In March there will be another developer coming to the Community Board 8 for a
variance, this time to convert 964 Dean Street from commercial to residential. I believe it is in the community’s interest to see the manufacturing area where this building is located, a six block area bounded by Atlantic, Bergen, Grand and Franklin, comprehensively rezoned to make room for mixed use development and affordable housing. The alternative is a hodgepodge of unrelated projects that will no doubt include mostly luxury residential apartments.
Given its current underutilization and the pressure for development created by the nearby Atlantic Yards, unless something is done quickly by City Planning, this area
will be lost to the community as an area that could be used for light manufacturing and affordable housing.
David Yassky, when he was the City Council member for Williamsburg, was able to push through a rezoning of the manufacturing areas along the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfronts that aimed to create a balance of manufacturing and affordable housing. While his plan wasn’t perfect, the area does retain considerable workspace for artists and light manufacturing as well as affordable housing that wouldn’t have existed unless zoning required it.
Let's do the same for Crown Heights. Given the pressing need for jobs and affordable housing, it would be a crime to lose this opportunity to create more of both.
A copy of the zoning map for the area can be found at: