists but I'm not sure about the rest of us. I have to wonder what other projects are being planned in the neighborhood that we are unaware of. With billions in Chinese investment money looking for a place to park you can rest assured this neighborhood will get a chunk of it. Trying to stop it will be difficult for us peasants with limited resources when reality and history shows that "money talks". Hold on to your seatbelts, we're in for an interesting ride. I urge all readers of this blog who live in the neighborhood to pick up the phone and call the community board to voice your opinions and throw in Menchaca's office as well, don't let him off the hook. To read more about this you can read the whole article right here.


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