Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Williamsburg Waterfront: Where's the Help?

Some of the help that was promised as part of last year's rezoning of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront to allow development of luxury highrises of up to 40 stories on the East River is, apparently, nowhere to be found. At least, that's what community representatives are telling AM New York. Among the rezoning promises was an advisory committee to dish out millions of dollars in assistance to help tenants and small businesses that are being displaced in the transition to upscale waterfront housing.

Progress thus far: No committee, only "a fraction" of the $4 million to help businesses relocate and nothing to help with evictions. Of course, significant construction work is already underway on the waterfront (photo above), 184 Kent has been cleared for development and major highrise projects such as The Edge and Palmer's Landing are already well along.

Community Board members say that despite repeated requests to Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff and the City Council, the advisory committee hasn't been apppointed. In addition to helping those that are forced out, the committee is also supposed to help prevent illegal evictions.

"It's almost like the community doesn't have a seat at the table right now," Peter Gillespie, executive director of the North Brooklyn Alliance told AM New York.

The one bit of good news is that it looks like the state park on Kent Avenue between North 6th and North 9th is set to open in mid-summer.

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