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.