Monday, April 14, 2008

360 Smith Condo Gets a Website, but Not for Sales

Oliver House Condo Screencap

The development at 360 Smith Street has gotten a website, but not to sell condos. It's intended to keep people informed about what's going on with the project. As such, it may be a watershed event in the use of the internet by developers to communicate with a neighborhood about their project. The 360 Smith building has been deeply controversial and led to the formation of CORD, a neighborhood group that later began to push for an overall downzoning of Carroll Gardens. Developer Billy Stein has made two community presentations about the building and, most recently, was holding "private meetings" with some residents. Word of the Oliver House Condos website, which includes two renderings of the revised plans for the former Heavy Metal Building, came from City Council Member Bill de Blasio's District Director Tom Gray, who sent out an email via the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association yesterday evening. Mr. Gray wrote:
Billy Stein the developer of the 360 Smith Street has recently launched a website specifically to the project. On the site you will find real time project updates, renderings and may ask the developer questions regarding the project. There is a live person at the contact number provided around the clock for questions and concerns after hours.
The new 360 site says that work will be taking place at the property tomorrow, with workers starting to install a construction fence that will presumably mean the end of the Democracy Wall at the embattled subway plaza at the Carroll Gardens station on which residents have been posting messages and posters since last summer. It is unknown if they intend to use the fence for similar purposes. The website says that the construction fence will not include the any of the plaza itself. As for the plaza, a reliable neighborhood source confirmed that the "rumor" we posted on Friday about a possible lawsuit concerning whether the developer or the city owns the property is more than "a rumor" and that those who strongly believe the plaza is public property are talking "seriously about the possibility of a lawsuit."



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