The latest version of the Innovation Qns plan features 1,436 income-restricted apartments, around 45 percent of the total. “We have set a new precedent for building affordable housing on private land,” the neighborhood’s Councilmember Julie Won said in prepared remarks ahead of the vote.
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.
Innovation QNS has emerged as the latest flashpoint in a debate over housing production, with supporters saying the plan will provide much-needed units for New Yorkers of all income levels, while opponents say it includes too few income-restricted units for low- and middle-income residents.
The New York District Council of Carpenters issued a statement opposing the plan, saying they would not receive enough work on 349-unit project proposed for The Bronx. Their stance was counter to several other influential labor leaders who have spoken in favor of the project for the jobs and new housing it will create.
The question soon facing the City Council—and in particular, local member Julie Won—is how much affordable housing is enough to replace the Queens industrial scene with a complex three times bigger than One45, another Harlem development proposal recently squashed over affordability concerns.
Liz Donovan and David Brand |
The land use plan, part of a broader initiative known as Resilient Edgemere, encompasses the area bound by Beach 35th Street and Beach 50th Street and will change zoning rules to increase density in some areas, limit development in others and raise the shoreline along Jamaica Bay.
“Community Boards are currently being asked to do more with less,” wrote a task force of district managers and administrative staffers in a report released last month. “Especially in the last year-and-a-half, community boards have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Lawmakers are expected to vote on the rezoning later this week. A 22-item “Points of Agreement” package includes pledges to develop more affordable housing outside the rezoning area—on city-owned land at 388 Hudson St. and an NYPD parking lot at 324 East 5th St.—and outlines new rules for the neighborhoods’ unique artist residences.
Michelle de la Uz and Brad Lander |
‘This plan did not start in a developer’s office, or at City Hall. It started through community planning, a series of public conversations that generated core principles for what inclusive, sustainable growth in the neighborhood would require.’
“This is the biggest rezoning this administration has done over our eight years,” the mayor said ahead of Tuesday’s vote on the plan, which will upzone an 82-block swath of the Brooklyn neighborhood to add an estimated 8,500 new apartments.