Tuesday, June 20, 2006

As Bedford Avenue Demolition Goes On, Quadriad Drops the Billburg Bomb

Quadriad Realty Partners has revealed the nature of the quality-of-life bomb they would like to drop on the Northside of Williamsburg. You remember Quadriad--they are the firm heavy on political connections, in which former Rep. Herman Badillo is a partner, that has proposed building four towers of 38, 36, 20 and 12 stories between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street and North Third and North Fourth streets. (The site and ongoing demolition work is pictured to the right.) Gowanus Lounge previously called the project "the most outrageous development in New York City." We realized that this is saying a lot, given the competition, but the so-called Williamsburgh Square is really that bad.

Now comes a sense of the rest of the plan, which had been hinted at in Quadriad's ominous prospectus. The plan presented to the local community board includes 28 highrises from 12 to 40 stories. Most of the buildings would be in the 16-18 story range and would be built in the area between Bedford and Kent Avenues from North Third to North Sixth Streets. The area was downzoned last year as part of the deal to allow highrises on the waterfront.

28 freaking highrises in low-rise zoned parts of Williamsburg? Is somebody over at Quadriad smoking crack or has Albert Speer come back to life and started plotting the building of New Williamsburghia?

The only rational explanation (beside drug-induced dementia and megalomania) is that the developers are engaged in a fakeout to make the original Williamsburgh Square proposal seem like a small and rational development. Perhaps it is a bargaining chip--if you support the monster project on Bedford, we'll drop the 24 other towers. Or, possibly, the simple explanation is that some chump made a mistake when they were taking notes at the Community Board meeting and instead of "2 highrises" wrote down "28 highrises."

Assuming it's not a note-taking error, the Quadriad plan would produce about 3,500 units of housing. Each of Quadriad's super blocks would have four highrises. The good news is that the company only currently owns the Williamsburgh Square site. All of these projects would require changes to the downzoning enacted last year that protected most of Williamsburg from monstrous highrises as long as developers were allowed to build the wall of tall buildings that is beginning to rise on the East River. The New York Post reports that response from community leaders is not warm.

GL has said it before and we will say it again: One can only hope for a very large community movement against these neighborhood murdering plans.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious why you think Quadriad owns that site? My understanding is that Palumbo owns the North Third side and the other is, according to the Village Voice, "owned by Yehuda 'Jay' Backer, a businessman with a limited interest in the Williamsburgh Square project." Backer recently renewed his permit for a 42-foot high, 3-story building with 53 dwellings and a total of 98,257 square feet. May not mean anything, and for all I know Quadriad owns the entire block now, but I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that that's the case.


3:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home