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Massive Complex Slated for Controversial Broadway Triangle, Filings Show

By Gwynne Hogan | August 31, 2016 12:29pm
 The Rabsky Group's plans for a massive Broadway Triangle development moving forward.
The Rabsky Group's plans for a massive Broadway Triangle development moving forward.
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Department of City Planning

WILLIAMSBURG — Recently unveiled plans for the controversial Broadway Triangle area — currently in litigation on charges it favors the Hasidic community over black and Latinos — show a massive 1,147-apartment complex.

Paperwork filed recently shows Simon Dushinsky’s Rabsky Group, also the developers behind a portion of the sprawling Rheingold Development in nearby Bushwick, recently filed an Environmental Assessment Statement for sites formerly owned by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

They also submitted an updated land use application in July and have a first public meeting scheduled for Sept. 21, according to city records.

According to the plans, the 1,147-unit residential development would set aside 344 apartments, or 30 percent of the apartments for affordable housing, in accordance with the city's new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing requirement, signed into law in March. 

The development would span two, full city blocks bound by Gerry Street, Harrison Avenue, Walton Street and Union Avenue, have ground-floor retail, several underground parking garages and a long and narrow park area dividing the buildings, renderings show.

The Rabsky Group first filed plans to begin a rezoning last year, though in July it re-filed an updated application, according to records from the Department of City Planning.

Community advocates, who vow to challenge the latest development, have been fighting an earlier 2009 rezoning of the entire Broadway Triangle area in a case that has yet to be resolved in State Supreme Court.

Community groups who sued the city claimed the Bloomberg-era rezoning favored the Hasidic community to the detriment of blacks and Latinos in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Judge Emily Goodman granted an injunction in 2012 and there has been no development of the city-owned land property in Broadway Triangle since, pointed out Marty Needelman, an attorney at Brooklyn Legal, one of the organizations that filed the lawsuit.

“What’s at stake is more of the same," Needelman said. "Massive displacement of the existing non-white community.”

City Councilman Antonio Reynoso vowed on Twitter to block the project, though his district stops a few blocks from Pfizer site.

 The controversial area though suiting in a case that's still being duked out.
The controversial area though suiting in a case that's still being duked out.
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Department of City Planning

City Councilman Stephen Levin represents the Broadway Triangle area, though he couldn't reached for comment immediately.

YIMBY first reported on Rabsky's plans for the site.

Raymond Levin, an attorney for the Rabsky Group said more information would be available at the Sept. 21 meeting and declined to comment further immediately. 

The city's Law Department and the Mayor's Press office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The developers and City Planning will hold a public meeting on Sept. 21 at the Intermediate School 318 (101 Walton Street) at 6 p.m. to discuss what should be taken into consideration when the work on the Environmental Impact Statement. That needs to be completed before the projects Land Use Rezoning process can begin.