You are reading

Phipps’ Barnett Avenue proposal goes before the City Council Sept. 20 for hearing

MHG Architects

MHG Architects

Sept. 13, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

The controversial Phipps Housing development on Barnett Avenue will go before the City Council for the first time next week, as the developer seeks to pass the final hurdle in getting the property rezoned.

The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will be holding a hearing on the proposed zoning changes at a meeting on September 20th, taking the first of three City Council votes on the matter.

Phipps is seeking the zoning change in order to build a 10-story, 209-unit affordable housing complex on the lot that is currently zoned for manufacturing.

Following the September 20th vote, the zoning change for 50-25 Barnett Avenue will move to the Land Use committee, and then on to the full City Council for a final vote. This comes several weeks after the plan was approved by the City Planning Commission on August 10th.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who has been an outspoken opponent of the project, said he will continue to oppose the development as it moves through the city council votes.

“The proposed Phipps project has too many issues associated with it. As the ULURP process moves forward, I continue to oppose the project, and encourage neighborhood residents to attend the hearing and share their views,” Van Bramer said in a statement.

He said that he will continue to encourage the rest of City Council to vote against the plan as well.

The meeting on September 20 begins at 9:30 a.m. at 250 Broadway in the Committee Room, and it is open to the public. Members of the community are invited to come speak and voice their opinions.

The project has been the center of much controversy, including a public tiff between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Van Bramer, who oversees the district where Phipps hopes to build.

Van Bramer has come out strongly against the project, citing its scale and size, as well as unaffordability, as problems with the proposal. Many other local figures, including Community Board 2 and Borough President Melinda Katz, have stated opposition to the plan for similar reasons.

De Blasio, on the other hand, has said that a proposal offering so much affordable housing is worth passing.

The two exchanged words indirectly through interviews and on Twitter.

“Turning down affordable housing, I can’t follow that. I can’t understand that,” said de Blasio at an unrelated event several weeks ago. “I am going to have a polite but firm conversation with the councilman, who I know very well and respect greatly,” he added.

Van Bramer fired back on Twitter, “And he will be met with a polite and even firmer response.”

Since those comments Van Bramer and de Blasio have met with one another, and though the drama has passed, both maintain their original beliefs, according to Van Bramer’s office.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
North Side the Trax, bches

Phil, outstanding comment.

However, it’s not “unfortunate” as you say. It’s great!


It is zoned manufacturing. If they don’t get the modification, they should put a factory on it. Everyone likes to live next to factories.


Why is the meeting held near the mayors office? If it was near the site,say a school auditorium, more of the community would be able to attend. People work, people have kids to attend to. This makes it easier for the mayor to get his way. Also if jvb and the mayor met, this meeting is scripted like wrestling.


Notice how the above MHG Architects rendition fails to include the Long Island Rail Road Tracks that would be adjacent to the new building and actually run down the entire length of the new building. Phipps and everyone they have involved with this abomination have been disingenuous.

Hipster migration Summer 2017

The L trains gonna be out of service from 2017-2019, we need prepare for the influx of desperate hipsters. We need housing for these people and a vinyl record store.


Mr. Van Bramer has taken a very public beating from DiBlasio and made enemies of the REBNY for little purpose if he doesn’t mean to vote down this disingenuous proposal. Phipps was satisfied to own undeveloped, unimproved, filthy and hazardous property for more than fifty years because they couldn’t find a way to get the city to pay for them to make it better for human use. Now that they stand to reap profits and have taxpayers foot the bill, they want to build. Their Harvard MBA taught Phipps to worship the Golden Calf named “Shareholder Value.” Phipps deserves no zoning change and no funds from the community chest. The teachers,
administrators, coaches and building crews from the new middle school will make it worthwhile for Phipps to build a garage with several floors, pit the new day traffic against the Steve Madden employees, raise their prices and rent spots by the hour and day in addition to the monthly rental fees commercial vehicles pay. That way they will serve the public honestly and put those shiny coppers in their ditty bag with a good conscience.


Sadly, this vote is likely to expose Van Bramer as the toddler king, widely influential and respected within the vast bounds of his tree fort.

As with all his empty grandstanding, his constituents will pay the price.

Get Outta Town!

Maybe in YOUR back yeard de Blasio! Not Sunnyside’s! We will stand and say no!

The meeting on September 20 begins at 9:30 a.m. at 250 Broadway in the Committee Room, and it is open to the public.


250 Broadway is a very busy building, i advise to be outside the building by 8am and wait on the line to get in…full metal detector and possible remove shoes to get inside..**i worked there in the early 2000’s…heed my advice


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.