Carroll Gardens' 340 Court: An Issue of Community Trust?
The word "trust" came up repeatedly in a session between angry Carroll Gardens residents on Thursday night and members of the Clarett Group team developing a new building at 340 Court Street. Residents have been deeply upset about the way early work has been carried out the site and a lack of communication about the project. Local officials, including Council Member Bill de Blasio and Rep. Yvette Clarke, have gotten involved in discussions, and the developer did finally agree to come to what was almost certain to be a grilling in Carroll Gardens. The meeting had many tense moments. (We will note the developer had no obligation to come to such a meeting or to discuss the project as it is taking place under existing zoning and requires no special approvals.) The design produced by Rogers Marvel (which is, unfortunately, only available in the bootleg form of photos taken of the renderings...which manage to give the building a blob-like appearance with blurred detail) was roundly criticized by many residents, particularly for the use of a gray building material and for its height.
One interesting exchange symbolized the relationship between the community and developer. Residents asked Clarett VP Dan Hollander about digging that had gone on on property that doesn't apparently belong to Clarett.
"It's not us," Mr. Hollander responded.
Resident began hooting and asking who might be excavating, if not Clarett. "If there was digging then it was in error," he said.
A resident pressed the point again and Mr. Hollander showed a flash of anger. "I don't think this is the forum to talk about" such details, he said. "Mistakes do happen." Then, Mr. Hollander said, "I don't like being tarred because of particular concerns that haven't come to my attention." Residents have asked the developer back for more discussion and another presentation.
Labels: Carroll Gardens