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Updated: Residents Hold Rally in Opposition to Phipps Houses’ Proposed Barnett Avenue Development

Approximately 25 Residents Hold Rally in opposition to Phipps Houses’ plan to build a 7-story 167-unit plan at 50-25 Barnett Ave. (Photo: Hayes Peter Mauro)

Dec. 3, 2020 By Christian Murray (UPDATED)

A number of residents held a rally in Sunnyside Wednesday to call on Community Board 2 and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer to vote against a rezoning plan that would allow an affordable housing complex to go up on Barnett Avenue.

The developer, Phipps Houses, has filed an application to rezone 50-25 Barnett Ave. in order to construct a seven-story, 167 unit building. All the units in the building would be income restricted.

Approximately 25 people attended the rally, held at the 46th-Bliss Street station. The speakers included Gerald Perrin, co-president of Phipps Garden Tenants Association, and City Council candidates Hailie Kim, Brent O’Leary, Denise Keehan-Smith and Emily Sharpe, according to a press release put out by the newly-formed group Woodside Sunnyside Council.

The group is opposed to Phipps Houses’ plan arguing that it would gentrify the neighborhood, despite it being an affordable housing complex.

The opponents argue that Phipps Houses, which owns and manages the 472-unit Phipps Garden Apartments complex on 39th Avenue, is a poor landlord and should not be given the approval to construct another building.

Community Board 2 will vote on the plan Thursday and rallygoers urged board members to vote against it. They are also calling on Van Bramer to nix it when it goes before the city council for a vote.

The application must be approved by the City Council in order for Phipps to move ahead with the plan. Community Board 2’s vote on the plan Thursday is advisory.

Attendees at the rally Wednesday in opposition to Phipps Houses’ plan to build a 7-story 167-unit plan at 50-25 Barnett Ave. (Photo: Hayes Peter Mauro)

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38 Comments

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Dennis L. Deahn

Bravo for the demonstrators! From the neighborhood, for the neighborhood. Keep the pressure on.

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ABoondy

the politicians have already been bribed…i mean lobbied by the developers, that why they are so quiet. too late now.

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Gods child

Isn’t incredible how the same people that voted for socialism and equality, pushing for BLM are now the same people that are voting to keep these same people out? So I guess the AOC supporters don’t really want to create opportunity zones for the less fortunate. But hey lets put this all on Trump and blame him right? These are the same people that called for the Defund the Police but have the need to call the police because there are criminals on the streets. You all get what you deserve. Its because you’re all upper middle class ANTIFA spoiled brats and the low working class isn’t good enough in your neighborhood. You’ll are full of shit when you said their human lives mattered. Put down the Karl Marx manifesto and pick up a Bible. You degenerate Socialist democrats. By all means, also blame the red blooded, God fearing Republicans. You disgusting hypocritical people make me sick. When push comes to shove you’ll would never open up your doors for the so called people you claim to fight for let alone open up your neighborhood for them.

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Definitely NOT Gods Child

Take a Xanax, Larry. Your post is filled with ad hominem, straw man, and red-herring fallacies. Clearly just an emotional rant with no substance but hate. You may think the world is black and white and you think your side is the only right choice but we don’t live in your world, you live in every else’s. Good luck with your hate mongering and I hope your echo chamber stays in it’s chamber for the sake of the rest of us.

One can be for BLM, police reform, and whatever else you are pissed off about and still wish to protest the construction of a character-less new development. BTW “affordable” means middle-class in NYC so what really are you scared of?

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Harriet

Its the same in Astoria. The same people that were marching up and down in Astoria early summer where the same people complaining and trying to shut down places that catered to a certain demographic they marched for saying that they are making too much noise and taking up to much space when outside dining went into effect. They were walking around taking pics and videos and calling 311 and 911 to get them to go back to the south bronx.

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pissed sunnysider

This crowd is filled with NIMBY hacks who just don’t want poor folks to live in their rich ass neighborhood. Screw every last one of these jerks who don’t care about me or my neighbors and the hacky political enablers.

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oldtimer

Sorry, Buddy. You are wrong. No one here was rich until gentrification began. The people against the building are long-time, lower middle class folks who put in decades at regular jobs. We just want Phipps to uphold their responsibilities before they have a chance to screw another 167 units of people.

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Concerned Citizen

People have the right to defend their neighborhood especially when they invested thousands to own property and stake.

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Gardens Watcher

Luv thy neighbor, but these women don’t want to “screw you” and can’t say I blame them.

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Bench warmer

For All the AOC wacko supporters ! You are all for supporting affordable housing when it involves other neighborhoods but when they come into Sunnyside , “ not here ! it will ruin our neighborhood “! Hypocrites

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ann

Like most of these projects offering ‘affordable housing’, the prices are not affordable at all. (P.S. this is not housing for homeless people, either). The building is gigantic, out of scale with the neighborhood. And Phipps is a terrible landlord – current residents in large numbers are complaining about the neglect and lack of even basic maintenance. Why would the Community Board vote for a zoning variance (that’s right, the building is too big for the zoned area now) for landlords who are failures? So they can mis-manage a second building, while getting tax breaks?

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Dan the Man

I did not know about the protest, and I really have not decided if I am for or against the proposed housing, but I do know that it is President TRUMP’s fault.

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Free Willy

The location of the proposed building site is directly parallel to the LIRR. Transfer of possible pollution? Idk?

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Concerned Citizen

Thank you for standing up in defense of Sunnyside! No housing developments! Green space only with the capacity to host pop up small business shops similar to the winter village!

List of neighborhoods with space for housing projects:
-East NY
-Ozone Park
-Kew Gardens
-Fresh Meadows
-Pelham Bay
-Hillside
-Jamaica

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Anonymous

CB2 and Councilman know that the Sunnyside residents at the surrounding blocks directly impacted are overwhelmingly against this proposal for a variety of reason. Please vote NO against this project for the residents they have been elected to represent and will have live with the immediate consequences of the decision.

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Poor people should not have somewhere to live

Why provide support for the homeless?

Also, why ins’t there any support for the homeless?

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I wonder if the housing shortage is related to a shortage of affordable housing

If you can’t find a home, you’re homeless. Think really hard about it!

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Concerned Citizen

There are about 20 neighborhoods they can put up housing without straining the already at capacity Sunnyside.

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Anonymous

Me too and I currently live in the Phipps. These folks don’t represent the feelings of all current tenants or neighbors.

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Guest

NONSENSE, why doesn’t residents rally against increased crime, pollution and overall quality of life in sunnyside, instead they go against this? WHY? POLITICAL CRAP? NIMBY crowd? Come on people get serious and hold rally or protest or whatever you want to do, do it for everyone.
I bet these are the same people who were against a school building on 48th, right?

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Gardens Watcher

The First Amendment doesn’t require everyone has to agree with everyone else, or that everyone has to agree with every project proposed in the neighborhood.

This project would bring hundreds more into the neighborhood that is composed of small streets and already congested traffic, and that will have a huge effect on the quality of life for everyone. You cry NIMBY, but when the backyard is literally jammed up against the rail yards, there is no backyard.

CB2 should vote NO and JVB should vote against the rerun of this proposed project. It’s the wrong place for such a huge building.

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LIC DIRECT

This is B/S!!! If JVB votes against affordable housing then it will prove what we have known all along, that he’s a fraud and a phoney progressive… with homelessness affordable, fair housing needed now more than ever. He voted against Amazon jobs and made it his mission to kill thousands of jobs coming to LIC and western Queens. Amazon has created more jobs than any other company in America during the Pandemic. Its was okay for him to kill thousands of Amazon jobs, JVB did it thinking it would further his career, look what it got him, nothing and dashed his Queens Borough Presidency aspirations, remember that Jimmy.. He should grow some hair on his chest and stand up for something for once, be strong against the forces of sunnyside gardens where he lives and just finish alienating his diminished constituency, a lame duck councilman. If you aspire to be head of the Queens Library System one day once Joe Walcott retires then remember Jimmy this is the one decision thats a no brainer…. it may get you that coveted library position you always wanted.

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Letter to the editor

Methinks the Editor doth protest too much!

There have been FIVE stories about this in the last three weeks. This one abandons all pretense of objectivity and reads just like a press release! The previous was about a TWEET against the project.

It may have been news that there was a public hearing, so thanks. I may have also enjoyed hearing about the public hearing because the landlord certainly had it coming. Good popcorn that.

But the amount of stories combined with their subjects does read like this blog is actively a part of the pressure campaign to strongarm the board and Van Bramer into voting this down to preserve parking.

Is the reason the board and Van Bramer ignore all of you becoming any clearer? Your editorial decisions are damaging your legitimacy!

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I'm not a robot

Excellent point and please do be advised that the humble editor of this bloggy blog is on the board of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and the nimby cronyism is REAL. My good man had some deep anti-bike lane energy, also parroting the Sunnyside Chamber and staying in the loop with his Sunnyside CC/his former employee Small Town Confidential/pals from Queens Streets for All/that one dude from Sunnyside Artists/and the ill-conceived Skillman Project cronies

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You Got Hate

One of the editors of this blog sits on the community board and voted yes on the Phipps rezoning proposal. So “methinks the editors” got enough diversity and open mindedness on a lot of the issues in this community. It’s the commenters on here who are the true haters with some serious “deep energy”.

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I'm not a robot

Check out the press release/article for the illegal “drone” pro-parking video that got the full Queens Post above the fold treatment before the entire thing died on the vine and Skillman gave way to the biggest bike boom in modern memory. Early March 2020

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edd

That Fool JVB won’t do anything. I guarantee he will approve the vote because he has probably received “donations” to his horrible political career.

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Irishguy

If it requires him to take an actual stand and not just promote himself, he won’t do anything. He’s one of the least principled council members. He stands for nothing that requires risk.

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