What’s the best way to build in downtown Brooklyn?

There is a contradiction in the Bloomberg plan to build condos in central Union Square and the proposal by Felsen on Sweeney Street to flip the once-notorious hill above the green space.

The council has proposed that the mayor split the difference: C-B-I/CM-BA-1 would lead to older condos by new condos. But there’s no broad agreement on the structural integrity of the hill: While the estimated infrastructure costs of building on the hill are over $23 million for projected household density that does not come to fruition, the plans to convert the structures on the hill into condos don’t bring about a hill’s worth of net development.

C-B-I/CM-BA-1 would reduce the immediate burden of approving the plan, but failing to address the hill itself and any long-term consequences of the decision will be, in the end, very costly.

Happily, City Hall seems unlikely to come up with an easy solution. One or both of the council and Bloomberg would have to support the compromise. Given that both sides want higher densities, there’s more than a chance that the compromise on condo development will come to the desk of mayor de Blasio. But if it fails to pass the council, the developer will most likely go forward with the condo proposal on Sweeney.

Leave a Comment