The city council must vote on the proposed resonance of Industry City by early November, but the support of some members may depend on the involvement of Mayor Bill de Blasio at the last minute.
He was still missing, members moaned on Tuesday.
During the hearing, Council members repeatedly asked why the de Blasio administration had not engaged in a private application to resonate the 35-acre Brooklyn site.
Board member Carlos Menchaca, part of Sunset Park’s business campus, called on the development team – a partnership between Jamestown, Belvedere Capital, Cammeby’s International and Angelo, Gordon & Co. – to secure the city’s investment. This, together with a vocational high school, was among the 10 requirements that a board member identified as necessary to obtain resonance support.
Menchaca also called for a community benefits agreement with the local coalition to ensure that the jobs created on the campus are directed at the area’s residents.
Last month, Menchaca disrupted the road to approval by announcing that he would vote against. Originally in September 2019, Menchaca stated that the application can only move forward if the development team makes some concessions, including a legally binding benefit agreement.
When Menchaca asked Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball about the status of the development team’s discussions with the community coalition, Kimball refused to go into detail. The Director General also acknowledged that the school depends on the involvement of the city’s Ministry of Education.
“This is the essence and turning point of this whole application,” Menchaca said. “The mayor is not here.” You don’t know when that will happen. “
Council member Antonio Reynoso reiterated this discomfort, saying it was easy to be open to building a school, but without a committed administration, promises to be one were empty.
“I could commit to building a 2,000-acre park in Williamsburg – pending approval by the administration,” he said. “You could welcome everything, all the bells and whistles.”
Reynoso also said it was “naive” to believe that the development team’s projection that the resonance would generate 20,000 jobs was not affected by the pandemic.
When the mayor asked him about Industry City at a special press conference, he went to the city council and noted that the resonance is monitored through a private application.
“I think it’s important to have the city council discussed for now,” he said. “And then when I think it’s important to consider at some point, I’ll do it.”
About 200 people signed up to testify at the morning hearing, which continued until Tuesday afternoon. A hearing by the city council zoning subcommittee followed almost unanimous approval applications to resonate the Industry City City Planning Commission in mid-August. The commission almost always reflects the opinion of the mayor.
The development team is working to resonate the 35-acre waterfront complex to enable more retail, academic and office space. During the hearing, Kimball emphasized that the development team had made concessions and agreed to the nix dormitories that were originally planned for the project, as well as hotels and conference facilities. If the resonance is rejected, the development team will have to look for other options, he said.
“An alternative strategy of good law will create far fewer jobs and fail the dynamic academic collaboration we are proposing,” Kimball said, reading the prepared testimony. “It will also force us to take a closer look at the highest-return opportunities available in.” [manufacturing] today’s zones, namely net office and warehouse distribution at the last mile. “
Opponents did not touch Kimball’s promises on jobs because they believed the positions would not be available to most Sunset Park residents and would attract newcomers who would displace longtime residents from their homes.
Kimball stepped back and said, “There is no evidence linking job creation in Industry City to gentrification in the neighborhood.”
Kimball said the development team is willing to postpone the addition of retail and new buildings “until we can prove that locals are getting jobs.” According to the benefits agreement, the development team will also retain production space.
Menchaca and Kimball briefly fought for the development of the application, with an elected official criticizing the development team for moving forward with its proposal last October. Kimball emphasized that discussions have been ongoing since 2013 and that the process has been repeatedly postponed.
Although local member support Because land use applications are usually necessary to secure approval, Council members Ritchie Torres, Donovan Richards and Robert Cornegy Jr. they called on their colleagues to resist this custom. At Tuesday’s meeting, Cornegy again expressed his support for the proposal. Some of the city’s most influential trade unions – the 32BJ SEIU and the Building and Crafts Council in Greater New York – also they threw their support behind it.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Menchac said there was no need to resonate to attract jobs to Industry City, calling the proposal a “threat” to thousands of working-class immigrant families. He said the development team had progressed with the application of land use before a community coalition – formed as part of the required framework it set – was able to hire a lawyer. Menchaca said the team refused to push for resonant discussions “under community conditions”.
“The promises of major developers are broken every day,” he said, adding that the proposal did not reach “the level of responsibility that my community demands and deserves.”