CB7 approves mixed-use housing development

Community Board 7 voted last Wednesday to approve a new mixed-use housing development at 737 Fourth Ave. in Sunset Park. The rezoning application seeks permission to build a housing complex in place of the Dunkin’ Donuts that now occupies the site.

Borough President Eric Adams will hold a hearing on the application at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 30.

Development firm Totem says the project will create approximately 135 one- to three-bedroom housing units, 35 of which would be permanently affordable through New York City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program Option 1.

Totem also says it will create a number of permanent jobs, with many of them going to local residents, and 150 additional construction jobs. The ground floor would include around 12,000 square feet for neighborhood retail, and 10 permanent employees would operate the building.

“Sunset Park is facing an unprecedented housing crisis, following decades of little to no housing development that is only going to worsen due to the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and families,” said Vivian Liao, principal and co-founder of Totem. “This project presents an opportunity to transform a fast food parking lot on top of a subway station into homes for local residents at a variety of income levels quickly and without any subsidies from city government, which is now facing severe financial constraints because of the pandemic.”

Totem said it is seeking to target lower area median income bands ranging from 30 percent to 60 percent of AMI. At 30 percent AMI, the annual income of a family of four is roughly $34,110 a year.

Through the Fifth Avenue Committee, a housing advocacy and community development organization, neighborhood residents will have assistance navigating the housing lottery process.

Not everyone is welcoming of the plan. Earlier this month, area residents took to the streets to protest the building proposal.

“Right now a rich landlord is seeking to replace land for working-class communities to place a big luxury housing tower at the site of the Dunkin’ @ 25th St + 4th ave in Brooklyn,” wrote Assemblymember-elect Marcela Mitaynes.”

“A few weeks ago we united to defeat a plan backed by billionaires to rezone and replace our working waterfront with inessential luxury retail, hotels and offices,” said Antoinette Martinez, the organizer of Protect Sunset Park. “Now another real estate speculator is seeking city approval to rezone and replace land intended for working-class people and we’re saying no to inessential luxury housing.”

To take part in the borough president’s hearing, visit https://bit.ly/36RAwNG.

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