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February 22, 2012

Brooklyn Broadside: Downtown Building Boom Could Be a Planning Nightmare

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
by Dennis Holt

Look who's just catching on — sort of.

The Steiner brothers’ announcement last week of their plans to build a large apartment building in Downtown Brooklyn has prompted a review of what’s been built, what is being constructed and what is being planned.

The result is astonishing. Within a 2-square-mile area that includes the Downtown core and part of Fort Greene down to Atlantic Avenue, 7,362 new residential units will soon be going up. As we show later, many additional potential and intended units are excluded from that number.

Take out a map and walk around this general area. Look at the narrow sidewalks and narrow streets and imagine the infrastructure — telephone lines, gas mains, water mains — that was designed for a much smaller population.

Look and you won’t find the number of schools that probably will be needed for all the newcomers. Think of all the retail services that aren’t there now but will be needed. Check out bus routes and schedules, traffic patterns, and so much else.

There is an obvious conclusion. A heck of a lot more needs to be done than to just build 50-story buildings.

Oh, really? That kind of talk sounds an awful lot like what critics of Atlantic Yards — a project Holt can't get enough of — have been saying for years.

I have excluded the Atlantic Yards project, whose plan originally called for 6,400 housing units, both because most of the project is outside the 2-square-mile area and because there is no real estimate of how many residential units will in fact be built.

Um, Bruce Ratner's plan still calls for 6,400 housing units.

We are creating a whole new core city. Have city planners thought through all this? Somebody better do so before we find a mess on our hands.


NoLandgrab: You can't make this stuff up.

Posted by eric at February 22, 2012 12:23 PM