THROWING SHADE?

August 30, 2018 at 4:45 am

Is Brooklyn’s building boom a threat to the iconic Brooklyn Botanic Garden?

Aired on August 29, 2018.

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>> BROOKLYN HAS SEEN RAPID
GROWTH RECENTLY.
THE U.S. CENSUS ESTIMATES THE
BOROUGH ADDED 145,000 RESIDENTS
BETWEEN TEN AND 2017.
SOME OF THOSE NEWLY MINTED
BROOKLYNITES ARE BEING HOUSED IN
NEW COMPLEX.
HOW TALL IS TOO TALL?
WILL SOME RESIDENTS BE LEFT IN
THE SHADOWS.
>> UNDERSTAND THEIR BOROUGH IS
GROWING BUT HAVE CONCERNS THAT
DEVELOPERS ARE PUTTING PROFIT
OVER PEOPLE AS NEWCOMERS AND NEW
RESIDENTIAL TOWERS THREATEN TO
CAST A SHAT DOE ON THEIR QUALITY
OF LIFE.
ALICIA BOYD TOOK ME ON A TOUR OF
A PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IN HER
NEIGHBORHOOD ON FRANKLIN AVENUE.
THE PROPOSAL IS SO LARGE IT
COULD QUITE LITERALLY CHANGE THE
VIEW OF THE SKY.
>> WHAT YOU HAVE STARTING FROM
HERE FROM THIS LOW SHED, ALL THE
WAY DOWN, PAST THIS BUILDING
RIGHT HERE, WHICH IS THE SPICE
FACTORY LITERALLY TO THE CORNER
WILL BE THE BOOTH ETNA
DEVELOPMENT.
IT'S A MONSTER, 1,500
RESIDENTIAL UNITS ARE BEING
PLANNED, PURELY RESIDENTIAL,
WITH SOME SMALL COMMERCIAL ON
THE BOTTOM, ON THE BOTTOM OF
THE -- ON THE MAIN FLOOR.
BUT IT'S REALLY -- IT'S GOING TO
BE -- OR THEY'RE PLANNING FOR IT
TO BE A MONSTER.
>> THE PROPOSAL COULD BE AS TALL
AS 444 FEET.
TO GET A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE, A
COMPLEX THAT LARGE WOULD BE
ABOUT 100 FEET TALLER THAN THE
STATUE OF LIBERTY, A STRUCTURE
THAT SIZE COULD HAVE SOME MAJOR
IMPLICATIONS FOR ITS POSSIBLE
NEIGHBOR, THE HISTORIC BROOKLYN
BOTANIC GARDEN, NOT TO BE
CONFUSED WITH NEW YORK BOTANICAL
GARDEN IN THE BRONX.
THIS PLOT OF LUSH GREENERY IS
MORE THAN 100 YEARS OLD AND SITS
ON A PRISTINE 52 ACRES OF LAND
IN THE HEART OF BROOKLYN, WITH
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
VISITORS EACH YEAR, IT'S ONE OF
NEW YORK CITY'S LESSER KNOWN
CROWN SKJEWELS.
THE CONTINUUM SITE IS JUST ONE
OF SEVERAL TARGETED FOR
DEVELOPMENT.
ANOTHER IS A SLIGHTLY SMALLER
SCALE PROJECT PROPOSED BY
CORNELL REALTY, AND RESIDENTS
HAVE RESERVATIONS ABOUT THAT ONE
AS WELL BECAUSE IN ORDER TO MOVE
FORWARD THE AREA WOULD HAVE TO
BE REZONED.
>> THIS IS THE CORNELL REALTY
DEVELOPMENT, THESE TWO SMALLER
ONES, AND THIS IS THE BOOTH ETNA
DEVELOPMENT AT THE PROPOSED
HEIGHTS, INCLUDING THEIR
BULKHEADS.
AND THE BULKHEADS COULD BE ABOUT
40 FEET.
SO THIS ONE IS ABOUT 444 FEET
AND THIS IS 235 FEET.
THIS BUILDING IS AN EXISTING
BUILDING CALLED TIBEARLY TOWERS.
THIS AREA IS THE EXACT AREA
DEPARTMENT OF CITY PLANNING HAD
PUT HEIGHT LIMITS IN 1991.
>> ALICIA BOYD'S GROUP THE
MOVEMENT TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE
CALLED ON ARCHITECTURAL FIRMS TO
STUDY THE EFFECTS THE PROPOSED
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS WOULD HAVE
ON ITS NEIGHBORS AND
PARTICULARLY THE SHADOWS IT
WOULD CAST ON THE COMMUNITY.
THE FIRMS TOOK THE INFORMATION
FROM THE PROPOSALS.
WE FOUND COPIES OF THOSE
CONTINUUM'S PRE-APPLICATION, AND
CORNELL'S APPLICATION.
>> WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT HERE
IS YOU'RE LOOKING AT A
THREE-DIMENSIONAL MODEL.
THIS IS PRETTY AVAILABLE
TECHNOLOGY EVERYWHERE.
THERE'S A LITTLE PLUG-IN THAT
ALLOWS US TO SEE WHERE THE
SHADOWS WOULD BE AT DIFFERENT
TIMES OF THE DAY, OR AT
DIFFERENT TIMES.
SO YOU'LL SEE THE SHADOWS ARE
INCREASING HERE.
AND OVER IN THE SHADOWS, THEY'RE
STARTING TO AFFECT THE BOTANICAL
GARDENS AND OTHER AREAS.
>> IN THIS WORST-CASE SCENARIO
THE STUDY SAYS 33% OF THE GARDEN
WOULD BE IN SHADOW DURING PEAK
TIME IN THE EARLY MORNING.
BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN IS
KEEPING AN EYE ON THE HORIZON,
BUT HAS NO AFFILIATION WITH THE
GROUP TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE.
THEY RELEASED A STATEMENT, WE
HAVE BEEN STRONGLY ADD VOKTSING
TO MAINTAIN THE CITY'S CURRENT
ZONING, WHICH WAS PUT IN PLACE
IN PART TO PROTECT THE
GUARANTEED'S CONSERVATORIES,
GREENHOUSES AND PLANT NURSERIES
FROM BUILDING SHADOWS.
WE HAVE BEEN KEEPING THE CITY OF
NEW YORK APPRISED OF OUR
CONCERNS AND WE ARE MONITORING
BOTH DEVELOPMENTS CLOSELY FOR
ANY POTENTIAL SHADOW IMPACT.
ALICIA SHOWED ME FIRSTHAND WHAT
A 40 STORY COMPLEX COULD MEAN.
>> ALL OF THEM WILL BE IN SHADE,
THIS ENTIRE AREA WILL BE IN
SHADE.
AND THE VISUAL EFFECT.
I MEAN, IF YOU THINK ABOUT NOW
YOU CAN SEE THE SKY, YOU WILL
NOT BE ABLE TO SEE THE SKY RIGHT
NOW.
RIGHT NOW YOU CAN SEE THE SKY
AND THE CLOUDS.
YOU PUT A 40 STORY BUILDING
THERE, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO
SEE ANYTHING BUT THE FOUR STORY
BUILDING.
THIS WHOLE VIEW, IF YOU SEE THE
TOWERS AND YOU SEE -- ESPECIALLY
WHEN YOU LOOK THIS WAY, YOU'LL
JUST SEE NOTHING BUT -- YOU'LL
SEE NOTHING BUT, YOU KNOW, AN
APARTMENT BUILDING.
>> ALICIA AND ANDREA JOHNSON WHO
ALSO ASSISTED IN THE SHADOWS
STUDY SAYS IT'S NOT JUST THE
BOTANIC GARDEN IN JEOPARDY, THEY
ALSO SAJAK KEY ROBINSON PARK IS
SMALL GREEN SPACE COULD BE
AFFECTED.
THEY ALSO NAMED ANOTHER PARK AND
YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF THIS ONE.
>> IT WILL CAST A SMALL AMOUNT
ON PROSPECT PARK.
WE DETERMINED THAT SHADOWS WILL
BE CAST OVER THE JACKIE ROBINSON
PARK ENTIRELY.
>> THIS ENTIRE OPEN SPACE WILL
BE COMPLETELY IN SHADOWS ALL
THROUGHOUT THE WINTER MONTHS
WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE PLAYING,
KIDS ARE PLAYING BASKETBALL,
EVERYTHING WILL BE IN SHADOWS.
>> THESE PLANS ARE STILL IN THE
EARLY STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT, AND
WOULD NEED SEVERAL MORE STEPS
BEFORE ANYTHING IS BUILT,
ACCORDING TO PUBLISHED REPORTS,
CORNELL REALTY CONDUCTED ITS OWN
SHADOW STUDY THAT SAYS ITS
PROPOSAL POSED NO RISK TO THE
BUILDING.
NEITHER OF THE DEVELOPERS GOT
BACK TO US.
WE'LL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS
STORY FOR ANY UPDATES.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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