From the Brooklyn Paper:
A developer’s bid for a glitzy, 800-unit mixed-use apartment complex along the Williamsburg waterfront tripped at the first hurdle on Tuesday night when a community board committee rejected it 9–1.
Members of the Community Board 1 land-use committee objected strongly to the project — dubbed “Rose Plaza on the River” — because it would reserve only 20 percent of its condo units as below-market-rate housing.
The waterfront site is currently zoned for manufacturing and houses a lumber warehouse and a parking lot. The developers are seeking a residential rezoning so they can build a 3.7-acre complex with 801 units in three towers of 18, 24, and 29 stories. The site is bordered by Kent Avenue on the east, Division Avenue on the south and the Schaefer Landing complex to the north.
Rose Plaza is bigger, bulkier and will provide more housing than its neighbor to the north, which has towers of 15 and 26 stories for a total of 210 units.
Members of the committee sought improvements in the project, including setting aside 33 percent of the project for below-market-rate housing and creating some larger units for families.
“The public space and affordable housing shows that we care about the community,” said Weiss, adding that the construction of housing in what is currently a manufacturing site would “bring life and create jobs.”
To be able to do so, though, the developers need that the rezoning, which caps the towers at 185-feet, given the lot size. Rose Plaza would not be the first development to get such a waiver, but that didn’t matter to some panelists.
“You’re not special,” said Heather Roslund, a member of the committee. “I don’t buy it.”
Speaking of buying things, Dennis pointed out, Rose Plaza would add 800 units to the 2,500 new apartments that are expected to be on the market by the end of the year and another 2,500 by the end of 2010.
But Weiss was not deterred.
“By the time the project is built, the market will have changed — and we will be offering waterfront real estate,” said Weiss.