Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has told the Sunnyside Post that he will block Phipps Houses’ proposal to build a 10-story residential development on Barnett Avenue, essentially killing the controversial development plan.
Van Bramer said Phipps’ proposal, which would bring 208 units—all affordable—to 50-25 Barnett Ave., was too big and out of scale with the neighborhood.
“Ten stories is out of character and inconsistent with the rest of the neighborhood,” Van Bramer said. “It’s across the street from the existing Phipps [Phipps Garden Apartments], which would be dwarfed by this.”
Phipps, a non-profit developer, is seeking a zoning change in order to build on the Barnett lot that is currently zoned for manufacturing. As part of the rezoning process, the City Council must approve the change.
Van Bramer essentially decides whether the council will vote it up or down, since it is council protocol for members to follow the recommendation of the local representative.
“They can’t build this building without my approval,” he said.