A dedicated task force and newly selected facilitator will be empowered to hold the city and private developers accountable to more than 50 “points of agreement” drafted to secure final support for the Gowanus transformation plan, which included a pledge to fund nearby NYCHA repairs.
Just six units remain occupied at the Arlington Village complex. Now, those who remain worry about what the owners’ plan to develop the site will mean for them. “What exists now won’t exist.”
The project would create about 664 housing units, two commercial towers and a new park in place of vehicle lots and low-rise buildings in an area that city officials have been eyeing for years for potential economic and real estate development.
Home prices in the predominantly Black and Latino neighborhood began to tick up before then-Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to rezone 190 blocks in 2014. But affordable housing advocates and local residents say the rezoning, approved in 2016, only drove more speculators to scoop up homes, jack up prices and push out existing residents.
In 2016, the mayor and city officials committed to doubling the manufacturing capacity of the East New York Industrial Business Zone, which they say would help create 3,900 local jobs there. But five years later, neighborhood leaders say the area has stagnated.
Adi Talwar, Daniel Parra and Ese Olumhense |
According to the United Auto Merchants Association (UAMA), a nonprofit trade group, between 35 and 40 auto and auto-related businesses on Jerome Avenue have been displaced since the city’s 2018 rezoning of the corridor, and around 150 still operate.
Daniel Parra and Ese Olumhense |
As part of the 2018 Jerome Avenue rezoning deal, city officials committed $1.5 million in financial assistance for area merchants, intended to help relocate existing businesses that would be displaced. But officials have yet to issue any such grants, a City Limits investigation found.