CROWN HEIGHTS — Amid opposition from local activists, the developers of two proposed 16-story towers on Wednesday withdrew the project’s rezoning application just hours ahead of its first scheduled public review.
Cornell Realty, which had sought to build two new residential towers with 565 apartments off Franklin Avenue, told the local Crown Heights community board Wednesday night they are not pursuing changes to land use rules needed to complete the project.
Michael Liburd, chair of Brooklyn Community Board 9’s ULURP and land use committee, announced the change at a public hearing scheduled to discuss the Cornell project. To move forward, the residential project would have needed approval from the City Council and mayor as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. The developers sought permission to build higher if they added affordable housing.
“Cornell Realty this afternoon contacted the community board and said they’re withdrawing their application,” he said to loud clapping and cheering from Movement to Protect the People, a local activist group that had collected more than 4,000 signatures opposing the development.
“What that means is they may reapplying in the future, they may build as-of-right, no idea,” Liburd added.
Cornell provided a short statement to the board explaining they are “respectfully withdrawing” the rezoning, but intend “to resubmit this application after additional outreach with community stakeholders and elected officials to obtain input and ensure the benefits of the project are fully understood,” Liburd read.
Under current zoning rules, the developers of the two building sites, 40 Crown St. and 931 Carroll St., could build up to seven stories on each lot without public approval.