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De Blasio and Van Bramer exchange words over Phipps Development

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

Aug. 19, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio have indirectly exchanged harsh words over the last two days about the Phipps Housing project in Sunnyside.

Words were fired back-and-forth after de Blasio lashed out how an affordable project in Upper Manhattan was voted down in the council earlier in the week.

“Turning down affordable housing, I can’t follow that. I can’t understand that,” he said at an unrelated event on Thursday.

The next affordable housing project that is going before for City Council is the 209-unit Phipps Housing complex at 50-25 Barnett Avenue.

Van Bramer has been outspoken in his opposition to the project, especially criticizing its size in relation to the surrounding neighborhood.

His opposition is likely to derail the Phipps plan, since it is protocol for the council to follow the lead of the council member representing the district where a development is to take place.

De Blasio, however, is an advocate for the proposal. “I am going to have a polite but firm conversation with the councilman, who I know very well and respect greatly,” de Blasio said.

Van Bramer quickly fired back on Twitter when a reporter brought de Blasio’s statement to his attention: “And he will be met with a polite and even firmer response.”

“If the Mayor wishes to have a polite conversation about his arguments in support of the Phipps development, and my reasons for being opposed, he has my phone number. I gladly await his call,” Van Bramer said.

“I do not work for the mayor of the City of New York,” Van Bramer told NY1 News. “I am not on his staff and I am not his child.”

The project will go to a vote in the City Council as soon as next month.

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62 Comments

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Gardens Watcher

Understand this Mr. One-Term Mayor: Our community has already said “oh no, Mr. Bill!” to this Titanic-sized project.

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InfrastructurePackage

The city’s population is growing. The population of cities all across the world are growing. Population experts have told us for the more then 10 years that this would happen (see Bloomberg wanting to tax the bridges). Stopping new buildings is like stopping the tide. BUT, if new apartments are going to be built they MUST be packaged with infrastructure. LIC is getting an award winning library. The Woodside library’s elevator doesn’t always work. The 52nd street train station was voted one of the worst. The 108th police precinct is stretched thin. And the children in these new apartments will take up the new seats built in PS 11 and PS 361. I believe the neighborhood might accept the argument that space has to be created for the growing population if they were offered an infrastructre package. That would be a compromise, not a “suck it up because you can’t stop me” situation.

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Phil

Good point. maybe the city should require school space be built into residential developments greater than a certain number of units?

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Sir Walter Raleigh

Hey I live in the Gardens and I don’t care of course it’s on Barnett and 50th so why should I! live on 44th Street. I say build it..

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Proud Liberal

@lochte- Just because somebody who has “liberal” leaning politics doesn’t agree with a proven failed and expensive policy of warehousing people in welfare hotels. A policy that harms the community around the hotel and beyond does not mean they still don’t support liberal ideals and policies. Mac is right you sound like a two dimensional imbecile.

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Anonymous

People in the area should be grateful it’s not a homeless shelter their putting up. That is what this Mayor is flooding Queens with transforming motels into shelters and the latest is in Maspeth. Recently he opened up shelters in Floral Park and Bayside and they now have all types of prostitution and drug problems out there.
Bust your ass your whole life to move your family into a decent area and then this Mayor opens a homeless shelter next door.

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Anonymous

yes the Quality Inn located at 53-05, Queens Boulevard is now a homeless shelter and JVB did this under the table without his constitutents knowing anything about it – but yet he told people he does not want any picketing being done in front of the hotel — how about people do it in front of his house – but then again like he says NOT IN MY BACKYARD —

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Joe at the Berkley

How about picketing the home of the owners of the hotels like we did back in the 1980’s? A nice day out to Great Neck or Saddle River?

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Shelter

The city just opened a homeless shelter in the Quality Inn in Woodside in June. The reason that you don’t know about it is that the city did not tell anyone- not JVB, not the community board. Remember when you think about these shelters that the owners of these hotels make money when they are converted to shelters and that some of the hotel owners are big donors to NYC politicians.

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lochte as honest as clinon

the liberals of SSG are all for helping people until it might affect their precious gardens. then its screw you to the needy.

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Mac

How did that trickle down economics hoax work out for you? It’s always nice to hear from the two dimensional imbeciles created by Slob Linbaubh and Fox News.

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Sean

-Mrlic You’re suppose to need at policies at a statewide analysis not look at a micro-habitat using a micro-economical and hollow valueless retort. The only thing we could tell from your post is its not so veiled racism. Republican Policy keeps people poor The Pew Economic Mobility Project, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization, released a report on May 5,2012, on upward mobility. The 9 Worst States:Alabama, Florida, Kentucky,Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina,Oklahoma,South Carolina,Texas. US census data reveals the 10 poorest states : Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Montana, Kentucky, Alabama, North Carolina and Louisiana. They all have common denominators. According to Republican rhetoric these states should be the best performing. Every state in these surveys are Republican strong holds for very long periods of time. This is the Republican record. Also According to Forbes Magazine a Republican Contributor Maryland , Connecticut, New Jersey. New Hampshire, Alaska, Massachusetts, Virginia ,Hawaii, Delaware and California10 Richest states by Median Household Income. Republicans don’t seem to fair up here either. The worst crime in the nation according to FBI statistics are all Republican states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and South Carolina. The policy of low wages in a country with a progressive income tax system is a recipe for disaster. You will notice the same Republican strong holds have the worst health, lowest wages, worst in education according to Craines, WSJ, Forbes and US Census. Republican policies appear to be working to you?

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Me

Don’t know why you and Mac are bringing republicans into this.All the decisions here on the Phipps and homeless shelters are brought to by the elected officials of NY 95% democrats so stop your whining

Sunnyside Resident

-Me Re-read Mrlic’s post and you’ll have your answer. You’re not a thinking man are you?

Barbara L

-Lochte as: The entire theme behind the building of Sunnyside Gardens was a progressive “liberal” concept of social engineering. Mac is right you’re an imbecile. Get an education you uninformed fool.

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Neigbor

Not against most affordable housing but this location and street is not right for a new building. The street is too narrow and being built against the train tracks means that all of the added density brought buy the building will only go in one direction.

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Luna

Building that thing would dwarf the Phipps Building across the street from the location as its only five floors tall. Plus with how narrow that street is that huge building would make that part of Barnett dimly lit during the day cutting off sunlight from over the tracks. Plus walking through their at night, even with the street lamps would make it feel like walking through a tunnel.

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Joe at the Berkley

Before any more “new” development to Western Queens is permitted infrastructure must be improved and expanded, plain and simple. The over development of Flushing down to LIC has created a nightmare on the 7 train. There was actually planning used back in the early 20th century to develop the area and it has been ignored and if that planning continues to be ignored on this massive scale the quality of life will plummet and property values will collapse. It will create the very cycle that ushered in the 70’s. Developers need to pick up some of the costs of infrastructure expansion and creation as a cost of doing business. The massive “profits” developers are reaping from this unregulated and reckless building are coming at a heavy price to our children and grand children.

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Joe at the Berkley

Notice how the Phipps hasn’t even proposed a smaller scale project, something more in line with the characteristics and design specifications of this planned community. This is one arrogant organization with one arrogant mayor supporting them.

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norman segel

Dear mayor please take the proyect to my community. Lower east side. Not to worry election are next year and we could elect someone pro housing. De aa ling with this type of council person is like dealing with oximoron.
Mr keep moving your and our housing agenda. De blasio you are doing a good job. You need to run for governour.

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A.Bundy

i know, right? i mean, why would parents help their kids succeed? that just makes no sense!

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Anonymous

@A.Bundy I’m all for parents helping their kids get an edge in life just not while deceiving the system and with my tax dollars. Try to understand that this is a program designed to benefit the less fortunate and to keep Working class families on lower incomes from being pushed out of the city. IOW, it’s a social services program. So, think hard for a moment when I say this girl’s story would be no different if her parents helped her apply for food stamps or unemployment insurance.

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Anonymous

Sickening to a depth not previoualy plumbed by this 60-year-old aingle woman with no chance of a downpayment unless empty bottles suddenly get you $500 instead of $.05.

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ann

Neighborhood opposition to the Phipps project is overwhelming, largely because of its scale. Ten stories high, 220 units. It towers over everything nearby. The ‘architect’s rendering’ of the project always make me laugh – there is the building surrounded by NOTHING, as if there are no buildings, houses, people nearby.

Then consider the infrastructure of lack of it – schools are overcrowded, 7 subway is jammed at every hour of the night and day, not just rush hour.

The developers have made no effort to engage with the community or scale it down in any way.

Plus people who live in the already-existing Phipps complex say they taken very poor care of the building and the tenants.

Hooray for Jimmy van Bramer for listening to constituents.

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Long time local

Thanks for censoring me Sunnyside Post. Further proof you are not objective, pander to a local politician, practice yellow journalism and are nothing more than an easily bought tool. PS: Go fuck yourself. Your part of the problem in this neighborhood.

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Emily

Even if you think JVB is NIMBYing it, all of his neighbors stood up and said the same thing. So, he is listening to his constituents here. Let’s hope there isn’t some b.s. back deal going on. He would lose some serious support if this place gets built.

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Anonymous

he is not listening to his constitutents at all — it is all for show — the same way he allowed the “Quality Inn” located at 53-05, Queens Boulevard to become a homeless shelter a couple of weeks ago not one of the constitutents knew about it and he has the nerve to say he does not want any picketing at all there — who is he kidding – all for the money

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The Dark Knight

Bet there’s a lot of money to be made by providing shelter for the city’s homeless. Smh.

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Joe at the Berkley

-anonymous We could tell you’re a politicizing phony Republican, because you never once mention the wealthy owners of these welfare hotels. The owners of these welfare hotels must be publicly named and their homes in Long Island, West Chester and Northern New Jersey picketed, just like we did back in the 1980’s. That put an end of this failed practice back then and it will work this time too.

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Tooties tooters

Joe you are a typical prog phony who watches Rachel maddow and her hairy legs
Bet you voted for jimmy and deblasio

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Sunnyside Resident

-Tooties You don’t go by luvu2 anymore? Many Democrats, especially around Woodside/ Sunnyside didn’t vote Diblasio. Strange how you never addressed Joe’s remark concerning the owners of these welfare hotels. It’s obvious you’re a politicizing fool who has no grasp of the issues just silly chest pounding banner waving nonsense. If this issue really had meaning to you or you had any true understanding of the expensive and failed welfare hotel policies this comment would have resonated with you. You sir are one stupid “mofo”.

themoreyouwishyoudidntknow

Dear DiBlasio,
This may help you “follow it”: please allow someone who chooses to be on welfare as a way of life to rent a room in your house. There is a major difference in mindset between those that work extremely hard to earn a better level of living; with those that are just given it for nothing through tax-paid $. People who don’t understand what it means to work for and earn the things they have and environment they live in, do not respect them, and ultimately destroy them. Furthermore building that monstrosity will lower property values (again hurting those that struggled to afford to live there), cause increased traffic/jamming even more people into already sardine like subways, and in the end drive out the hard-working people.

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Long Time Local

Van Bramer has no problem selling out to developers who turned Queens Boulevard into urban blight but the minute gentrification comes to The Gardens he’s the first to scream Not In My Back Yard. What a hypocrite.

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Michael Kilpatrick

There is a big difference in development on Queens Blvd vs the Phipps Project. This project is simply not suitable for that small area! Go check it out if you are unfamiliar with that block. Narrow roads that are ALREADY over congested!! Out of all the areas to develop an “affordable housing project, why are they trying so hard to put it there! It makes no sense!!!

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Anonymous

Because Adam Weinstein wants to make some more money, that’s why! Those Harvard MBA’s aren’t happy with just normal profits. They are the ones who perverted the business minds of our nation to believe “shareholder value” is the ultimate purpose of business. This contravenes any idea of service to humanity in general. Why make an actual shoes if you can sell something that seems like a shoe and imprives your quarterly profit margin? Why fix leaky walls if you can just wait until your tenants organize, negotiate in good faith, get disgusted, file a suit, win and still have leaky walls? No skin off your nose, your statements look great, you invested the money elsewhere and half the mold-infested apartments have turned over to fenants paying lots more who are too young or scared to challenge you?

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sunnyside

So do you support the idea or not? What is your point?
His backyard or not, this is a terrible plan for an already crowded neighborhood. Why don’t they build their affordable housing in elmhurst or Corona or Jackson Heights? It’s because they just want to build it somewhere that can have a higher value. It has nothing to do with being affordable. Sunnyside needs more stores and businesses and that’s what Queens Blvd rezoning helps with.

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Jackson Heights Historian

-Sunnyside There is no place to build a building of this scale in Jackson Heights. Jackson Heights it was built as a planned community just like Sunnyside was with specific attention paid to space, light, green ways in a garden setting. Larger buildings closer to the subway and lower scale developement as you get further from the subway on Queens Blvd. and Roosevelt Ave. This developement goes against the very concept of the developement of the planned community of Sunnyside Gardens. This project is nothing but a money grab by the Phipps organization being forced down the throats of local residents by an arrogant mayor who has absolutely no regard for hard working tax paying constituents. By the way apartments and homes in Jackson Heights were built on a much grander scale than those in Sunnyside. Check out the Towers, the Elm Court, the Chateau, the Grey Stone, the Hawthorne and Linden Court all with their block long award winning gardens, just to name a few. Oh don’t forget those 15 English garden mansions. They’re also more expensive then the homes in Sunnyside.

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Paul

I beg your pardon who do you think is going to be able to afford those brand new stores on the Blvd? It is definitely not going to be independent entrepreneurs we are dead in the water. And when any small business man needs help both Van Bramer and Deblasio could care less.
It’s time more people start looking closer at Van Bramer and what he only does for himself.
He’s is not even a good talker. Hides behind his chief of staff like a scared rabbit.
Go to a community meeting and watch him dodge any neighborhood resident with any logical questions to him and the police Sgt. They are two of the most worthless public servants money can buy.
When was the last time anyone ever saw Van Bramer inside there business?
And Starbucks doesn’t count.
This is what he is bringing in.
This is a guy that says one thing and does another. Never patronizes small business.
Time for him to go and DeBlasio too.

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Kevin N

-Paul You know very little of what you’re speaking of, very little. Since the beginning of this year I have personally run into JVB five or six times in the Copper Kettle, multiple times having brunch in Dog and Duck not to mention Daisies, Venturos and Quaint. Let’s not forget the many late nights my wife and our friends all spent with JVB at the old Murphy’s and Bliss street station., You need to get out more and step away your Fox News playing TV loser.

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WoodsideMom

Woodside extends all the way to St. Mary’s off of Queens Blvd and the 70’s. I NEVER see him patronizing or even walking around anywhere in that area. Is it because we’re too close to Maspeth to suit him? Is it because we’re too blue collar on this side of the Boulevard? It took calls to Elizabeth Crowley’s office to get speed bumps and a traffic light put on Maurice Avenue.He was quick to show up though when the TV cameras appeared. I don’t see him attempting to speak against the homeless shelter that’s opening on Maurice Avenue. Is it because the shelter’s in Maspeth? Does he think it doesn’t affect his Woodside constituents? He’s dead wrong.

J A Tucker

Used to see JVB all the time out and around. Personally handed out election flyers and chatted in my building years ago, hardly luxury Had no idea who he was exactly until late. Thought he was awfully young for white hair already. Since then a lot of oldtimers have been uprooted by Qns Plaza redevelopment. Not sure how you can grow without displacement, but we’re in trouble when mid income working people no longer matter The council seems to care, but the developers are ruthless and relentless. Sunnyside is the new tideline for either luxury unaffordable or subsidized housing. Working people in the middle are getting squeezed to death.

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Pat

The project would certainly make that area look better. Perhaps they could do it on a smaller scale ???

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A.Bundy

I really can’t wait for 1000 extra people to take the overcrowded and always late in the morning 7 train.

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urbo

it’s really not that serious. i commute every day. some days are worse than others but if you give yourself a 15 minute cushion it’s not bad at all and in the past year or so I have rarely boarded a crowded train.

also, it’s a little silly to think that every single resident of this new development will board the trains simultaneously. not everyone works in the city, not everyone commutes to work by train. there are stay at home moms and dads, people who work from home, and people with shifts other than 9-5.

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Anonymous

Thwy have kept that lot looking that eay for anout 70 years. They could have sprung for a sprucing up at any point. They do not need tax subsidiea from the public coffer to sweep, weed and paint property they have bern profiting from for decades.

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Mr. Timm

Will JVB’s public position have teeth with the Council?? Or, is he making a show with the Mayor to improve both of their re-election chances? Historically, the Council will respect a member’s position on projects in their home district. Might this vote break the tradition?

BTW, a big hint to the outcome here is the fact that the Phipps developers have not altered or revised their plans based on community input. What do they know?

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