BP Adams Calls for Height Restrictions On Controversial Skyscrappers

A rendering of the proposed 74-story skyscraper proposed for 80 Flatbush Avenue.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams unveiled his recommendations for the proposed skyscrapers in Downtown Brooklyn last week.

The recommendations are part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) response to disapprove with conditions the applications to rezone the block surrounding 80 Flatbush Avenue. As part of his ULURP response, Adams is calling for a restriction of more than one-third of the proposed maximum height for the Third Avenue skyscraper, recommending a cap at 600 feet that would be contextual with the adjacent Hub building.

The controversial project includes two towering skyscrapers; one 38-story, 560-foot tower and a 74-story, 986-foot tower that would be home to two public schools, 900 units of affordable and market-rate housing, a cultural institution, commercial office and retail space.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

“My goal is to realize the perfect combination of addressing the need to create affordable housing — the most critical issue facing Brooklyn — while simultaneously taking into consideration the history of the neighborhood,” said Adams.

Adams believes the project should be considerate of the low-density context of the contiguous Boerum Hill community. As such, he called for a reduction in the bulk and height of the proposed skyscraper on Third Avenue.

The height of the proposed towers have been a contentious issue for local residents of the Brownstone community who have noted the quaint brownstones of just four stories line the street of the proposed site and that going from four stories to 74 stories is not transitional.

“The voices of Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, and adjoining communities are reflected in these recommendations, which I hope will be thoughtfully considered as this ULURP application moves through the process,” added Adams.

Additionally, Adams’ recommendations emphasized the importance of quality-of-life measures for residents of State Street, the creation of a new subway entrance for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)’s Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center station complex, the consideration of new public school sites in Community School District 15 (CSD 15), and the advancement of the open space at Willoughby Square.

The application was submitted by the New York City Education Construction Fund (ECF) and 80 Flatbush Avenue, LLC for zoning and text amendments to establish a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) area on the block bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Schermerhorn Street, State Street, and Third Avenue and facilitate a new development encompassing more than 1.1 million square feet.

The response was issued following months of dialogue with local stakeholders and community activists, including a public hearing that took place on April 30 with several hundred attendees.

The application will now head to the City Planning Commission for review.