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City Planning Commission Approves Phipps Houses’ Barnett Avenue Plan

MHG Architects

MHG Architects

Aug. 10, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

The City Planning Commission unanimously approved Phipps Houses’ plan to construct a 209-unit affordable housing complex on Barnett Avenue, despite the strong opposition against it by Community Board 2, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, many residents and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

The Commission approved the plan, which proposes to build a 10-story complex on a parking lot at 50-25 Barnett Avenue, by a vote of 12 to zero.

“Today the Commission has the opportunity to vote on land use actions that advance key elements of the Administration’s strategies to address the City’s housing crisis, particularly the ability to create more affordable housing,” said City Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod in a statement.

“The setting for this proposal could not be more historically apt – Sunnyside Gardens, which was largely developed nearly a century ago as an area where working- and middle-class families could find newly built, well-designed housing within their means,” he added.

Both Community Board 2 and Katz criticized the proposal for its size and scale as well as the income levels for the affordable housing component.

CB 2 and Katz pointed out that the proposal favors those with higher incomes, with only 20 percent of the apartments (42 units) for households at 50 percent Area Median Income. They noted that 30 percent (62 units) of the apartments are for households at 100 percent AMI, and 50 percent (104 units) for households at 130 percent of AMI.

Van Bramer also shared these concerns but said that he was disappointed that Phipps did not make any attempt to amend its plans in the face of strong local opposition.

The plan will now go before the City Council, which is the final step in the process. If the council gives it the green light the complex would be permitted to be built.

“I am disappointed but not surprised that the Administration voted in favor of the Phipps project on Barnett Avenue, despite virtually unanimous community disapproval,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer in a statement, citing a community petition against the project with over 2,000 signatures, as well as the disapproval of CB2, Katz, and Assembly Member Catherine Nolan.

“To continue to push for the Phipps project in the face of such overwhelming local opposition shows a complete disregard for the people of this community and for the many valid concerns we all share about it. This project now comes before the City Council where I will oppose it, vote against it, and encourage my colleagues to do the same,” he added.

 

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45 Comments

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Julio Sanchez

Cool this neighborhood is tired and old, needs a face-lift,something like this is great. I cant wait for it and others like it to be built. Very co

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Hip hip hipster

I also like the idea of this building splurge thats going on. Williamsburg is too expensive,ill move here!!!!?

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Melinda

Yes this is great im going to get in here too. Screw the overpriced apartments around here. Hopefully ill get a break. Screwed again is right, we live here all our lives and we cant afford it anymore, the apartments should go to residents of woodside/ sunnyside first. This is a wonderful idea.

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Screwed again

Anon thx for the advice, and your right, but its tough to get the 20% downpayment up on a city workers salary, and trying to be responsible and pay the rent im paying now. Not to mention the 2 kids. Also with the prices being asked for a house today its almost impossible. Half these houses around here need a ton of work and there asking $850k to $1.2 mil, so the affordable housing works for me. Oh well, at least im healthy.

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LOST HOPE

All those wanna be from Manhattan who cannot afford the Island anymore are been shipped to Sunnyside & LIC, our peaceful cozy neighborhood is seen its last days, with more expensive buildings bringing the momys and their nanny with those SUV stroller, more cars to park where there is no room already, ours stores, markets, now are getting to habit of overcharging because of new residents, which leaves the old residents in hot water, outrageous increases in rent, food and services will be unbearable for many.

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Screwed again

Im a fan of development. Its good for the economy. I like jvb too and understand his concerns but i need an affordable place to live around here, my landlords greedy and raises the rent every year, since 2004 my rent has gone from $1500 to $2700. Every yr $100 raise. Im getting priced out and i was born here.

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Funnyside

Oh this is great, how can i get on a list for a two bedroom apartment. This is good for the neighborhood,a nice place to live

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Emily

I’ve heard rumors of development on Skillman between 50th and 51st. Anyone know anything verifiable?

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Aimee

Emily – Stop being so cheap. Breakdown and stop in the Copper Kettle and buy a drink or something to eat and just ask the owner, workers or patrons as to what’s going on.

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Silent majority

Appears to be true. The owner of the Kettle also owns Pure salon which moved out of Sunnyside to greener pastures in LIC.

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Emily

Aimee- already did (and paid for a meal, thanks). Nothing verifiable. That’s what I asked for – something verifiable. Do you have anything?

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Joe

It is about time someone took a stand against the hipsters trying to re-engineere the neighborhood. We need to adapt to the needs of the middle class looking for affordable housing.
By the way it is time JVB got put in his place.

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Michelle Kates

Jimmy has been catering to DiBlasio as seen by the cluster f@$k on Queens Blvd and suggested bridge toll. If this monstrosity passes he can kiss his career goodbye. As if these neighborhoods aren’t already overcrowded let’s add several hundred more people. Hey it’s not like there’s an issue with space in our schools…oh wait.

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Gardens Watcher

Will be a test of JVB’s power and his ability to override Bill DeBulls**t’s footprints on the city council. We’re watching in the Gardens.

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Silent majority

JVB is in DeBlasio’s pocket. Seems you precious gardens will soon be invaded. They nerve of some people.

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JVB

-silent Next time proof read your post. It’s only about 15 words long and six of them are misspelled. Take some pride in yourself and don’t be so lazy..

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Anonymous

Since its low income housing that means the whole job will be built by non union workers. How is this fair to the working class families that live here? Why don’t ya put some low income housing down by the water at Queens West? There’s still room there and some empty brand new buildings there?

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George

F the union workers!!! More over paid horses asses. Than it will take ten years to build so they can take there 7 coffee and lunch breaks each day.

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Mac

-George You’re a imbicile who believes low wages will empower working people in a society that uses a consumer driven market economy. You’re an angry sucker. How did that trickle down economics hoax work for you? Haha You’re a loud mouth low information Fox watching gullible imbecile. Unions set the safety standards we enjoy today. Fact! Union sacrifice and struggle for decent wages built the mobily upward middle class. Fact!!! Get an education you fool. Uninforned idiots like you are giving away our children’s future. Just compare the low salaries, low standard of living and lack of upward mobility “right to work for less states” with those states that support their citizens right to unionize. The poorest states in America all have one common denominator. They’re all right to work states. Get an education George. You’ve allowed the discussion of economics to be turned into a two dimensional subject. You’re a naive fool.

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Sean

Hey Silent, Macs post not nearly as angr as George’s post. At least Macs post contains verifiable facts.

John John

Tootsie, It’s not auto pilot when you’re directly responding to a specific person and specific points of a post. You’re the one posting garbage.

Hungry

If the counsel breaks precedent by viting against the district’s member, and in this cast the majority leader then we will all know their 30% raise was indeed what we suspect it was, a payoff. In that case, all bets are off. No one will need any further proof that “democracy” is a sham.

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Jorge

All this money spent on new developments, how about developing the 52nd street 7 train station, is in deplorable conditions

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Phil

Once again Van Bramer shows he’s great at mugging it up for the cameras but when it comes to actually delivering for his constituents, he comes up miserably short. Why don’t you start another twitter war with MTA, Jimmy? That will show them.

As for Katz, the entire borough government system is a waste of money. The city does everything and callas all the shots. Why are we paying for Katz and her cronies (and their equivalents in the other 4 boroughs)? If we’re going to waste our tax money on these greasy machine types, I at least expect them to deliver the votes.

12-0.

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