This week Carroll Gardens Patch is looking back at some of the biggest stories of 2011.
We continue today with real estate. In 2011, gentrification marched onward as home prices rose, developers unveiled new building plans, and several stores and restaurants were forced out of business by rising rents.
As the neighborhood searches for the right balance between the old and the new, construction continues to cause contention. For every person who supports development, there is another who opposes it. In 2011, disagreements arose over a few issues in particular.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Construction Debate
One particularly controversial issue is a proposal to build high-rise apartment buildings in and around Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Developers and city officials argue that the construction will bolster the park’s finances and pay for renovations. Opponents of the plan, however, believe that the new buildings would mar the landscape and, more importantly, that privately owned buildings should not be built on public land.
In December, to propose alternatives and announce their opposition to construction. , however, was more evenly divided— several residents voiced support for the project and several voiced opposition.
To the dismay of those who oppose construction, the city Construction is set to begin in 2013.
The Landmarking of Carroll Gardens…
In 2011 organizations like the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association to expand the Carroll Gardens historic district in order to preserve the old-timey character of the neighborhood. The city also supports the plan, but it faces opposition from the group Citizens Against Landmarking, which is led by longtime Carroll Gardens resident John Esposito. Esposito argues that landmarking will create a scarcity of property and, in turn, force out lifelong residents and storeowners. He thinks that preserving the old-timey feel of Carroll Gardens is not worth the price of losing the old-timers themselves.
…and the re-zoning of Boerum Hill
One issue that caused less controversy is the re-zoning of Boerum Hill. Everybody seemed to be pleased when, in September, to outlaw high-rises in the 31-block neighborhood. The ruling resulted from vigorous lobbying by Boerum Hill Association, the Brooklyn Office of City Planning, and local Councilmember Steve Levin. Following the ruling, Boerum Hill joined Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens under the R6A zoning designation, which limits the height of buildings in the neighborhood.
Spillover from Atlantic Yards
The massive Atlantic Yards construction project, supported by politicians such as Mayor Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, has been ruffling feathers for years—and it isn’t even finished. Critics have accused the developer, Bruce Ratner, of and exaggerating other positive effects for the surrounding neighborhoods.
A particular concern of the people of Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill is traffic and parking. With the main feature of the project—a new stadium for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team—still a year away from completion,